Situated in the stunning Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve in the heart of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the reserve allows for some fantastic diving! Working days can be long and tiring but extremely rewarding. A typical day will start off with a team boat push followed by a short journey to one of the research dive sites. Other days may involve training on base, community days, beach cleans and bird surveys. Days are rounded off with evening debriefs, followed by dinner and time to relax, taking in a beautiful sunset and sharing stories with your fellow team members. The main focus of the program is to equip you with professional survey techniques for underwater data collection on the health of the reef. You will specialize in either fish or coral research techniques during your initial training to prepare for your dives. Training will include learning to identify the various species and learning how to take measurements underwater as well as an introduction into marine conservation. After training has been completed and dependent on weather conditions, we aim for everyone to have 1 or 2 dies/snorkels each day, 5 days a week, during which you will conduct your underwater surveys. Besides diving, you should expect to be involved in additional projects and activities, including training sessions, marine debris surveys and removal, environmental education session or alternative income training, depending on local and project needs. Between spring and late fall, you will get the opportunity of helping with turtle surveys, a great chance to contribute to the conservation of these species by monitoring their nightly journey to the beach to lay eggs, and watching the hatchlings race for the ocean weeks later! Although working at night can be challenging and means you will need to skip some diving in order to catch up on some much needed rest, the experience itself is incredibly rewarding and definitely worth crossing off your bucket list. As part of the internship program, there will be a lot of focus on developing leadership and teamwork abilities with the GVI Leadership course. After returning to base from your daily field work, you will undergo extra training with your mentor during the evenings or afternoons. This may involve watching presentations on certain theory topics which you will then need to base an assignment upon as well as weekly written assessments and oral and field discussions with your mentor. The Leadership course enables you to get more involved by equipping you with the skills to lead teams and supporting logistics. At the end of the internship, there will be a final evaluation which will assess your competencies against the criteria set out. Our base is situated about an hour and a half from the nearest town in a secluded area within a protected reserve. Although living conditions will be basic (there is no running water or electricity), you will be staying on a protected reserve that is not open for diving to the general public. The seclusion of the area means that you will be able to experience a unique and untouched marine eco-system that few people can access. You will also be required to complete base duties on a rotational basis. When not working you, you can take the opportunity to brush up on your knowledge of the reef and marine species, enjoy the beautiful beaches or take one of the many exciting side trip options such as visiting the ancient Mayan ruins.