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Turtle Volunteer Coordinator

Location: Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia

Category: Marine Conservation

Job Type: Internship

Contract Length:  9 Months 

Application Closing Date: CLOSED

Start Date: 4th March 2019

Love turtles and committed to starting a career in marine conservation? Join the Perhentian Turtle Project team as a Volunteer Coordinator where you’ll pick up vital field skills, collect data on a daily basis and patrol nesting beaches at night. Plus develop your people management skills as you’re responsible for small groups of volunteers who you’ll educate about turtles and marine conservation each week.

What’s in it for you?

What more could you want other than working with these magical creatures on a daily basis? Well let us tell you, there are a whole lot of additional benefits plus you’ll gain and develop a whole range of skills that will be great for your future employability, particularly in the field of conservation.

Skills for your CV

  • Turtle Identification using photography and facial patterns
  • Experience working with and releasing turtle hatchlings
  • Excellent knowledge of sea turtles, in particular the four species found in Malaysia
  • Data collection and handling, developed from completing snorkel surveys and recording details of nesting turtles
  • Communication with stakeholders; you’ll work closely with the Department of Fisheries
  • Volunteer management; responsible for small group of volunteers on a weekly basis
  • Leadership and organisation skills to ensure activities are coordinated in an efficient and timely fashion
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to build rapport with ease
  • Ability to work under pressure and adaptability to changing situations
  • Problem solving and using initiative


  • A wealth of in-field turtle and marine conservation experience
  • Accommodation available for just £100 per 3 months (for those coming from abroad). Based at our Turtle House in the fishing village of Perhentian Kecil. You’ll be in dorm rooms with the other project interns allowing you to mix with some wonderful people.
  • Free food! You’ll get access to communal staff food at the Turtle House where you’ll be expected to muck in and help cook. Plus treat yourself to some delicious local cuisine from around the village or when attending Malay dinners with our volunteers.
  • Free Wifi available in the Turtle House
  • Lead and accompany the volunteers on exciting activities such as snorkel tours of the island or paddle boarding over on the nesting beach
  • 1 day off per week to relax, sunbathe, swim, explore the island, whatever you fancy. Plus an additional block of 7 days off every 90 days during project season (Feb to Nov). You might as well see some of the fantastic sights Malaysia has while you’re here after all.
  • All work related expenses (Unfortunately this doesn’t include your travel to or from Malaysia)
  • Written reference letter upon completion of internship. We’ll do our best to help you land your dream job

What we need from you

To apply for this role you’ll need to meet a few requirements and be committed to ensure our volunteers have a fantastic experience. You can also find out a bit more about the role itself by reading about the duties you’ll be completing throughout the internship.


  • An interest and passion for turtle conservation. As part of your role you’ll educate our volunteers and impart knowledge to them surrounding important conservation issues
  • Experience in research data collection
  • Knowledge of marine conservation in Malaysia and the work of Ecoteer
  • High level of water safety awareness and good swimming ability
  • Ability to free dive. This is an essential skill for our snorkel surveys
  • Attention to detail in particular regards to research training, data collection, data input and research monitoring
  • Good communicator, comfortable with public speaking and working closely with people on a daily basis
  • Team player but willing to work individually when required
  • Possess strong leadership skills, and be responsible and reliable
  • Efficient time management, organisation skills and ability to meet set deadlines
  • IT competency
  • First Aid training desirable but basic training can be provided upon arrival

Key duties and responsibilities

  • Daily coordination of volunteers, organising and facilitating their activities; snorkel surveys, beach cleans, snorkel tours, Malay dinners, turtle patrol visits to Tiga Ruan etc.
  • Provide a programme introduction, training and village tour for volunteers outlining key aspects of our research, activities around the island, objectives and expectations
  • Complete relevant safety briefings and ensure all applicable forms are signed and recorded
  • Guide volunteers through a water confidence training session where you will teach them about responsible snorkelling (some of whom may or may not be able to swim)
  • Ensure all safety precautions are taken whilst in the water and make sure all volunteers are accounted for during water-based activities.
  • Collect and record feedback from volunteers and regularly review the programme to maximise volunteer experience and produce reports when requested by the project manager
  • Ensure the project house is kept clean & tidy with the help of our volunteers through daily chores on a rota basis. Including providing fresh bed linen for all new volunteers
  • Collection of turtle photo identification and nesting patrol data
  • Input and analysis of data from in-water snorkel and night patrol surveys, for foraging and nesting turtles respectively.
  • Continual monitoring of data for quality and accuracy. Retraining to be provided if required
  • Identify and implement ideas for additional research, sharing data and promoting sustainable practices
  • Complete projects and reports as required by the project manager such as producing informative displays and research impact reports to share with tourists
  • Coordinate and participate in regular beach/village cleans with the other project teams in the island
  • Follow agreed timetables to deliver work in a timely fashion
  • Display a professional example to local community members, volunteers and colleagues
  • Adherence to all safety measures, protocols, procedures and budgets as directed by Fuze Ecoteer
  • Any other duties that may be required including; helping with group events, cover for colleague’s leave and illness, providing adequate notice of travel arrangements (work related or personal)

How To Apply

Please submit your CV and Cover Letter to

For more information or if you have any further questions about the role please email

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If that’s not enough to convince you, check out this video of the project from a few years back. While a few things have changed as the project has grown, it’ll give you a pretty good idea about where you’ll be staying and some of the activities you’ll be getting up to.
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