project laut logo golden ratio turtle

Project Laut

About

Project Laut is an NGO that focuses on marine conservation, research and education in the Nusa Penida MPA (Marine Protected Area). Together in partnership with Nomads Dive Centre, a top-rated eco-dive resort in Nusa Penida, we offer internships where individuals can complete their divemaster training, while also gaining valuable experience participating in several conservation research initiatives.

We are a group of ocean lovers that are committed to the protection and stewardship of our waters. Many graduates have used their experience here to move on and pursue post-grad opportunities, some even returning for a period and collecting their own data using our scientific infrastructure, while others have continued on to pursue their instructor certification and now work as ocean advocates here and abroad.

Website
projectlaut.org
Founded
2018

Reviews

Default avatar
Harriet
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing internship

This internship was absolutely brilliant. I spent 3 months on Nusa Penida with Project Laut completing my dive master and every single day was different. I learnt so much about conservation, both coral conservation and general marine conservation from Joma who took a very holistic approach to our learning. With my background being in neuroscience, all of the marine science was completely new to me. After coral identification classes, Joma then went on to ID coral on our next few dives with me so I really understood what was being taught in the classroom. I particularly enjoyed the building of the coral spiders as it is so rewarding to then plant coral on them and watch the coral restoration process on subsequent dives. The diving in Nusa Penida was beautiful and I will be going back to complete my instructor with Nomads diving later and see the coral restoration project again. Identifying turtles on dives was always really fun and its such a privilege to see them each time. The software we use to ID the turtles was really interesting and a great skill to have learnt.

I can’t reccomend this internship enough, every aspect of it from living on a beautiful island; diving with colourful corals and making friends I know I’ll see again. Joma is a fantastic teacher and the best dive instructor I have ever met, few people have the ability to make you feel as reassured as he does on dives. This really is the best thing I have ever done and I can’t wait to go back.

Pros
  • Huge growth with diving skills and confidence
  • Personal confidence growth
  • Living on a beautiful island
Default avatar
Theo
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Project Laut is a perfect blend of conservation science and fun

After previous plans for a DM internship had fallen apart, I found Project Laut and thought this has what I’m looking for, so why not. It turned out to be better than I ever could’ve imagined, and I wouldn’t have traded it for anything. I had been looking for a DMT with an ACTUAL conservation project, not just a dive shop that claimed to do more than they did. Project Laut is not only active in coral restoration, but they’re also the lead project monitoring the species of Hawksbill turtles around Penida. Everyday we are either out diving or at the shop, building coral spiders and tending to our coral garden, or updating the turtle database. Even on dive days, someone always has a GoPro to log any of turtles we may come across (which is often). You can tell how much Joma, the lead instructor, cares about the projects and his passion easily transferred to myself and the other interns.

In terms of the dive training, Joma is an incredible instructor. I started with only 9 dives, all from 3 years earlier, and was quite nervous. From the first dive I felt extremely safe and comfortable diving with him, and I’d be able to voice my nerves without thinking twice. In my 12 weeks I learned so much, and logged over 100 dives! Definitely coming out of this internship feeling confident in my diving abilities. I valued my time so much in fact that I’m continuing my training with Project Laut, starting their instructor course next week.

On top of all this, Nusa Penida is paradise, and I definitely fell in love with the island and it’s people. I’m leaving the internship with a ton more dives, some amazing new relationships, and even some welding skills :)

Pros
  • Knowledgeable and personable staff
  • Extensive and varied diving experience
  • ‘Working’ in paradise
Cons
  • Joma can be spread too thin
Default avatar
Margeaux
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible Experience as a Project Laut Intern

I’ve been working in the conservation field for the past six years. I recently decided to pursue a more marine focused route. The Project Laut Divemaster and Conservation Internship was a perfect fit! It allowed me to further advance my dive and marine field skills. I started out the internship often nervous on drift dives, but left feeling confident guiding others in the same conditions. One of my favorite aspects of the internship was coral “spider” building and restoration - in just 3.5 months there was a noticeable difference in the coral growth at the project’s house reef. Additionally, I loved assisting in the hawkbill sea turtle recording and identification to help assess the size and movement of local population.

