I flew to the Netherlands on Sunday the 3rd of December, and then embarked on a public transport adventure to Pieterburen – two trains and a bus. The bus was more like a minibus, and as I sat there with my big rucksack and my non-existent Dutch, the driver said to me “Would you like me to stop at the seal hospital?”.
Next week I am off to the Netherlands to spend 14 weeks as a seal care volunteer at Zeehondencentrum Pieterburen, a large and renowned seal rescue and rehabilitation centre.
Just a little plug for my pal Sophie’s new blog as the project manager of the Dwarf Mongoose Project. Find out about more about her education and experiences in the little interview she did for me, and follow her for lots of cute ‘goosing news!
It’s been around 6 months, almost to the day, since I presented the results of my Master’s project to my lecturers and peers. It was anti-climactic, especially with work looming over me only a few hours later, which left me with plenty of time to not drink and enjoy my freedom, but to consider the […]
In 2016 I joined the Limpopo Dwarf Mongoose Project as a Research Assistant. This is a long term behavioural study. Mongoosers (an informal title) work 6 days a week collecting data and carrying out experiments. The work is with habituated mongoose groups so you can really observe them closely. Dwarf mongooses are cooperatively breeding social mammals with loads of interesting behaviours and complex group structures.
For the sake of ease I have formatted this in the same way as previous reviews of volunteer experiences, but it was more like a job (without the payment aspect, I suppose).
Sophie is an MSci Zoology graduate who is soon off to work as a project manager in South Africa on the Dwarf Mongoose Project (where she was my wonderful roommate when we were research assistants!) – I’ll leave the rest for her to explain in her own words.
In June 2015 I joined the Ionian Dolphin Project (IDP) run by the Tethys Research Institute for a week. This is a long-term research project on the bottlenose dolphins in the Ambravikos Gulf and other dolphins and marine mammals in the waters around Kalamos.
(All photos by Joan Gonzalves of the IDP)
Six years later, I might finally have the distance, age and experience to reflect on the turtle conservation project I joined for a month when I was 16. It’s safe to say I learned a lot, and equally safe to say not much of it was about turtles. It had the excellent effect of persuading me to study Zoology, but aside from that I think I would call it valuable for all the wrong reasons.
Disclaimer: A quick glance at the website suggests some major changes to this programme in the past 6 years, and my experience may not be at all reflective of the experiences of volunteers there today.