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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
Eleni
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible opportunity!

I always felt like protecting the seas of our planet was something that should be everyone's responsibility. But, in today's world very few people think it's a priority and even fewer actually take action in that direction. But Archipelagos is one of these few non-profit organizations in Greece that is actually trying to make a difference. This internship gave me the opportunity to be part of that community, while exploring my interests and developing my research skills.
During the program I had the chance to choose a topic that aligned with my knowledge, skills and interests and work independently on my own project. Even though I had guidance by supervisors, most of thee responsibility was on me to organize my work, get the data that I needed and make progress. It was a really valuable experience to actually be in charge of a project and gave me an understanding of a lot of things that make research a lot more complicated than I originally though. I also learned that especially when it comes to such pressing issues, scientific research is not the only thing that counts. The scientific approach needs to be tailored to be used in conversations with government officials and policy makers in order to bring actual change.
But apart of a valuable learning experience, the internship was very fun giving me the chance to meet so many young, driven, and like-minded individuals from all over Europe. During the evenings and weekends, we would go explore the island, enjoying the sea and some breathtaking landscapes.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Maybe not the most surprising, but definitely the most unforgettable part was hearing the dolphins whistle when swimming right next to the boat. Going on boat surveys was definitely the highlight of my experience. Even though spending a whole day in the sea and the sun was exhausting, seeing dolphins was always so rewarding.
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Mieke
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had an exciting internship!

I am glad about the experiences I could make at Archipelagos in the Marine Ecology Team. I came with a big interest for sciences, but I had no knowledge on how to conduct research or how to work scientifically. However, I was treated like every other intern and was even trusted with a project. During my 12 weeks internship I learned loads: I could get experience in scientific writing and learned about ecology. I learned how it is to be responsible for a project, to plan it and to perform it. Furthermore, I was able to improve my English and presentation skills as well as to be more spontaneous, as during your internship you can not plan everything. The time passed by so fast and I met many great people from all over the world.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Stay spontaneous. Maybe inform yourself before your internship which projects would interest you and which of them are doable or already carried out. Also during your internship try to involve yourself in a lot of different projects so that you get a better over all experience. Enjoy the sun!
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Liam
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Abroad Internship Experience

Fantastic experience working on the GIS seagrass mapping team. Amazing colleagues and great teamwork attitute. The degradation of Posidonia Oceanica seagrass meadows is a major concern. Throughout the Mediterranean Sea, Posidonia Seagrass meadows have been disappearing since the early 1900s and there are many These marine ecosystems play a fundamental role in the health and productivity of many Mediterranean marine habitats. The Archipelagos Marine Conservation Institute has developed a low-cost method to map the extent of the meadows. This technique uses sonar recording equipment which is later processed using Reef Master and QGIS to create area layers of seagrass meadows. Posidonia Oceanica is one of the oldest living organisms on Earth. A single clonal colony has been estimated to be over 100,000 years old. P. ocehhcanica seagrass beds are protected habitats that are fundamental to the health and productivity of Mediterranean marine ecosystems. This species is mostly destroyed by bleaching from rising water temperatures and also by boat anchors which can tear gashes into meadows ranging up to 150ft. Fishing, pollution, and ocean acidification also make the situation worse. The Archipelagos Marine Conservation Institute is working to correct the errors done by The Hellenic Centre of Marine Research (HCMR) published in 2015. In the maps released by the HCMR,cc there was a substantial manipulation and underestimation of the actual seagrass extent. There are freely available satellite imagery with seagrass meadows visible; while the maps released by the HCMR show these areas as only having seagrass coverage of 0-5%. It is very dangerous because the islands where this was most prevalent are in proximity to Greek military bases. They (just like the US navy) are frequently doing ammunitions testing in critical marine habitats. Not to mention there are decades of barbaric fishing practices ranging from deep bottom trawling to dynamite fishing and everything in between. The internship helped me to learn how marine conservation works in remote islands of the Mediterranean and how the movement to save our waters is only just beginning. With a more cooperative attitude and less of a focus on the blame game, many conservation objectives could be achieved. Having a global approach to environmental protection is so critical in 2021 and I am so thankful to have this marine conservation internship in Greece to give me a global perspective.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Learning how to free dive with my supervisor alice. It was terrifying at first but once you get the hang of it exploring the mediterrenan sea was breathtaking
Default avatar
Liv
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience

The Marine Mammal Programme is a one in a lifetime experience with likeminded individuals. Everyone is very helpful and passionate about their work. There is a lot of projects you can work on. You work mostly from Monday till Friday, and can hang out, rent a car and do fun stuff in the weekends with all the other interns. I loved the environment and made connections for a lifetime! Would definitely recommend this internship to anyone loving marine mammals, Greece and unique people from all over the world.

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J
1/10
No, I don't recommend this program

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