Marine Research Assistant, Volunteer Project in Indonesia

Video and Photos

Turtle: you will see a lot of them
Turtle: you will see a lot of them
Happy place
Happy place
Magical sunsets
Magical sunsets
Turtle
Turtle
Turtle's City
Turtle's City
Mowies classic sunset. Good food good vibes.
Weekly outreach and community events. Kids are stoked.
Night out with the team plus friends

About

The Gili Shark Conservation Project offer a conservation and data collection program. It is the first of its kind in the Gili Islands, and takes an active role in conservation issues in Indonesia’s three Gili Islands; Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air.

We are always looking for enthusiastic people who want to live in paradise and make a difference during their holiday. Help the sharks and the community of Gili Air by giving your time and love. You don’t need to be a shark expert or a diver to join our project, however a passion and commitment to shark conservation is important. We appreciate all the unique skills that you can bring to our project and welcome people of every corner of the globe.

During your stay with us you will learn how to dive/improve your dive skills, become a scientific diver and an AWARE shark conservation diver. We teach you how to conduct different kind of scientific dives and you will learn a lot about marine research and conservation efforts.

Highlights
  • Experience what it's like to live on a Paradise island in Indonesia
  • Gain your next level of scuba diving certification
  • Become a PADI scientific diver with our exclusive course
  • Become a valuable member of our research team and family

Questions & Answers

Reviews

96%
based on 38 reviews
  • Impact 9.4
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.7
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 16 - 30 of 38
Default avatar
Wolfgang
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

fantastic program - great experience

Gili shark Conservation Project – review 2019

It is a great experience and also fun to join the Gili Shark Conservation Project (= GSC).
Come to the GSC and learn more about reefsharks, fish, reefs and the connection to eachother. Besides this you can learn to dive or improve your skills or divelevel. There are also other activities you can join: beach clean up, community works and much more.
The GSC runs also more projects you are involved, for example: plastic free island, diving
for debris, coral health index, reef restauration. My point of view and also my way of living was changed while joining the GSC.

During the stay you have two dives in the morning on tuesday to saturday at the various divespots around the Gilis. In the afternoon after a lunchbreak the office is calling for
about 2 hours. You learn and study about the various projects, put the collected datas in
to different databases, watch videos. You also have a lot of fun at anytime of your stay.
The whole team (officials, the captain/s, the staff of Villa Nangka and the diveshop Oceans5 and the volunteers) is very friendly and helpful. The project is not running on sunday and monday:
you have time for yourself: relaxe, explore the Gilis, do fundives or subwings, go to Lombok

Watch the sunrise or better the sunset on the beach, at a bar or restaurant. You will have so much fun, but don’t forget to smile. After a few days you will love the indonesian way of life with a great smile on your face. It is like staying in the paradise – it is a paradise.

The place is secure and all the people including the locals are very friendly. Don’t be afraid
to get in touch with the locals – find new friends. Your home during your stay – the Villa
Nangka – will become again a nice after the rebuilding: a garden with a pool, an open kitchen for your use (if you want to cook). The right place to relaxe, to have fun and to “learn”. For the moment (up to july/august) the volunteers stay at a very nice place at Oceans5 close to the harbor.

You don’t find any motorvehicles on Gili Air – you walk, cycle or use the horsecar.

I like staying there. I joined the GSC three times and I don’t regret any second. I will join the GSC again and meet my indonesian friends, the GSC-team and to improve my knowledges. to see all changes after the earthquake and how the nature rebuilt itself and also to join the new projects. I hope to meet you there in the paradise.

The whole team of the GSC and the staff of Villa Nangka and Oceans5 are waiting for you. Your age will not be a problem if you are open for new challenges. Come to the paradise island of GiliAir, have fun and don’t forget: have allways a smile on your face.

Cecilie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Now I understand how to make real change!

This was the first time for me to volunteer with this kind of project and the first time I ever got involved with marine conservation. And it's been a really fantastic experience that has impacted how I look at many things.

Doing the scientific diver and shark conservation specialties with Zara made me start looking at everything differently. It taught me so much that I use and think of every time I go diving now. Before I was looking for all the cool stuff every other diver looks for - you know, everything that's rare and hard to find. Now I go diving and I am happy to just look at everything ordinary because I understand their role in the eco-system. Instead of looking for species I start looking at the anatomy and habitat of fish. It is literally a whole new world of diving which I am so appreciative of!

Everyone in the team has their role and every little thing we do feel important! Everyone has an attitude like: "You can achieve anything! If you have a crazy idea we'll support you!" It is such a supportive environment. We would clap maybe 5 times during office hour, haha! The whole team is so dedicated to what they do and everyone is so humble about it.
They have truly inspired me to continue on a meaningful journey in life.

