• Marine and coastal conservation in Kefalonia, Greece •
Gain hands on experience as you contribute to important research
Take advantage of a fully English-speaking staff to practice English every day
You will gain research experience, discover all the marine organisms that thrive within the protected Posidonia and explore the sand dunes and their critical role in climate change.
The Programme studies the Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows and the sand dunes along south-east Kefalonia. The focus is the coastal and nearshore marine zone of the Mounda Peninsula. . Seagrass meadows are a larger carbon sink than the rainforest and play a critical role in mitigating climate change. They form an important ecosystem, providing habitats and nursery grounds for many marine animals as well as other organisms. Sand dunes and their vegetation form a dynamic barrier between sea and land and a specialized ecosystem that is impacted by development and accelerated erosion.
Surveys over the sea will help locate seagrass meadows and plan snorkel surveys. On the shore, sand dunes will be surveyed by drone to create both topographic and three-dimensional maps, which will help study the ecosystem and track changes over time. Snorkeling teams will survey the nearshore area to collect geotagged photographs of the seagrass meadows. These will later be analysed to identify species, the types of meadows, and their current state as well as changes over time.
The coastal sand dunes will be mapped and studied with beach profile and species identification surveys. The current state of the dunes will be studied, as well as their trends over time. The presence of plastics and other detrimental factors in both the marine and the coastal ecosystem will be recorded, and some shifts will focus on collecting those for recycling or disposal. Volunteers will contribute their time and skills to help collect vital data and help support critical marine conservation work and also understand how marine ecosystems are impacted by direct human activities and by climate change. Data collected by the project will help create one of the most detailed datasets on the coastal and marine ecosystems in the area.
Further studying of posed threats to Posidonia is hugely important for the future of the species and the planet. Costal sand-dune habitats are threatened, yet play a huge part in maintaining plant and animal biodiversity, which contribute to coastal protection. There is a lack of research into dune system changes in Kefalonia highlighting the need for future studies to focus on it.
Kefalonia is an island in the Ionian Sea, West of Greece. You will stay at the village of Skala, known for its many bakeries, tavernas and restaurants. It has a long, beautiful beach with water activity centres, beach volleyball, and is backed by restaurants and beach bars. There are several grocery stores, cash points, pharmacies, and fresh fruit markets as well. A perfect place for shopping and free time activities.
Two weeks (minimum) or four weeks.
⦁ You must be over 18 years old
⦁ You must have a good level of English (for non-English speaker)
⦁ You must be a strong swimmer and have had previous experience snorkelling in depths of up to 8 metres.
⦁ You must be comfortable riding a bicycle on hilly terrain, and walk/bike during a hot day.
Volunteers will share an apartment in a large villa. It’s located on a plot of land full of fruit and olive trees, providing lots of shade and a pleasant outdoor barbecue area. Each room accommodates up to 4 people (mixed gender), with a shared bathroom, kitchenette and a small living area. The accommodation is perfectly centered between the two main areas that will be monitored. The beach of the bustling town of Skala is a 2.3km walk and the tranquility of Mounda beach is a 1.5km walk.
for 2 weeks.
4 weeks: 1490€
What is included?
⦁ Accommodation with crockery and cookware provided
⦁ Transport on the start and end dates to/from the airport (EFL) or Argostoli bus station
⦁ Snorkel and fins
⦁ Rash gard
⦁ Use of bicycles to get around the area
⦁ A Kefalonia Marine and Coastal Conservation Reasarcher shirt
⦁ All necessary field training
⦁ The association’s membership fees.
Good to know
Volunteers will be provided with a “Prep and Packing List” to help prepare for their time in Kefalonia. Although snorkel gear (mask/snorkel/fins) will be provided, we highly recommend that volunteers bring their own correctly fitted masks. A wet suit is optional and may make some more comfortable. A rash guard will be provided and useful during in-water and land based surveys as the Mediterranean sun can be intense during summer months.
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