Joma, the project founder and lead instructor, is simply an amazing person! He has an incredible amount of patience and gives great direction as an instructor. His calm presence and skill in the water also allow you to feel safe and confident in the sometimes challenging dive conditions on Nusa Penida. His passion for conservation and dedication to the project also should not be overlooked.

Lastly, the community and friendships had a major impact on my experience. We had an extremely close intern group during my time, which made surface intervals on the boat and exploring the island on days off even better!

Pros
  • Amazing Staff
  • Dive and Conservation Skill Development
  • Beautiful Dive Sites and Facilities
Default avatar
intan
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Time with PROJECT LAUT!

Project Laut is run by a passionate and knowledgeable team who do everything they can to make your stay as enjoyable and worthwhile as possible. This is a genuine conservation experience coupled with some amazing diving and the chance to develop new skills. It's a great opportunity to meet like minded people from all over the world and life on the island gives you the perfect break from hectic life.
This has been an incredibly inspiring and formative experience for me. From the moment I arrived, I was welcomed into a family of people who care deeply about the work they do, and each other. The course has given me the most up to date methods and knowledge in the fields of marine conservation and research so I can go forward more confident and able. I came with no dive experience and now I am falling more in love with diving, and Nusa Penida each day!

Pros
  • real sense of personal growth
  • being able to learn so much about diving and all the ocean life
  • Improving my Diving skills while doing good work around the Reef
Default avatar
Sita
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

I had the most rewarding experience with Project Laut

I had the most rewarding experience with Project Laut with some highlights being Turtle Identification dives and Coral Restauration on the house reef! Work is very interesting and diverse. Most importantly, I felt useful. It is a motivating environment seeing the turtle database grow from week to week and watching marine life come back to the Coral Spiders we planted.

We are supervised by Joma (project leader and founder) and interns and/or staff who explain the work and give us advice and tips. Most interns come from Marine Biology backgrounds or would like to contribute to conservation in some way. Everyone brings something to the project, everyone is happy to share their knowledge and help this start up grow and make a difference.

Penida itself is absolutely beautiful, but one can definitely see the negative impact of tourism and rapid growth/development. Being part of this project - finding a sustainable way of traveling the world by staying longer and caring for the local environment whilst becoming a better diver is the reason why I chose Project Laut and I couldn‘t recommend it more.

Pros
  • Conservation Work
  • Committed People
  • High Learning Curve

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Natasha Kelleher

Natasha completed her dive guide training with Nomads and went on to work for a dive shop in Italy. However she hopes she can make her way back to the island and complete her instructor training course.
Natasha Kelleher with a friend on the beach

Why did you choose this program?

In all honesty, it sounded cool. I had completed my degree in ecology the year before, and I wanted to move into more of a practical side of it. Nomads and Project Laut gave me the opportunity to travel, and make moves towards my future goals in conservation. The program allowed me to be in the water, doing what I wanted to do, and interact with all different people from different walks of life.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

While accommodation, transport and meals were not directly supplied by the program, Sita and Joma were beyond helpful in pointing me in the right direction and put me into contact with the right people. With moving to a new country it was beyond appreciated, they made me feel like I was home. They ran me around on my first day to check places in person, helped negotiate prices, and all in all were just amazing.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Run into it with open arms and an a open mind. The program and the people are amazing, and I would not trade the experience for anything. Another thing I would say is do everything, learn a bit of Bahasa, try all the food, go see all the places, because the whole experience is life changing. Making that little bit of effort to immerse yourself makes all the difference.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

With 2 days off a week its an amazing opportunity to explore the island and the culture, as well as to just enjoy your down time. Working days vary between being on the boat with the other interns, or learning how to work with customers, building and deploying coral spiders, and completing the various workshops. Sometimes we would have family dinners and game nights, the interactions between everyone went beyond just the shop.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

I knew I was going to be joined with a big group of people who already knew each other, and I was worried about feeling isolated, alone and lost. But right away Sita and Joma made me feel like I was part of a family. I was also scared that this was going to be some sort of pipe dream and that I wouldn't be able to do it, but they were open to any and all questions I had, and trust me there were a lot, and helped me accept that being a dive professional just clicked for me.

