The Aegean Sea is one of most important marine biodiversity hotspots in the Mediterranean, with some of the most extensive and pristine seagrass meadows and coralligenous assemblages hosting populations of keystone species. Geo-information is a key tool to improve the implementation of environmental legislation and to address complex environmental conservation issues. In order to mitigate increasing anthropogenic threats, critical habitats including seagrass meadows, coralligenous assemblages, insular wetlands, as well as key species distribution must first be mapped, and their threats be quantified.
Through dedicated marine surveys with our research vessels, as well as terrestrial surveys and analysis of satellite data, Archipelagos GIS interns collect and analyse various spatial data with the purpose of generating outputs such as species and habitat mapping and vulnerability modelling.
This internship will consist of both field work and office work, which will provide interns with valuable skill sets in data collection, data analysis, and report writing for a professional career in marine conservation and environmental management.
Research is conducted during snorkel/free-diving surveys, kayak surveys, or land-based surveys. During these surveys, interns assist in the data collection for ongoing research projects, including:
Mapping of seagrass meadows through boat-based surveys, using an array of scientific equipment including single- and multi-beam sonar aboard the ‘Aegean Explorer’, our 22m research vessel
Mapping of seagrass meadows through cost-efficient kayak-based methods using single beam sonar
Producing GIS maps of seagrass meadow extent, combining data collected using kayak- and boat-based methods. The maps produced are used to ensure these habitats are accurately represented, so that planning decisions are properly informed.
Mapping of coralligenous assemblages through boat-based surveys using the multibeam sonar and the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) aboard the ‘Aegean Explorer’, our 22m research vessel
Creating various species and habitat distribution models with presence/absence and environmental variables (marine and terrestrial)
Vulnerability assessments of terrestrial as well as marine habitats and species
Exploring and developing new technologies in the Copernicus program with Sentinel-2 and 3 satellites for terrestrial and marine observation (e.g. detecting marine litter gyres in the ocean, monitoring daily environmental conditions on species presence, detecting land change etc.)
These projects provide technical and applied GIS research opportunities for under-graduate and post-graduate students and for other early career researchers looking to gain experience. Participants have the opportunity to collect data for producing a thesis and scientific publications (you can view Archipelagos researchers' scientific publications that interns contributed to, here). This internship provides skills and expertise valuable for a professional career in spatial data analysis, remote-sensing and environmental management
Interns have the opportunity to conduct independent research projects, for university credit or for a thesis/dissertation.
This internship program is available to applicants who have completed at least one year of college or university studies in of marine, environmental, geographical and/or related sciences. Experience in QGIS or other geo-analytic software (ESRI ArcGIS, SAGA, GRASS) and knowledge of remote sensing software packages (e.g. SNAP, ErDAS, ENVI, BEAM, eCognition) is also required.
Applicants must be able to work both independently and as part of a dynamic, multi-cultural, multidisciplinary team.
Additional skills required:
Excellent organizational and time-management skills
Capacity for accurate and consistent data collection and analysis
Ability to write scientific reports and papers
Fluency in English
Sincere desire to work towards Archipelagos’ conservation efforts
Motivation to live in a small island community in simple facilities
Normal placement duration ranges between 3 - 12 months, although shorter or longer placements can be tailored to the needs of groups and individuals.
Archipelagos’ research bases and stations in the Eastern Aegean Sea, on the islands of Samos and Lipsi as well as onboard the research vessels.
As a non-profit research institute, these internships are not paid. This educational experience also requires a monthly fee of 650 euro to cover living expenses, the cost of training, use of research equipment and research vessels, and other expenses like Wi-Fi and insurance. For shorter duration placement than 3 months the participation fees are 780 euro per month. Please note that travel costs to and from the research center are not included in the fees and are covered by the participant. This fee also contributes to the overall operations of the institute and allows Archipelagos to continue conducting important research.
Students and recent graduates are advised to explore possible funding through their universities, by getting in touch with the Finance / International Relations / Placement/ Erasmus+ Offices at their Universities or other relevant grant providing organizations in their region.