2-4 weeks, 5-8 weeks, 9-12 weeks, 3-6 months (includes high school academic semester abroad)
Typical Duration of Program
The field research of Blue Ventures projects is carried out by our overseas volunteers, who work closely with our field research scientists and camp staff.
Every 6 weeks a new team of volunteers arrives at the field site, ensuring year-round sustainability of our research in the region. At any one time there may be up to 16 volunteers working at the camp. In addition to volunteers, the camp comprises Malagasy and international research scientists, as well as local and international Blue Ventures staff.
During the course of a Blue Ventures research expedition, research volunteers are encouraged to play an active role in all aspects of research currently underway in the marine environment and local community. Through participation in ecological research efforts, volunteers dive to collect data at monitoring sites, surveying the ecological health and status of coral reef habitats.
As part of the SCUBA programme volunteers also take part in exploratory and reconnaissance research efforts, identifying new sites of interest, and visiting previously unknown marine environments. Onshore, volunteers participate in social research projects. These include fisheries and socioeconomic surveys, community environmental education and awareness-raising initiatives and teaching English and French in local schools.
Volunteers with no previous experience are given PADI scuba-diving training up to Advanced level.
Limited Volunteer Numbers
Blue Ventures limits the number of volunteers on each expedition to a ratio of 3 volunteers to 1 staff member. We believe that by ensuring that numbers are kept low, volunteers receive a high standard of scientific training and support, no matter what their backgrounds.
Many organisations offering volunteer research opportunities and expeditions work with several times as many volunteers in the same programme, simultaneously. We feel that this can limit the learning experience, the availability of facilities, and the activities and training that the volunteer can participate in.
Blue Ventures invests in staff resources in the field and in Madagascar we have a team of over 20 staff from Madagascar and all over the world. The team always includes an Expedition Medic, the welfare of our volunteers is a top priority.
In addition, there may be local scientists, and visiting researchers and students, all of whom are on hand to assist in volunteer training and support. We believe that this ensures that volunteers have adequate guidance for expedition activities at all times.
No qualifications are needed to become a Blue Ventures volunteer
From 2,250 for a 3 week trip and 3,000 for 6-week trip
Volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds and have equally diverse qualifications, in terms of both diving and science backgrounds. Prices vary according to previous diving qualifications - the full price expedition only applies to dive trainees - volunteers who are planning to learn to dive on the expedition.
If you are already qualified as a diver you will be entitled to a reduction, depending on your level of certification.
In addition to the expedition joining fee volunteers are expected to purchase:
* Personal Diving kit (e.g. mask, snorkel, wet-suit, fins)
* Other field kit (e.g. torch, sleeping bag)
* Malaria prophylaxis
We welcome applications from volunteers of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities. At any one time, we are able to accept up to a maximum of 16 research volunteers per project. In our experience these numbers allow us to maximise the research potential, whilst ensuring that the team gets the utmost enjoyment from the research. Larger numbers of people means that volunteers would dive less or feel less involved in the projects.
American, Australian, Canadian, European, Kiwi, South African and Worldwide Participants. This Program is also open to Families, Couples and Individuals.
Independently or in Groups
Independently or in Groups of in groups of 18
To give coastal communities the knowledge and skills they need to live sustainably.