The Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Center and the College of Diving would like to introduce you to our Marine Conservation and Instructor Internship, offering you the training to become a certified PADI Instructor, combined with extensive experience in marine conservation. Aimed at those looking to build a career in diving and conservation studies, this 2 or 3 month program provides platinum status instructor training implemented with marine research programs currently being undertaken in Utila!
Let the two Platinum PADI Course Directors at the College of Diving and the Marine Biology staff at the Research Center put you on the right track for a career in Marine Conservation.
Phase 1: You will enroll in an extended-duration IDC of 14 days under a 6:1 ratio. This Instructor Development Course prepares you to become a PADI Dive Instructor.
Phase 2: This step is optional but highly recommended. In our Specialty Instructor program, we will train you on how to teach your favourite specialties. We have broad range of specialty instructor training courses with all time favourites such as Enriched Air, Wreck and Sidemount but can also include marine life and conservation oriented courses such as AWARE Fish ID, Underwater Naturalist, Dive Against Debris Instructor etc.
Phase 3: the following 2 months is an integration into the Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Center, where you’ll begin training and data collection in benthic and fish monitoring studies, whale shark research and identification, lionfish regulation management, and introduction to how NGO’s operate within Marine Protected Areas.
What is included in the project cost?
Pick up on arrival to Utila
PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC)
Emergency First Response Instructor training
Training and scientific surveying dives
Coral Nursery management
Mangrove Nursery management
Whale Shark monitoring and data management (seasonal)
Resume Building and Job placement assistance
Certified diver for at least 6 months, 100 logged dives required, and Dive leader certification (PADI Divemaster or equivalent) with current Emergency First Responder (EFR) CPR and First Aid certifications. If any of these prerequisites are missing, please let us know. We can definitely schedule the required prerequisite training or dives prior to the program start date!
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about this option.
Must be at least 18 years old by start of internship
Experience studying marine biology, conservation, environmental studies or related field is preferable but not essential
Owning your own dive gear is essential
Ability to work in tropical conditions within a hot and humid climate
Comfortable at sea and working on boats
Interpersonal skills, initiative, enthusiasm and the ability to work within a team
Dates & Cost
Marine Conservation and Instructor Internships require a minimum commitment of two months (one month will consist of SCUBA Instructor training). Without exception, internships begin on the first Monday of each month and terminate the Saturday directly before the first Monday, 3 (or more) months later. The list below shows available program start dates for 2021-2022. Prices listed are per-month for the duration of the internship:
$1,995 USD per month for the Marine Conservation program (one or two months version is available)
$1,999 USD for the Instructor Development portion (+$1,050 PADI Fees)
2022 WSORC MCI Start and End Dates
January 3rd – January 29th, 2022
February 7th – March 5th, 2022
March 7th – April 2nd, 2022
April 4th – April 30th, 2022
May 2nd – May 28th, 2022
June 6th – July 2nd, 2022
July 4th – July 30th, 2022
August 1st – August 27th, 2022
September 5th – October 1st, 2022
October 3rd – October 29th, 2022
November 7th – December 3rd, 2022
December 5th – December 31st, 2022
All MCI programs are set to begin on the first Monday of every month and finish on the last Saturday of every month.
What is NOT included in the program cost?
Surcharges which may be associated with your preferred method of payment
Flights & Insurance
Airport Departure Tax (Approximately $37 USD – at time of writing)
Food & drink
Electricity (Utila accommodations work with a prepaid electric meter, expect to pay approximately $25 USD per month per person)
How to apply…
The Whale Shark and Oceanic Research Center undertakes and assists in multiple research projects at any one time; from whale shark guideline introduction and identification techniques, monitoring coral and fish dynamics, Coral and Mangrove management to lionfish dissection classes. With new projects on the way it’s difficult to give an exact agenda of what you will be involved with, as it depends on your date of arrival.