It has been a week since the launch of our Bira project recruitment and it has been overwhelming the amount of support we have been receiving. Spots are starting to fill up from October 1st – March 2020 with a few spots still available this fall. Here are a few updates about the Bira Project and what to expect in your application process and program.

About the Application Process

After applying online we have a short interview process where we will hold your program dates for 2 weeks while we get to know each other a little better. This includes submitting application documents such as an interview questionnaire, CV, and dive medical. After this time we will release a “Welcome Guide” to help answer most of your questions leading up to your project. Once you have been accepted and officially offered a place you will have an additional 2 weeks to confirm you spot with a 50% program deposit. The remaining 50% is due on your arrival date.

Once your deposit is confirmed you will be sent pre arrival study guides and course manuals to help better prepare you to take part in each of our projects. Then it is time to start planning your trip! 

The entire application process can take up to 4 weeks to complete.

Course Descriptions

All interns at Indo Ocean Project must complete 5 additional specialty certifications on top of their Dive Master course. These courses have been customised and written by our team of in house marine biologists and dive instructors. Each course corresponds with a different research project and certain courses must be completed before your data can be used. The courses are generally scheduled within the first 4 weeks of your program.

  • Marine Ecology: This course consists of a 3 hour workshop, 2 training dives, and a fish ID test. The workshop focuses on 3 modules: a) introduction to scientific and survey diving b) basic fish biology and anatomy c) fish identification of our indicator species (teleotei, elasmobranchii, and turtles). This course is required for your survey data to count and to take part in BRUV analysis. Written by Indo Ocean Project and certified by Scuba Schools International.
  • Shark Ecology: This course consists of a 3 hour workshop, 2 hour shark conservation documentary, 2 shark photo ID training dives, and a knowledge review. The workshop focuses on 3 modules: a) shark biology b) global and local conservation status of sharks c) current initiatives and what’s next. This course was written by Indo Ocean Project and certified by Scuba Schools International. Must complete this course to take part in our Shark Photo Identification project.
  • Manta Conservation: This course consists of a 3 hour workshop and 2 hour documentary screening. Although mantas are not a common occurrence at the Bira Project, they are spotted throughout Indonesia (especially at our Penida Project location). This course was written by our in house manta specialist, Serena Steen, and certified by PADI and Project AWARE.
  • Turtle Ecology: 3 hour workshop, 2 turtle identification training dives, knowledge review, and I3S software training. This workshop focuses on turtle biology and conservation status. Take part in a photo identification dive followed by a training session with the identification software, I3S Pattern. Must complete this course to take part in our turtle photo identification program.
  • Coral Ecology and Identification: This course consists of two 3 hours workshops, 2 coral biodiversity mapping dives, and a coral ID test. The workshops focus first on coral reef ecology and the second on coral identification. This course is required to take part in our Biodiversity Mapping project. 

Research Methods

  • Interns at Indo Ocean Project will gain hands on experience with multiple underwater research methods including:BRUV – Baited Remote Underwater Video: a light weight structure which is secured to the ocean floor between the depths of 5m-40m. It consists of a GoPro and bait cage to attract predatory species. In groups of 4, interns drop and retrieve the BRUV several times per week. The video footage is later analysed back at project headquarters before submitted to project lead, Dr. Mark Bond at Florida International University.
  • Roving Survey: a fish census which takes place over a 30-minute period in various locations. Equipped with a slate to record sightings, an L-Stick to record size, and a handful of camera’s, interns who have successfully completed their Marine Ecology course drift along reefs recording all indicator species and input the data in a national fish database.
  • Transect Survey: using a tape measure, interns dive along a plotted line and survey any species that crosses the line in pre determined locations. Primarily used in conjunction with the quadrat method for our biodiversity mapping project.
  • Quadrat Survey: Quadrat sampling is a classic way to study ecology, especially biodiversity. A series of squares of a set size are placed throughout the sample area. This is used for our biodiversity mapping and coral identification project. Best for identifying sessile or slow moving animals.
  • Photographic Identification: get familiar with underwater ID photography of marine mega fauna (sharks, rays, and turtles) and identification software. Assist in managing a large photographic ID database and individual visual identification. 

The Bira Project will be open year round and accepting application starting October 1st 2019. To start your application please complete the online form.

Learn more about the internship HERE.