*They also have shorter zookeeper exchange and both national and international volunteer options!
SANCCOB "is a leading marine non-profit organization with a vision to conserve seabirds and other sea-life, especially threatened species such as the African penguin." The organization works closely with the South African government, is a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and has forged strong relationships with professional organizations like the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. SANCCOB mentors are global leaders in rehabilitation, emergency response, research, and, among other things, chick bolstering, providing aid to seabirds from Africa to the Sub-Antarctic.
Many IPECS members got their start at SANCCOB. Far from your average volunteer opportunity, these "internships are structured, mentored training programmes with a strong focus on skills development." Team members are compassionate, highly dedicated people who will encourage you to absorb as much material as you can handle and to get your hands dirty in this important work, which is one of the reasons graduates have found steady, reputable employment and education options. Check out videos and further information about the internships after the cut.
An e-learning course will get you up to speed before your first day, when "interns start with learning the basic skills required to handle, feed, hydrate and care for penguins and other seabird species of different ages." Following this, you'll dive in to your specialized work as a part of one of their three internship curriculums:
While room and board is not provided, staff are happy to recommend to you housing options in the area that are close enough to walk to work. I'm told by locals that public transportation has only improved since I volunteered with SANCCOB, so now it's apparently even easier to get downtown or to popular penguins spots like Boulder's Beach. The next International Penguin Conference will be held in South Africa in 2016, so if you're looking to cut down on airfare costs, you might consider lining up an internship before/after that gathering. International volunteers are asked to pay a program fee.
Want to share your own experience at an internship another early career scientist can apply for? Please send blog ideas or hints to firstname.lastname@example.org!