At face value, this contest sounds like a no-brainer. Free airfare to the Maldives, two weeks in a guest villa and perks like a sunset cruise and snorkeling in the Baa Atoll. Who wouldn’t want to be hand-picked for that? But there’s a catch! This isn’t just any ordinary vacation contest. It’s an internship offered by the Olive Ridley Project Marine Turtle Rescue Centre at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, so applicants better be prepared to work.
The really good news, aside from spending two weeks in the Maldives, is that this internship is something pulled from an aspiring marine biologist’s dreams. The winner will be working with and learning from Dr. Claire Petros, the lead veterinarian at the Olive Ridley Project.
Olive ridley turtles are reportedly the species of turtle most frequently entangled in “ghost gear,” which is fishing nets that have been abandoned at sea. The Project’s mission is to not only rescue and save these turtles, but to learn just how much damage the ghost gear is doing to marine life in the Indian Ocean. Citizen scientists are trained in the best procedures for removing turtles and fish from the nets, documenting the encounters and uploading the research into a database.
Daily duties for this internship include feeding turtles and cleaning tanks, engaging with guests and posting about the experience on the Olive Ridley Project’s social media channels. The winner will also observe surgeries, attend rescue missions and help release rehabilitated turtles back into the wild.
All it takes to enter is a 2 to 3-minute video and a 500-word cover letter explaining why the candidate (ages 18 and up) is the best person for the job. Applications are being accepted through July 1 and the internship begins on a “negotiable start date” in August.