Uilani Dines - Ecological Research Volunteer with EKAD, Turkey

In Turkey, Uilani tracked, measured and tagged adult female turtles after nesting. She volunteered during both night and morning shifts and used specialist equipment to patrol five beaches. Daily team meetings were held to discuss issues and Uilani was responsible for writing up and filing her findings. Her Project Leader wrote; ‘Uilani impressed all of us with her wonderful energy, both on the field and at the camp, contributing to the project both physically and mentally. She was quick to comprehend, learn and practice the scientific studies and was well fit to participate in the laborious fieldwork for extended hours’.

‘All of the volunteers were friendly and inviting and despite language barriers it allowed me to develop my communication skills not only through speech but though body language and interaction with people which I would not have felt confident to do beforehand.

I have also developed my organisational and data recording skills.

I have developed key team building skills; we worked together as a group distributing roles and responsibilities not only on the shifts but also in cleaning and camp duties.’

‘Through my training we learnt how to locate nests. I enjoyed learning these new skills and implementing them. I found it enjoyable as you search for hours for tracks and then successfully locate a nest by yourself to uncover such an amazing natural process. It was very rewarding. From the modules I studied at university I understand how the theory of GPS is now used and implemented in on-going research. 

I find this enjoyable as I can use my skills used at University and implement them in research.’

‘I have had the opportunity to network with professionals from all over the world who have similar careers to what I am interested in after graduation. Keeping these contacts in the future will help me when looking for a job.’