Hi, I am Megan Dine, I am 21 years old and I live at La Louise. I am currently studying environmental science at the University of Seychelles.
I chose this course because I am all about protecting our wildlife and biodiversity, especially endangered species suche as sea turtles which are now critically endangered. I enjoy going on hikes and snorkeling trips on weekend with my classmates. This course has given me the chance to experience the workings of a conservationist, exploring different vegetation both endemic and introduced species to our islands, marine and terrestrial life. The eco-academia club based at the University gives us the chance to do activities, like vegetation rehabilitation that was done on North island, water sampling at Val D’en dor and even beach clean-ups around Mahé.
I have started my work attachment at CICP (Cerf Island Conservation Program as part of an MCSS (Marine Conservation Society Seychelles) project and it is going pretty well for my first day.
I heard about MCSS when I had a class visit to the Wildlife conservation and rehabilitation Center at the Banyan Tree. In fact, during the presentation I stumbled across the restoration project on Cerf which sparked my interest in applying for my internship.
The Cerf Island project interests me because I want to learn more on how to protect and restore coral reefs. So today I learned the basics of what is a coral, their benefits and threats as well as their different types of life forms as part of their reef building characteristics. Our first activity of the morning was beach cleaning which was followed by a lecture then snorkeling near l’habitation. The last activity was a small hike to the view point and cemetery as we were introduced to all the spots tourists are curious about upon arriving to Cerf Island.
My name is Luana and I am the most freshly arrived volunteer on Cerf Island to work on the coral reef project with Savi. I am a Brazilian Master student, so the water temperature and weather suits me perfectly for this new adventure ! The EMBC ( European Master for Marine Conservation and Biodiversity) has a partnership with six universities and we have to choose two of them to go for our first and second year. From September 2016 to June 2017 I had the chance to go to Faro, in Portugal, where I had a really interesting year having classes about marine conservation, marine mammals behavior, fisheries, data management and underwater methods. One of our classes aimed to provide us some field experience by going for an internship.
The partnership that EMBC has with the MCSS (Marine Conservation Society Seychelles) brought me here and I started my adventure by doing one month at the Wildlife conservation and rehabilitation center in the South of Mahé. There, I could learn many things about sea and freshwater turtles and I also did a study on their nesting patterns. After this one month experience, I wanted to discover the coral restoration program in order to have an overview of MCSS’s work in the Seychelles. So here I am, just arrived to this new program where I am expecting to discover all the species of coral we have here, how to protect and restore them !
Savi has already initiated me to some of the tasks here and we did my first coral nursery swim today which ended pretty fast due to mask and fin problem… But no worries, I finally found one that fits and will be ready for next week’s experiences ! I will let you know how my adventure is going. Keep both eyes on it!"