You can spend anywhere between 3 weeks to 6 months volunteering at Reef Doctor. Become a qualified PADI diver up to Dive Master (and now Assistant Instructor see below), gain valuable work experience or study for your dissertation abroad. The Reef Doctor project site is located next to the fishing village of Ifaty so volunteers have direct daily contact with the local Vezo people, thereby also experiencing life of these local communities and their culture.
Your days will be eventful; the work will be challenging, rewarding and fun. Your efforts will be of huge benefit to the continuation of our work and you will gain immense satisfaction from knowing that you have assisted us in helping the local communities protect and manage their precious marine resources for future generations.
Enjoy a life changing experience, make lifelong friends and return with incredible stories and memories.
All of the Volunteer Reef Doctor programmes are open to anyone aged 18 and over, from gap-year, graduate / post-graduates students, to generally enthusiastic people looking to undertake hands-on marine conservation. To volunteer you need no prior experience or degree in this field or any diving experience or certification, all we ask is that you’re reasonably fit and healthy – you’ll need to have passed a diving medical before your arrival and eager to get involved in our work. Ultimately, our goal is to involve all volunteers in as much of our research and conservation projects as possible, however the longer you stay with us the more varied experience you will acquire.
ReefDoctor offers four different volunteer programmes, depending on the time you can give and type of experience you want to gain:
ReefDoctor EcoDiver (3-5 weeks) – Learn to scuba dive, basic marine species identification courses, experience marine research and conservation in action.
ReefDoctor Research Assistant (6-12 weeks) – Learn to scuba dive, basic to advanced marine species identification courses, training in marine research methodologies, undertake marine research and surveys, assist in other ReefDoctor projects.
ReefDoctor Marine and DiveMaster Intern (6 months +) – Following the ReefDoctor Research Assistant training as above (duration ~ 3 months), interns help the core project staff with the training of other volunteers, train to PADI DiveMaster level, lead survey dives, assist in other ReefDoctor projects. Possibility to be invited to stay longer, up to 1 year but not guaranteed as space offered each year is limited, Please ask for details. PADI Assistant Instructor certification also on offer for additional fee to all Interns after their DM certification. Please ask for details.
ReefDoctor Aquaculture Intern (3-6 months +) – For those looking to gain fieldwork experience in community-based aquaculture and socio-economic development. Good language skills recommended to learn the local language as part of the program. Possibility to be invited to stay longer, up to 1 year but not guaranteed as space offered each year is limited, Please ask for details. Though this is a land based internship with no diving, dive courses are on offer for additional fees. And recreational diving for certified divers on weekends is also on offer for additional fee. Please ask for details.
If you are keen to gain further diving certifications and experiences alongside the research but cannot commit 6 months to the Research Assistant and DiveMaster Internship, then we can complete the PADI DiveMaster certification in a 3 month Research Assistant (RA) program so long as you are already PADI Advanced Open water or equivalent certified before joining. Further details in the RA and RA and DM Intern pages, just follow the links above.