Gili Air is also amazing! I felt very free and safe. Maybe because of the fact that I didn't wear shoes and that there's only horse carts and bikes around, which I both love! Indonesia is just an amazing country and this island has definitely been one of my favorites so far. Here all the locals will smile at you from their heart. It's a good mix of everything. It's tiny but it still feels big. You can be in the busy heart of the island aka the harbor and then you can go north and feel like you are completely alone.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Try to learn a little bit of Indonesian when you are here. It is so rewarding!
Default avatar
Enqi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best volunteer experience!

Having done volunteer works in some places, I think the experience here is one of the best I ever had! First of all the staffs here really treated me as a friend, we hanged out together often and that's really a lovely memory. And they are super friendly and patient. The researchers here answered all my dumb marine biology rookie questions friendly and patient. I think what makes this program special is that in here I did feel like I am being helpful and doing something meaningful. Unlike you only be given some basic thing to do somewhere else, in the program the staffs are willing to teach me everything and let me participate in all I had to do is ask. Plus Gili Air is a nice place to visit! There are nice locals, delicious restaurants with food all around the world, and of course significant view below and above the sea.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Learn how to ride a bike if you can't yet lol... On Gili Air all the transportation using gas is banned, so your traffic will be rely on bike.
Emily
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

AMAZING!!

The team are incredible and made me feel so welcome. Everything they are doing is amazing and I was so proud to be a part of it. I learnt so much about conservation, sharks, rays and turtles, fish identification and so much more! I have become a far more confident diver and enjoyed every single dive we went on. This is a must do for anyone who cares about the ocean and what lies within it, has completely changed the way I view the world.

The accommodation within Oceans 5 was great, really clean and comfortable and perfectly located for the dives. I would also extremely recommend Oceans 5 as a dive resort for doing any courses or fun dives, the instructors are really professional.

Thank you to the team for making an unforgettable experience - I will 100% be coming back!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I photographed and identified a new pregnant white tip reef shark individual!
Default avatar
Stacey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing

I have always been slightly obsessed with sharks and a keen advocate for their protection so when I heard about Gili Shark Conservation it was a no brainer! From the second I submitted my application I knew I was dealing with consummate professionals and their communication couldn't have been better. Every step of the way leading up to this adventure I felt in the loop and like I already knew the staff leading it.
I joined the programme not so long after the devastating earthquakes in Lombok but I could not have felt safer and the family seemed to be even stronger because of what they had overcome together.
I was welcomed warmly and felt like I was a part of the family from day 1. One thing that had been playing on my mind was the fact that I am a very nervous diver and I worried that this was going to cause massive issues. It didn't. The time and care the staff took to look after me, support me, make me feel safe and above all boost my confidence was exceptional. I never felt like a burden or out of place.
Through this experience I feel like I have grown as a person, I have made friends for life, given back to the planet I love and genuinely made a difference. The staff here are professional but you can also see clearly that this is a labour of love; you cannot help but get caught up in their passion for conservation. I am already planning my next trip back.
I cannot recommend this highly enough. Thank you so much to everyone at Gili Shark conservation for the life-changing experience.

What would you improve about this program?
By more people joining in a spreading the word! This is an exceptional programme that more people need to enjoy!
Eva
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A program with a real heart: The best people and a fantastic experience!

I had the best time with the Shark team. Everyone is kind, welcoming and always smiling. We always had fun, regardless of what we were doing. I got to learn a lot about sharks and coral reefs and gained valuable experience in biological reaserch.

I would recommend this program to all ocean lovers who want help make a difference. It is a perfect mix of diving, scientific research and communitity outreach - all this while enjoying a beautiful island, great food and most importantly: making lifelong friends.

The only downside is you won't ever want to leave ...

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

Gili Shark Project 2018

It’s hard to put into words my time with The Gili Shark Project. I did my divemaster internship with them and it was definitely the most fun I’ve ever had. All of the staff was so supportive during my divemaster course and there was no stress because I was always surrounded by smiling, happy people who were more than willing to drop whatever they were doing to help me. Beach cleanups and surface intervals were definitely some of my favorite times. Beach cleanups involved interacting with everyone on the island and enjoying time getting to know people from all over the world while cleaning up the beach. The friends I made here are people I will never forget.
Again, I cannot express how much I enjoyed this experience. Gili Air is such a magical place and all the people are what make it so great. I really hope you get the chance to experience it.

