The marine environment in the Western Indian Ocean is exceptionally biodiverse, including habitats such as mangrove forests, beautiful sandy beaches, seagrass beds and coral reefs. They are also exceptionally threatened by coastal development, climate change, and fishing pressure. A Rocha Kenya works in Watamu Marine Park to understand the status and processes impacting marine biodiversity of these habitats.
We seek graduate students willing to get immersed in all tasks and work in a cross-cultural situation, recognizing that marine habitats have intrinsic value and that we can bring healing to the ocean and those who depend upon it.
The marine team is specifically looking for volunteer support in two categories:
- Students pursuing a degree in marine biology who wish to help with specific existing projects (e.g. shark monitoring, rock pool monitoring, microplastics)
- Graduate students (Masters and PhD) looking for a research site and / or to facilitate our marine work
We regret to say that at this time, we simply do not have the capacity to take on volunteers who have an interest in marine science but no experience.
Minimal requirements for marine volunteers:
- Ability to swim long distances
- Ability to use spreadsheet programmes for data entry and analysis
- Are comfortable working in and around boats
Preference will be given to candidates who:
- Have an internationally recognized SCUBA certification
- Have previous experience in tropical marine environments
- Have a degree in a marine science
- Experience analyzing scientific data
- Are from East Africa
In addition to normal volunteer requirements, we may ask that you:
- Research Kenyan marine parks and write a one page essay describing one threat to Kenyan marine parks and possible solutions to that problem
- Write a second one page essay on how marine conservation and faith apply to each other
- Complete a required reading list prior to arrival in Kenya
- Supply your own snorkeling gear (mask, fins, and snorkel)
Volunteers would be based at the field study centre, Mwamba, on the coast at Watamu.
Costs: approximately $20 US per day for volunteers, including all three meals.
To apply, please fill out our volunteer application form.
Note: the security advice for the Kenyan coast has been in flux recently. Please check with your travel insurance provider to confirm cover. The British Foreign Commonwealth Office issues travel advice for UK residents at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/kenya. Any decision to travel is the responsibility of the traveller.