Perhentian Turtle Project
Volunteer co-ordinator Internship

Join the Perhentian Turtle Project as an intern and learn about turtles conservation, nesting behaviour, facial photo ID, foraging behaviour and assist with awareness talks and presentations.

Location: Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia
Category: Perhentian Turtle Project 
Job Type: Internship 
Contract Length: 4-months (starting March or July) and 8-months (starting March) periods available between March and October

Application Closing Date: APPLY ASAP
Start Date:  March to June and July to October 2024.  You can apply to stay from March to October if you wish.

Love turtles and committed to starting a career in marine conservation? Join the Perhentian Turtle Project team on this Turtle Conservation Internship as a Volunteer Coordinator where you’ll pick up vital field skills, collect data on a daily basis and patrol nesting beaches at night. Plus develop your people management skills as you will be responsible for small groups of volunteers who you’ll educate about turtles and marine conservation each week.


As a Volunteer Coordinator you will mainly be in charge of leading volunteers on project-related activities. In order to do so, you will receive training on the nature and activities of the project as well as sea turtles and marine conservation. Consequently, you will develop your leadership, communication and community outreach skills. Alongside that, you are expected to work together with the assistant data coordinator in collecting the data of the foraging, nesting, and hatchery data of sea turtles on a daily basis. This means that the Volunteer Coordinator should expect to frequently be around and interact with people.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

  • Conduct 3 – 4 kayak surveys weekly.
    • 45-min kayak each way.
    • Snorkel 4 transect lines in the study site (~150m per transect).
    • Freedive to photograph turtles (3 – 7m depth).
    • Observe boatmen & tourist behavior.
  • Conduct night patrols at nesting beach;
    • Patrol a 400m nesting beach every hour.
    • Collect and relocate eggs from nesting sea turtles into the hatchery.
    • Collect biometrics and facial photographs of nesting sea turtles. 
    • Collect hatchery data.
    • Release hatchlings.
  • Log all surveys (kayak and beach) and transfer all data collected into the project laptop for data analysis.
  • Data analysis using the photo identification method (photo ID).
  • Continual monitoring of data for quality and accuracy. Retraining to be provided if required.
  • Introduce, brief and lead volunteers on all volunteer activities.
  • Maintain relationships with local DOF rangers & community through regular interactions.
  • Coordinate and facilitate volunteers to engage in daily project activities including kayak surveys, beach clean ups, snorkel tours, Malay dinners, night beach patrols at Tiga Ruang etc..
  • Provide a programme introduction and training for volunteers, outlining key aspects of our activities, objectives and expectations.
  • Complete relevant safety briefings and ensure all applicable forms are signed and recorded.
  • Guide volunteers through a water confidence training session where you will assess their abilities in the water to identify the necessary safety precautions for each volunteer in future water activities (some of whom may or may not be able to swim).
  • Educate volunteers about important conservation issues by leading them to conduct awareness campaigns, beach cleans and snorkel tours.
  • Introduce the volunteers to the local communities and cultures through village tours and Malay Dinners.
  • Interact with and assist the local Department of Fisheries rangers in nesting beach and hatchery management, and encourage volunteers to do the same, to maintain our relationship with them.
  • Ensure all safety precautions are taken and the Standard Operating Procedure (S.O.P) are followed whilst in the water and make sure all volunteers are accounted for during water-based activities.
  • Collect and record feedback from volunteers and regularly review the programme to maximize volunteer experience and produce reports when requested by the project manager.
  • Ensure the project house and Tiga Ruang’s campsite are kept clean & tidy with the help of the team members and our volunteers through daily chores on a rota basis.
  • Follow agreed timetables to deliver work in a timely fashion.
  • Be a professional example of a leader and marine conservationist to local community members, volunteers and colleagues.
  • Adherence to all safety measures, protocols, procedures and budgets as directed by Fuze Ecoteer.
  • Any other duties that may be required including helping with group events, cover for colleague’s leave and illness, shop for project supplies (e.g. food and cleaning supplies), and participate in local/island events.
  • The successful candidate will report to the Project Manager of Perhentian Turtle Project and work together with another team member to reach the project’s objectives.


  • Must have an interest and passion for sea turtle and marine conservation and the work of Fuze Ecoteer.
  • Must have a strong interest and experience in outdoor activities, especially water-related activities.
  • Comfortable swimming and treading in open water.
  • Ability to free dive preferred; training can be provided upon arrival.
  • Must possess strong observational skills, high acuity and attention to detail in particular regards to research training, data collection, data input and research monitoring.
  • Must have a strong interest in data collection, management, and analysis.
  • Must be proactive and organized in completing tasks.
  • Must be able to work (awake, alert, and active) night shifts in tough conditions and on a small isolated island with limited resources.
  • Able to adapt to basic and rustic living accommodations.
  • Must be open-minded, respectful, willing, and determined to try and learn new things, skills,  languages, and cultures.
  • Must be flexible and quick to adapt to new surroundings – especially humid tropical climates and changes in sleep schedules –  and sudden changes in project schedules.
  • Fluency in written and spoken Bahasa and English is essential.
  • Experience in public outreach and engagement preferred.
  • High level of water safety awareness is preferred.
  • The candidate should be a team player but able to work independently and as part of a team to develop and implement conservation projects with minimal supervision
  • Strong leadership skills preferred.
  • Must have a strong sense of responsibility, discipline and display a professional example to villagers, volunteers and colleagues at all times.
  • Must possess efficient time management to meet set deadlines
  • Must be competent in Windows OS and Microsoft Office.
  • Skills in R, Python, and/or GIS preferred.
  • Experience writing scientific reports preferred.
  • First aid training is desirable but basic training can be provided upon arrival.


  • Have a more holistic understanding of sea turtle and marine conservation by experiencing the wonders and challenges in the field from multiple perspectives including the environmental, social, and legal aspects.
  • Develop better leadership, communication and data analytics skills. 
  • Free accommodation – you will live in the project house, sharing a room with at most 3 other people.
  • Access to communal staff food at the Turtle House where you’ll be expected to cook on a weekly basis. Plus treat yourself to some delicious local cuisine from around the village or when attending Malay dinners with our volunteers.
  • For international interns, visa cost will be borne by the intern. FE can help with the visa application process for a fee. 
  • Free WIFI available at the project house.
  • 1 day off per week with an additional block of 4 days off every month during project season (Mar to Nov). 
  • All work-related expenses within the islands (unfortunately this doesn’t include your travel to or from Malaysia).
  • Allowance of RM250 per month from the 7 months onwards if you are able to commit to a longer-term internship.
  • Reference letter upon request after the completion of the internship period.



How To Apply

Please submit your CV, and Cover Letter to and please include the title of the role you are applying for.

For more information or if you have any further questions about the role please email

If that’s not enough to convince you, check out this video of the project. It’ll give you a pretty good idea about where you’ll be staying and what you’ll be up to.

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