About the local hosting organizationJoin us in Piran, Slovenia, and visit the most northern part of both the Adriatic and the Mediterranean Sea. Actively participate in bottlenose dolphin research. Learn about dolphin research techniques including photo-identification, land-based work, boat-based surveys and behavioral observations. Observe dolphins, marine turtles and marine birds in their natural environment. Meet people from other parts of the world. And more. Slovenian Dolphin Project is a long-term research, monitoring, and conservation program, focusing on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Slovenian and adjacent waters. It is the first systematic and long-term study of any cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) in Slovenia, and the largest dolphin and turtle dataset in this part of the Adriatic.
About the volunteer work• SURVEYS AND DOLPHIN OBSERVATIONS. The team will scan the sea for animals. When someone spots dolphins, you’ll document the group’s GPS location, size, and behavior. • SEA TURTLES SURVEYS. As you follow your main research focus, you will also note any sea turtles you see. • TRACKING ENVIRONMENTAL DATA. You will help record variables like water temperature and clarity, sea state, and GPS location. • PHOTO-IDENTIFICATION OF INDIVIDUAL DOLPHINS. Back on shore, you’ll help examine pictures of dolphins and assist scientists in identifying individuals using the markings on their dorsal fins. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to participate in presentations and educational activities for local schools, community groups, and tourists.
Local accommodationCamp participants will stay in research base, which is a comfortable apartment in Piran, Slovenia, within a 5-minute walking distance of the field site, city center, and the beach. The apartment has shared rooms with bunk beds as well as a kitchen, dining room, living room and bathroom. House chores such as cooking lunch, dish washing and cleaning are shared among all, volunteers and team members
About the project locationBY PLANE Fly to Trieste Friuli Venezia Giulia Airport (TRS) in Italy then take the bus or shuttle to Piran. Fly to Ljubljana Airport (Aerodrom Ljubljana) in Slovenia then take the bus or shuttle to Piran. BY SHUTTLE The best transportation option from both airports is a shuttle service GoOpti http://www.goopti.com/en/transfers. The shuttle needs to be booked in advance.
RequirementsAll participants must be able to: follow instructions; swim; climb up 146 stairs to the top of the old bell tower (it is preferable not to be afraid of heights); sit and/or stand in a powerboat for periods of up to 3-6 hours; run short distances; enjoy being outdoors in variable weather, in the potential presence of wild animals; tolerate heat&high humidity; carry personal daily supplies.
Extra info about the projectBY BUS From the Trieste Airport, there are buses (Coach service 51, E06) that will take you to the main Trieste bus station. From the Trieste bus station, you will need to take a bus to Piran. From Ljubljana Airport, you need to take a bus to Ljubljana Bus Station from where you take the bus to Piran. BY CAR As Piran is a historic town, the access by car is limited. Parking is organized in the parking garage Fornače, which is located within a 10 minute walking distance; there is a free bus to the city every 10 minute.