The program will include classwork, practical sessions and fieldwork, offshore and along North-eastern Sardinian coast.

Classwork will introduce you to the theoretical knowledge of diversity, behaviour, ecology and conservation of small to large Mediterranean cetaceans, and how they are adapted to different habitats. Lectures on the diversity, ecology and conservation of Sardinian coastal ecosystems will also be provided, in order to deepen the knowledge on different cetacean habitat uses.

The laboratory sessions will focus on how to competently identify and record whales and dolphins at sea, provide training on photo-ID techniques (photo sorting, grading and matching) related to the different species and assist researchers in maintenance of long-term photo-ID catalogues. Special focus will be given to the Cuvier’s beaked whale, a species rather common in the study area. A short training in survey design will also be provided.

Fieldwork will be made both in coastal (La Maddalena archipelago) and pelagic waters (Caprera Canyon, central-western Tyrrhenian Sea). Surveys will be conducted onboard whale watching and dedicated vessels (11m power catamaran and 6m rubber boat) and divided in two offshore and two coastal surveys in order to be trained in both different habitats and species-related techniques. Fieldwork training will focus on collecting environmental, location (GPS) and behavioural data for dolphin and whale groups. Course schedules may change due to weather constraints.

Fieldwork will be an opportunity to gain experience and improve your skills in relation to visual cetacean boat-based survey and photo-ID techniques.


Participants will be directly involved in contributing to our long-term studies on several cetacean species in the wild. You will assist researchers while working aboard whale watching and dedicated research vessels.

This is a great opportunity to get involved in cetacean research, enjoy marine biodiversity while gaining fieldwork experience, travelling and exploring the beautiful Island of Sardinia and the La Maddalena Archipelago National Park, enjoying the outdoors of the beautiful Emerald Coast (Sardinia Island, Italy) and helping supporting cetacean research and conservation.

During free time, interns will have the opportunity to experience all sorts of activities: swimming, diving, hiking, exploring historical sites, visit museums and the amazing islands such as Caprera (with Garibaldi’s house, tomb and memorial) or Budelli with its famous pink beach.


Prior experience is not required.

Participants are expected to:

  • Be 18 or older,
  • Speak English or Italian,
  • Be adaptable as fieldwork is weather dependent,
  • Be sociable and willing as they are expected to live and work in an international team.

This internship experience will have a certificate of completion.
Since SEA ME Sardinia is a non-profit and self-funded organization, we rely on donation from our members, volunteers and participants. Participation in this course thus requires a tuition fee.

Application process and deadline

To apply or for any further enquiries and details, please email to:
The applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
Early application is recommended due to limited spaces.
The application deadline is 15/04/2017.


Course will be held in English/Italian.