Marine Research Expeditions

Marine Research ExpeditionsIMG_8293

Whether it’s a career break, a gap year, furthering your studies or just a break in your travels to do something different, volunteering with a Marine Research Expedition is an experience you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life. Volunteering for a conservation expedition is not just an adventure, it’s your way to help make a positive difference. There are many fantastic organisations offering volunteer programmes around the world and we believe they all have something unique to offer. Different organisations will appeal to different people and choosing the right one for you is not always easy, but wherever you decide to go your input and work will be valuable to the marine environment and its conservation. Please don’t forget to mention WiseOceans when booking your expedition!

Click on the logos below to get more information about the different organisations:


“Providing the resources to help protect coral reefs and tropical forests since 1986!”

“Contribute towards meaningful research projects working towards protecting sharks in South Africa”
“Intern and volunteers as a researcher on the most biologically diverse lake on the planet” 
“Blue Ventures’ volunteers learn how to collect data that is vital to the management of some of the world’s most remote marine biodiversity hotspots and directly contribute to our conservation, development and education programmes”
“We aim to harness the power of our volunteer researchers to elicit real and meaningful changes to Mozambique’s incredible ecosystems through pioneering research and conservation.”


“Volunteer abroad on critical community development and environmental conservation projects.”
“Our mission is to spread knowledge, implement solutions and help try to change the current situation before it is too late”
“Promote capacity building and community-based marine resources management as a way to alleviate poverty, increase the resilience of coastal communities and raise awareness about marine conservation”
“Conservation research through academic partnership”
hwdt reduced
“The hard work and enthusiasm delivered by our volunteers contributes directly to increased knowledge and conservation of cetaceans in the Hebrides.”


“Conservation through Research, Awareness and Education”

“Conservation through Research and Community Mobilisation”

“A leader in conservation & Development”

“DMAD’s main purpose is to fill the scientific knowledge gap in hand with providing active community involvement to our research and conservation actions.”
“A commitment to sustainable conservation and positive social development is at the heart of all our activities.”


“With Barefoot Conservation you will gain practical marine conservation experience in one of the world’s most stunningly pristine and remote locations for marine research.”

How to Pick the Right Marine Research Expedition for You

Taking part in an expedition can be a unique and exciting experience and there are many varied and legitimate reasons for wanting to volunteer on one. However there are also a huge range of expeditions out there and sometimes it can be hard (and a little bamboozling) to pick the right one for you.

There are often many different elements to research expedition life, so it is worth doing some research and thinking about what aspects of work you would like to be involved with and whether this is possible in your preferred project.  Things to consider are:

  • Is there a particular area of the research program you are interested in?
  • Are you interested in learning survey techniques?
  • Do you want to learn to scuba dive or get the chance to add to your diving experience?
  • Are you interested in community outreach or education work?
  • Or how about camp management and operations?
  • Is there a particular country you would like to experience living in?
  • Do you get a gut feeling from the expedition company’s website?

If you are using the experience to help build your experience ready for a career in marine science and conservation you may want to consider these things:

  • What are the research aims of the project and how would you get to contribute to these?
  • What transferable skills would you come away with?
  • Would you get experience of specific survey techniques? Do you want to get experience analysing data?
  • Is the project publishing its research? Can volunteers play a part in this?
  • Does the project have good links with other organisations and local communities?

Other general questions you may want to think about are:

  • Where is the project? What accommodation is there? (Warning: expedition life is often basic!)
  • What health and safety measures are taken at the expedition camp?
  • What is the status of the expedition organisation: is it a charity, company or an institute?
  • How many other people with you be volunteering with?
  • What is the staff to volunteer ratio?
  • Is there the possibility to stay on as an intern or staff member?
  • To what extent does the project link with the local community?

It is a big step and potentially a large financial investment; do not be afraid to ask the expedition companies lots of questions to help you make your decision. Talk to staff, go to an open day if you can, ask if you can speak to an ex-volunteer. Make sure you end up getting the most fulfilling experience that is right for you.

Get out there, make a difference, see the World.

Good Luck!

Been on an Expedition and now looking for paid work or voluntary/internship positions?

We’ve got that for you too….

Visit Wise Work to find out more & Sign up to our weekly job alert email