Student projects 2016

Students regularly visit TRACC to collect data for a graduate or masters degree project.  Art or science – if you are passionate about ocean issues then we have intern positions for a wide range of backgrounds. Marine conservation is often about communication and artists, photographers and media students can all become extraordinary advocates for ocean issues.  Each year, we support a few students to become useful interns to do some great science or art.

Photographing rare biodiversity such as this nudibranch (sea slug) requires a commitment to night diving.
Photographing rare biodiversity such as this nudibranch (sea slug) requires a commitment to night diving.

Have you got what it takes?  🙂

We have a range of projects in 2016,  from fish surveys to reef restorationcoral planting techniques, Stabilising rubble, optimising growth of coral species, impact of El Nino, climate change impacts on reefs, Turtles,  Sharks, rays, Humphead wrasse, anemone fish reproduction, biodiversity.  Other projects are possible such as the art installation #biggestsharkinborneo.  What are your interests?

#biggestsharkinborneo hammerhead shark on beach
Biggest shark in Borneo is a hammerhead shark artwork to raise awareness.

Art, media or communication interns please contact us with a formal presentation of ideas.

reef crest survey
reef crest survey

Generally our science intern requirements are practical in nature:

  • Can it be done in 12 -16 weeks.
  • Does it have a hypothesis?
  • Does it follow scientific method?
  • What is the control variable?
  • How discrete is the experimental variable?
  • Random or structured experimental design?
  • Is the project safe?
  • Etc.  Etc. Etc.
  • Has the student really thought about this?

Most student projects start with a 4 week volunteering experience to gain experience and dive qualifications.  When you have a month of doing underwater work under supervision from our staff then you will move to doing your own things safely with minimal supervision.  We like people doing independent projects to be Rescue diver qualified.  (read why here).

We expect a scientifically viable proposal, background research, strong commitment to the project,  regular written reports, Photos and video, several presentations to others at the camp and a copy of the final report as submitted to your university.  We don’t consider a research project a holiday, it may be fun but there is significant work involved if it is going to be worthwhile.  A scientific internship requires investment by TRACC in your future,  There is a lot of competition.  Are you worth our effort?

Mangrove studies
Mangrove studies

To stand out from the crowd:  Don’t simply send us a CV.   Send us a one page (max) project draft based on what you care about, what you can see is happening in the world of marine science or conservation, in our blog or on our facebook & twitter pages.

To learn about the experience – please look at the blog posts from ex students.  See what they did, they may even write about what went wrong.  Contact them on social media and ask for advice.  Be polite and they will help.

Marine science course cambridge a level
Rocky shore exploration

Ten facts to know about becoming a marine biologist

How to get a job in Marine Conservation.

Return of fish to Pom Pom Island

TRACC has been working on Pom Pom Island for 5 years and the change in fish life has been amazing. More Species
More Individuals
Bigger fish – often reproductive sizes

Our big fish surveys document what all our returning divers can see with their own eyes.

Large fish survey on Pom Pom Island 2011-2015
Large fish survey on Pom Pom Island 2011-2015

Who can ask for more?  The numbers of fish of all large species is definitely increasing.

We have resident schools of Barracuda, Big eye trevally, and fusiliers as well as a myriad smaller fish species.  The eagle rays are really special and coral cat sharks can be seen on night dives and our 2016 save sharks project should increase the numbers and species of sharks seen.

Definitely enough fish all around the island to sustain a small shark population so we can protect them before they are all killed.

Baby sharks for sale in the Kudat fish market 2014
Baby sharks for sale in the Kudat fish market 2014


Marine Conservation efforts 2016

TRACC works on various aspects of coral reef ecosystem conservation. For 2016/7, we have ongoing projects on:-

Reef restoration
Our main project, we are growing and replanting coral to repair reefs.
Community conservation of coral reefs.  (Poster pdf)
Step reefs on steep slopes.  (PRESENTATION pdf)

reef conservation and repair
branching porites hard coral growing over a bottle reef

Turtles in the NE Semporna Islands
A day in the life of a turtle volunteer
Turtle walk anyone

Save sharks
Buy a shark and save it.
Are there any sharks left? (With Shark Stewards).
Protected area for sharks in Semporna (with Sabah Shark Protection Association)
Big fish and shark surveys.

Mabul shark and ray fishery (PDF-Poster)

Nurul Yazid biodiversity of pom pom island Sabah
Green turtles are common

Biodiversity project

Protection of endangered species
Humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus)
Giant clams

Climate change
Coral reef projects relating to climate change.

Dive on Coral Reefs NOW, the future is Hot Sour and Empty.  PDF  —–  Presentation — Video

Environmental Education
Art  —   The biggest shark in Borneo
Community art environmental education

Marine science course cambridge a level
Survey diving

Marine protected area roadmap.

These are not exhaustive, contact us if you know how to save the oceans!

Proactive marine conservation with TRACC – Web version – PDF

Conservation projects to 2015  -Old website – not mobile friendly

Suggested student research projects

Visits to TRACC for divers, volunteers & visitors.

Main menu

Turtle conservation & Snorkel costs 2016

Pom Pom Snorkelling and Turtles

Turtle vols              2 weeks                    £600

Media vols             2 weeks                     £600

Plus media materials supplied at cost

Extra weeks                                         £275/week

Turtle volunteers have a focus on protecting turtles, while media volunteers may be painting, sculpting, making videos or writing articles.  Both groups are free to join in with any non diving activities that are happening.


How to Pay

Turtle conservation #1     Turtle conservation #2

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tracc volunteers and gapyear students on pom pom island semporna sabah malaysia

Email us for snorkel costs for odd weeks or other combinations.

Send us an email (or use the booking form) with the dates you would like – (PLEASE BEFORE you book flights – Flight recommendations)

Bookings which start within 2 weeks – please email with URGENT and arrival date in subject line  and also sms to +60 148629617 – we are 8h ahead of London

(Please do not use facebook or social media or this website to communicate.) We don’t have instant internet and we are busy underwater & saving the ocean  – we deal with emails for immediate arrivals within a day or 2 but bookings 3 or more months away may take us till our weekly non diving day – if  you do not get a reply within 3-4 days please resend to remind us)

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