Terrestrial Research & Conservation

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Terrestrial Research & Conservation

Background

The Aegean Islands host some of the most pristine and extensive insular terrestrial habitats in the Mediterranean. The island of Samos is a key hotspot, supporting the last remaining population of Mediterranean chameleons in Greece, one of the few insular populations of Golden Jackals in Europe and a variety of freshwater species, such as the Balkan pond terrapin and the European Eel. The island also acts as a key stopover for over 200 migratory bird species, constituting up to 50% of all bird species found in Greece. The rich biodiversity of the island hosts over 1500 plant species that are under constant threat from wildfires, logging and herbicides. Archipelagos aims to protect terrestrial species on the Aegean Islands by collecting and analysing data and supporting pushing forward the protection of these fragile ecosystems.

Terrestrial research team

In order to monitor the status and the habitat of the key species, the Archipelagos' Terrestrial Conservation Team carries out surveys throughout the year with a focus on the islands of Samos and Lipsi, but also extending to Ikaria and the small islands of the northern Dodecanese. The data gathered on the given species is used towards assessing the human impacts on their biodiversity and, ultimately, towards Archipelagos’ conservation initiatives and efforts. 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 wildlife and terrestrial conservation and environmental management.

Examples of recent internship projects

• Collecting data on bird population through standardised point count methods and transect surveys
• Biodiversity assessments using invertebrates as an indicator such as butterflies and ground beetles
• Determining the Mediterranean Chameleon population size and distribution using mark-recapture and morphometrical analysis.
• Determining the Golden Jackal population dynamics, distribution and acoustic characteristics.
• Camera Trap Monitoring in areas of high jackals’ activity.
• Jackals’ diet analysis through scat sampling and camera traps (laboratory work is included).
• Jackals’ parasitology with the aim to detect the presence/absence of some parasites found in jackals’ scats (laboratory work is included).
• Carrying out observational surveys of various lizard, snake, tortoise and amphibian species

Your role

These projects provide field-work and hands-on research opportunities for undergraduate and post-graduate students who have achieved a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and who are looking to gain experience outside the classroom. Participants have the opportunity to collect data for producing a thesis and scientific publications. The skills and expertise acquired through this internship are useful towards a professional career in environmental and/or zoological research and conservation fields. Interns have the opportunity to conduct independent research projects, for university credit or for a thesis/dissertation.

Technical skills

• Working towards or completion of a relevant scientific degree.
• Data entry, field skills and the capacity for accurate and consistent data collection and analysis.
• Knowledge in the application of statistics, with some experience in a programming language such as R or Python.
• Good knowledge of the terrestrial environment.
• Experience with scientific surveying.

Other skills

• Fluency in English
• Good communication skills
• Ability to work in a multicultural environment
• Motivation to live in remote places with simple facilities
• Sincere desire to work towards Archipelagos’ conservation efforts

What we offer

We offer an internship at an inspiring institute with experts on coastal conservation. You have the opportunity to collect data for writing a thesis, scientific publications or increasing your skillset within the marine conservation sector. Internships range from 3 - 12 months, although shorter or longer internship periods may be arranged to cover the needs of groups or individuals. As Archipelagos is a non-profit research institute, the internships we offer are unpaid. The experience requires an internship weekly fee of 163 - 195 euros to cover living and research expenses (e.g. housing, 3 meals a day, public liability insurance and other research facilities). Students and recent graduates and researchers are advised to search for possible funding through their universities, by getting in touch with the International Office/ Placement/ Erasmus+ Offices at their Universities or other relevant grant providing organizations in their region.

Procedure

To apply for this internship, please send an email to our admissions team outlining your program of interest and requesting an application form - [email protected] We will get back to you within 2 working days.

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