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Craig
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Island Bliss and Diving Nirvana

For a person having not dived in nearly 20 years this program was a chance to rekindle an underwater love affair while experiencing the passion of incredible individuals working towards a common goal.
Regardless of your previous skills and experience, this program will give you an undeniable appreciation for marine life, an opportunity to up-skill and a chance to aid in effective research, all the while in the company of people with an insatiable appetite to make a difference, both environmentally and socially.
I extended my stay and feel so fortunate to have been able to stay 5 weeks and enjoy the company of so many wonderful individuals. Wonderful people who just by association make you want to be a better person.
Lombok and the Gili Islands may have been shaken by a major earthquake this year, but they are ready for you right now.
What are you waiting for - go experience things unlike you have ever done before.
HUPLA!

What would you improve about this program?
Your participation!
Isha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Awesome Experience!

Being a part of this program was a really great experience for me. Everyone was really friendly and helpful, and I felt very comfortable with Ocean's 5 (the dive shop) and with the Gili Shark Conservation team. We did two dives a day with the team in incredible dive spots. Another invaluable part of the experience for me was getting to know the team, people from all over the world. Overall, I had a wonderful time and I highly recommend this program.

Julian
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A great combination of good vibes, bubbly people and giving something back

If you are a diver and want something more than a dive holiday Gili Shark Conservation is the way to go. Giving a helping hand to a focused conservation project alongside an excellent and enthusiastic team in a gorgeous setting was the perfect balance for me. Rose, Zara and Andreas are there to make sure you have all you need and to help you integrate with the super-chilled local scene. The project involves full-days of commitments but it is impossible to get stressed on Gili Air. If you can stay longer than two weeks you will manage to contribute more to the project since much of your first week will focus on upgrading your Padi qualifications. If you are looking to volunteer for his project my advice is: Go for it!

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

Nicolas Hahn

I was a volunteer in Gili Shark conservation 2 years ago. The program was the foundation of my diving experience, which allowed me to dive all around Southeast Asia and the
south pacific. The project is great for anybody (experienced diver or entry level) who wants to to make a difference and become involved with the underwater world and its protection. The facilities where the volunteers stay are outstanding as are their owners and the staff that will introduce you to the project's dynamic. After two years and two visits they feel like family to me. The project also involves all corners of the island in it's conservation efforts by doing community events. These are also good to meet all the people that work together to better the island and the sea around it. Volunteering in Gili Shark conservation was a great experience and I would definitely recommend it.

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Manuel
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great experience

I stayed for two weeks with the Gili Shark Conservation Project and I can only recommend to join the program. I learned very much about marine biology and conservation and although I was already a rescue diver with a certain number of dives, I improved my diving a lot. Before I joined the program I had no experience in marine biology. Still, from the beginning of my stay I was given the feeling that what I did was helpful as for the program as for the community. I met many interesting people and everyone was very nice and helpful. The stay at Villa Nangka was great. Besides, Gili Air has a lot to offer. I enjoyed every minute of this great experience!

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Griffin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Wonderful

Indonesia was my first country I have ever travelled to by myself, and the people at the Gili Shark Conservation Program were some of the kindest souls I have ever met. I have wanted to work with sharks since I was 5, and GSC showed me not just the research side of sharks but also how important it is to have the community involved. I wish I stayed longer than 2 weeks so that I could have made a bigger impact on the data collection. 2 weeks is a little too short to get the full experience this program can offer.
Rose was very helpful with anything. I left my phone in a taxi in Bali, got my cards frozen, and ended up getting "Bali belly," and she did everything she could to help me by getting my phone back, helping me with funds until I got my cards unfrozen, and giving me medicines to help with my belly. Truly, everyone who is a part of the program does everything to help others on the team and people on the island.
I highly recommend the Gili Shark Conservation Program. You'll meet amazing, kind people from around the world. You'll gain helpful experience in Elasmobranch research, and you'll feel like you're doing something to help the community of the Gili islands.

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Anselm
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience on Gili air

My only regret is that I didn’t spend a longer period of time with the gili shark conservation program. With all the certifications you get the value for your money is high, but in two weeks I barely got to collect any data for the program as it was pretty much all certification training, fun dives, and dives against debris. I highly recommend going for at least 3 weeks if you want any real experience with survey dives.

Raf
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Gili shark conservation

I had a really great time with the shark conservation team here on gili air, normally i was supposed to stay here for 6 weeks but i extended it to 8 weeks. This was because here i was learning so much about the marine environment and ofcourse about sharks. You also get to meet so much interesting people.

I would recommend this program to everyone that is interested in sharks and the marine environment.