Write and answer your own question.

Is there anything you would have done different?

I would've saved more for small weekend trip and/or invested in an underwater video camera. I love my normal camera but sometimes you just need a quick easy shot for memories, and for the turtle conservation work too. Also try to get a couple of specialties too, like your deep spec or underwater photography.

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Intan Stefhanie

Job Title
Admissions Outreach
I'm from Pekanbaru, Indonesia and i studied taxation economy at Riau University. I am a person who thrives on working as part of a team or independently. I take initiative, I am hardworking and eager to learn with core values of honesty, carefulness, and tenacity. With my knowledge and experience, I would be able to fulfill the requirement you request and become an asset to your team. I worked at Bank Negara Indonesia in Pekanbaru and also worked as a Doctor Secretary who opened his clinic in South Jakarta for 1 month and, I have experience working with one artist from Australia, Bruce Kirby as a Social Media Specialist. I used to work as a Virtual Assistant with Aaron Israel ( Israel & CO LP Germany) but before that I was his Personal assistant in Bali from 2018 until November 2021, and also a Freelance Personal Assistant with Anita Ramsak (Founder of ARSIC Social Impact Consulting Bali & Human Rights Specialist in United Nations).
INTAN STEFHANIE wearing a black jumpsuit with long dark hair and smiling

What is your favorite travel memory?

The sheer adrenaline rush and giddiness I felt as I looked down at a vivid blue sea in Bali, with a sunset to boot, felt like I was hanging by threads, which I was.

That unadulterated feeling of thrill and joy, the satisfaction of doing something out of the ordinary is my travel memory and what my mind travels to, too.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I began as an admin on social media with Joma. I consistently try to make going above and beyond my bare minimum. I took on any additional responsibilities I could, such as handling the customers about diving and marine conservation via social media like email, Facebook comments, or DM facebook and emergency responder teams, for one example. I’d do this carefully to not sacrifice the quality of my work, or take on more than I could handle. I worked hard to make my comfort zone that of stepping outside of my comfort zone. Early on, I learned some hard lessons, but I took those in stride and powered on learning everything I could. I am motivated to be the best person I can be. I am not that person yet, but I am driven to become that person. I think that attitude is partly what I contribute to my success.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

Unfortunately, I never heard of or have experience from a returning student yet. I studied in a city called Pekanbaru that is super freaking hot and humid like 40 degrees every day and sometimes you don't know how to breathe because there are no trees left and oil on the ground. I feel like if people in my hometown have the option, they willl not go to live there and even for a student who has absence for 2 weeks, they will not gonna came back to my city and choose to live in a small village.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

Project Laut. Project Laut is run by a passionate and knowledgeable team like Joma who do everything they can to make your stay as enjoyable and worthwhile as possible. This is a genuine conservation experience coupled with some amazing diving and the chance to develop new skills. The course has given people the most up-to-date methods and knowledge in the fields of marine conservation and research so people can go forward more confidently and able.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

I'm not sure that unique (i.e., "being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else") is important. This company exists because someone has a vision (perhaps an overused, but nevertheless useful, word) and achievement of the vision is paramount. Becoming unique may be a critical success factor, but something else, say excellence in execution may be more important. To be unique is to DISCOVER it. Trial and error until you find it and that's how Nomads Diving Penida does.

An achievement that I’m proud of is being chosen to work on this project with Joma's team. His dedication is imperative for the growth of the company. Joma and the team's recent accomplishments, creativity, and open-mindedness contribute immensely to the team’s success.

Working on projects such as Project Laut was eye-opening because I’d never worked on such diving and marine conservation before. It taught me valuable skills in communication and collaboration that I bring to every new project I work on today.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I read articles from Jhon Spence's blog. He wrote what he believes are the five most important factors for building a successful company are a clear vision, a measurable plan, a culture of urgency, the best people, and superior customer service. That's the biggest factor that I believe is how to become a successful company.