Ulithi Atoll: Community Conservation Program

volunteer vacations
Support community-based efforts to conserve coral reefs and sea turtles in remote Micronesia.

Description:

Join us for this unique opportunity to contribute to community conservation efforts in the pristine marine habitats surrounding Ulithi Atoll, Micronesia.

Located approximately 100 miles northeast of Yap State, and 300 miles south of Guam, Ulithi Atoll in the Federated States of Micronesia has 200 miles of pristine reef. Ulithi's lagoon is the fourth largest in the world, and is surrounded by 36 tropical islands, four of which are inhabited. Situated near to the Yap trench, Ulithi receives deep-sea nutrient upwellings that support an astonishing array of marine life. Rare corals, sponges, colorful tropical fish and reef invertebrates exist in profusion.

Since 2004 we have been working with the community to study nesting green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) throughout the islands. Research has shown that Ulithi Atoll is home to one of the largest populations of nesting sea turtles in Micronesia, with approximately 1,000 turtles nesting annually. In 2011, the community of Falalop in Ulithi Atoll declared their intention to establish a locally-managed marine area, and requested assistance from Oceanic Society to develop scientific recommendations for management. Since then, our senior conservation scientists Nicole Crane and Michelle Paddack have led yearly expeditions through their One People One Reef Project to collect coral reef and fish data needed to inform the community's conservation efforts.

A researcher collects coral reef data in Ulithi Atoll.

Volunteers will join scientists from the Oceanic Society-supported One People One Reef Project and Ulithi Marine Turtle Project to assist with these unique programs that combine traditional management practices with modern science. Participants will have the opportunity to meet with community members and learn about their work, as well as to accompany scientists to study sites to collect data on coral reefs and sea turtles.

As a volunteer on this program, you will be trained in data collection methods, and will learn how research findings are translated into management action guidelines. Coral reef data will be collected via snorkeling, and sea turtle data will be collected through nighttime and early morning beach patrols. During our time in Ulithi participants will stay at the comfortable Ulithi Adventure Resort on Falalop Island. 

An aerial view of islands in Ulithi Atoll.

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Upcoming Trips:

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Jun 10, 2015

Trip Cost:

From $4,200 / person

Accommodations: