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Archipelagos Institute of Marine Conservation

About

Archipelagos, Institute of Marine Conservation is a Greek non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to researching and defending the biodiversity of the Greek seas and islands.

Archipelagos’ work focuses on a combination of multi-disciplinary scientific research with efficient conservation work, in which the local communities play an active part. This work creates a strategic foundation that enables and strengthens Archipelagos’ campaigns at a local, national and EU level, to defend the rich biodiversity of the eastern Mediterranean from the ever-increasing human impacts.

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Founded
1998

Reviews

Default avatar
Kai
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Terrestrial Conservation Intern Experience at Archipelagos

Archipelagos is a great place for students interested in conservation to work on a variety of projects and work with other likeminded individuals. As a member of the Terrestrial Conservation Team I was able to propose and lead my own research project studying the Golden Jackal population on the island of Samos. This was a great opportunity for me to practice organizing a team and conducting fieldwork, as well as gain experience with technical scientific writing.
Additionally, I was able to explore other areas of conservation by collaborating on multiple other projects with interns from the media, GIS, and microplastics teams. Over my three months at Archipelagos I conducted bird and bat surveys on both Samos and Lipsi, and had the opportunity to participate in a marine mammal boat survey as well. Samos island where I spent the majority of my internship is high in biodiversity and features a unique range of ecosystems, making it an incredible location for studying wildlife.
This internship was also a great opportunity to gain new experiences and connect with other students who share a passion for conservation and the environment. To this day I still stay in touch with many of the friends I made here.

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Ayden
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Geographic Information Systems Intern (Remote Sensing of Posidonia)

The only thing that I regret from my experience is that I was not able to stay longer. With my 1 month at the Institute I was able to learn a great deal about Remote Sensing as well as the local Greece environment. Be expected to work hard, just like any 9-5 job, but there are many perks that I think others look over. I felt a bit nervous about my GIS capabilities when first coming to the island, but the team of Supervisors and Interns helped me greatly with understanding what they wanted and I quickly realized my skills were exactly where they needed to be if not better then what they expected. This is very communal living so teamwork in cleaning and tiding up is expected. The living conditions are very dorm like, I had 3 roommates at one point, but this was all part of the experience. As warned, there was no air conditioning and some nights did get a bit buggy, but this was expected and can be dealt with. I learned a great deal of information by taking the initiative of learning what other inters where working on, both in and out of the GIS team, I would recommend all interns and supervisors do this more. I made a lot of friends, everyone was very friendly and I was able to have a lot of fun during my free time! Take any chance you are able to get to go on the Scientific and touristic boat trips! Hiking/walking is beautiful and the scuba/free diving is amazing! I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in remote sensing/GIS or marine conservation in general.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Treat your time like a job not a vacation. Try and diversify yourself, learn from other peoples skills, expertise and projects. When you do have free time try explore the islands and make friends!
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Nash
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Excellent internship for independent, motivated people

Archipelagos is a fantastic opportunity, but only if you're able to figure things out and work without having your hand held. You're able to work at your own pace, focus on projects that you're interested in, and receive support and education from a variety of supervisors from different backgrounds. But if you're lazy or you need other people to motivate you, it's very easy to start getting bored with the program.

On top of the interesting work, the locale and social aspects were incredible. I made a ton of friends and we did something interesting/different almost every single night. The food was amazing and if you're a fan of nature, you're gonna have an amazing time.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
1. If you're a university student, CHECK FOR GRANTS. I cannot stress this enough. Almost every university has money set aside to award to students that are taking internships abroad and representing their university. My university (University of Toronto) paid for basically everything except my airfare. If you're interested in conservation work but the internship's fees are too high, go check with your university first.

2. Do research BEFORE YOU ARRIVE. Find out which projects are being done during the months that you're arriving, find out what kind of research is needed, and even get in contact with some of the supervisors there before you arrive. Your first few days will be a bit overwhelming and it's a huge help to already know what you're doing.

3. Keep your expectations in check. This is an NGO on a tiny island that focuses on marine conservation, not a billion-dollar research facility in an urban city. Wifi may be worse, and living conditions will not be comparable to a 5-star hotel. While some people may complain about this, I found it to be a great experience since many conservation-related jobs involve working in rural or isolated areas similar to this one.

4. Don't focus all on work. Yes, you're there as an intern, but you've also got evenings and weekends off. Make some friends and try some new things while you're there. I didn't miss home once during my internship because I had an incredible group of friends with me.
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Jess
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unparalleled Opportunity

The opportunity to work with a Marine Conservation NGO in Greece is an unparalleled one. The best part of working with an NGO means that you are on the front-line of their work, and you not only get to witness science in action but be part of it too. It was refreshing to be doing work of evident value – and Archipelagos ensures that everyone gets to take part in work for all of their teams. This means that while my main role in the GIS team was to research and conduct analysis on various spatial data, I also partook in marine mammal boat surveys, terrestrial surveys and public-engagement exercises. While working with an NGO comes with its expected pitfalls, such as mild disorganisation and basic living conditions, these are the necessary trade-offs when doing such a placement.

Not only does working with many other interns from all over the world create a fun working and social atmosphere but living on Greek islands means that out-of-work hours were just as enjoyable. However, the best thing about this placement was how much I learnt. Daveron, the supervisor of the GIS team, ensured that all interns coming on to the team walked away from the placement – no matter how long – with a greater knowledge of geospatial analysis and GIS programs. It is Daveron’s drive of the GIS team which made it so successful; I’m extremely grateful for all that he, and everyone else at Archipelagos, taught me.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Doing a placement with Archipelagos is a fantastic opportunity to develop your technical skills in whichever area you choose - in a fun, relaxed environment. I’d recommend taking this opportunity with an open-mind and no expectations of anything other than yourself to make the most of it.
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Inge
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A unique experience to develop yourself to its widest extent

I have been an intern at Archipelagos for 6 months to complete my master program. I was part of the GIS team operating from the islands of Samos and Lipsi. Archipelagos offers unique opportunities in which interns can develop themselves to its widest extent. Despite no previous experience with fieldwork and data collection both on- and offshore, I have been able to deploy myself during many boat trips and operations using advanced equipment. Simultaneously to this full practical experience, I was able to develop myself on organisational aspects through the full responsibility I received. The environment and housing with many international students and staff is fun, instructive and truly unforgettable.
I have written a personal blog about many activities I did at Archipelagos:
http://archipelago.gr/en/gis-mapping-as-a-key-tool-in-marine-conservation/

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
As indicated in advance, the living circumstances can be very basic. Some interns are not pre-set for this resulting in overwhelming negativity as read in some reviews. It is a shame that these thoughts overshadow the work and the fun experiences. In my opinion the 'basic' (living and working) circumstances is a chance to develop yourself in order to adjust and to be flexible, whichyou take with you for the rest of your live. For me, it was all part of the experience in which you know it is only temporary.

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