Work Experience: Sustainable Development Internship in Krka National Park

14+ days
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Based along the stunning Krka River, our terrestrial work placement in Croatia focuses on developing sustainable tourism that protects unique European wildlife and ecosystems. You will gain valuable work experience in wildlife monitoring & conservation, setting up a social enterprise, and green construction techniques that meld with the local environment.

Internships in Krka run for 2-8 weeks and can be combined with work experience opportunities at our Silba site (marine) in Croatia or the Angofa Wildlife Centre (terrestrial) in Romania.

Who is this for?

This work placement is designed for people interested in gaining field experience in conservation and sustainable business while generating a positive impact on a rural economy. It is a perfect opportunity for anyone looking to break into this field or explore a career switch.

There are no prerequisites for participation although participants should be 18 by the time of travel.

Accommodation

All volunteers will be based at the Puljane Centre, located along the beautiful Krka River. You will be provided with bunk-style bedding, with proper social distancing and adequate ventilation, with showers available inside the center.

How to Book

Please indicate the number of weeks, start date, and any additional courses in the form above. You must pay the flat deposit fee of €100 to hold your place. We will contact you with a full invoice once we receive your deposit confirmation. Discounts will be applied to bookings longer than two weeks. 

Important: Covid-19 Statement

We are constantly analyzing the Covid-19 situation on the ground in Croatia with the help of our local partners. We anticipate that Croatia will be open to placements from European countries by 1 August 2020, but we strongly encourage our participants not to purchase any flights prior to confirmation that they will be able to arrive in Croatia without being required to quarantine for 14 days.

If quarantine is still required for visitors to Croatia on your start date, we will provide a full refund to participants affected or change your start date free of charge. Please keep track of any changes to quarantine measures approaching your start date and contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

The Krka site is in a rural area, located on a large piece of isolated land in the Promina region. Participants will be accommodated in tents to promote social distancing and will be provided with facilities for proper hygiene, including running water at their accommodations. The base camp will be cleaned and ventilated several times per week to avoid contagion risk and most group activities will be performed outdoors.

Activities in Krka Valley

The weekly activities for this internship will consist of fieldwork that ranges from field research to sustainable development and construction to help develop infrastructure for ecotourism in the Promina region. Working alongside local experts and naturalists, volunteers will learn career-building skills such as biodiversity survey methodology, science communication & public speaking, and sustainable business practices.

The following are some of the activities that will be offered to volunteers at Krka. Note: not all of these activities will be available each week and will vary based on each participants’ booked weeks.

Green Building Practices

  1. Traditional Drywall Building – The Croatian tradition of drywall building is recognized by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage. Volunteers will learn about this important activity and will help build traditional drywall structures in Krka to support local sustainable community organizations and protect this art form.
  2. Building Walking Paths – This beautiful region is crisscrossed with abandoned walking paths traditionally used by farmers to check on livestock and crops. Volunteers will help clear and map these paths to create accessible wildlife viewing areas for visitors to this region.
  3. Chillatorium Building – A trendy practice in Croatia is to build ‘chillatoriums,’ nature classrooms that are built with recycled and natural materials to blend with their surroundings. Volunteers will learn how to think creatively to build these installations using natural shapes, materials, and tools, and may help open a site to welcome community discussions about wildlife and nature conservation.

Monitoring Wildlife

  1. Biodiversity & “bio-spots” mapping – mapping the general biodiversity gives us a picture of local biodiversity that can be used in promoting nature tourism and is a base for future conservation projects. Defining “bio-spots”, meaning beautiful spots that have high biodiversity surroundings also provides new tourist spots where they can enjoy nature and also use as educational spots if there were info boards.
  2. Camera trapping and tracking – Finding paths used by wildlife is one of the best ways to monitor their behavior. Volunteers will learn to identify tracks and place cameras to capture wildlife without disturbing their habitat. Camera trapping and tracking are great skills to build a future career in conservation. The photos we capture allow tourists to get a better understanding of the wildlife living in the area without causing these animals stress.
  3. Community Conservation Workshops & Activities – Volunteers will work to organize an educational event in a local village to learn about local perspectives on conservation challenges. These workshops are an opportunity to educate local communities about the importance of biodiversity through interactive presentations or even content produced by interns. Volunteers may also train locals how to monitor certain species through citizen science techniques or set up conservation activities such as a rural waste cleanup or reforestation project.

Croatian Traditions

  1. Village Walks – Guided explorations of surrounding villages will teach interns about traditional livelihoods, architecture, and agricultural practices that have maintained Croatia’s beautiful biodiversity for hundreds of years. These walks are an opportunity to learn from the wisdom of locals and implement appropriate strategies for conservation that will be accepted by the communities surrounding the rea.
  2. Fortresses of Promina – These 14th-century fortresses are a short drive from the base camp and reflect the ancient Croat history of the region. The surrounding areas are beautiful and will teach volunteers about the cultural history of Croatia and how it impacts government and development today.
  3. Traditional olive/grape cultivation – Grapes and olives have been cultivated in this Mediterranean region for hundreds of years, leading to unique varieties only found in Croatia. Volunteers may help collect and process grapes and olives for wine and olive oil in September – November, learning about traditional processes still used to create these delicacies.
  4. Native herbs – Volunteers will help gather traditional wild and cultivated herbs to learn about herbal remedies from Dalmatian tradition. Some of these herbs can be used in food, crafts, drinks, and medication.

Additional Activities

Our Krka site is located near the beautiful Krka River and surrounding National Park. Volunteers may participate in activities to visit waterfalls, hike in the mountains of the Karst area, and enjoy the stunning surroundings of this region.

Dates and Prices

How to Book: Please indicate the number of weeks, start date, and any additional courses in the form above. You must pay the flat deposit fee of €100 to hold your place. We will contact you with a full invoice once we receive your deposit confirmation.

The expeditions start at Zadar airport at 12 noon on a Saturday and finish at the same point at 12 noon on Saturday. Transfers from the airport to and from the Puljane Research Centre in the Krka Valley are included.  If you are traveling onto Silba Island afterward your transfer will connect and will be included in your final invoice price.

You are responsible for booking your own flights to Zadar. There are low-cost airline flights to Zadar that coincide with the start times with Easyjet, Eurowings, Croatia Airlines, and Lufthansa all working for the Saturday meeting time, and others such as Ryanair can be organized to arrive on Friday and you can overnight near the airport before the transfer to Krka.

Before booking your flights please check that the quarantine requirements for Croatia for your nationality and departure country have been lifted by completing the questionnaire at https://entercroatia.mup.hr/. For most nationalities, it appears there will be no entry restrictions starting in August but please check by completing the questionnaire in case there are changes.

The Puljane Research Center is open from Saturday 8 August 2020  to Saturday 31 October 2020.  The Centre will re-open on Saturday 3 April 2021 and will close again on Saturday 5 June 2021 in time to prepare for the extensive Opwall research program.  The Centre re-opens in late summer on Saturday 21 August 2021 until Saturday 30 October 2021.

Prices

The prices below include return transfer from Zadar airport to the Puljane Research Centre, Krka Valley, all food and accommodation for the stay, and participation in all the activities listed.

Note: the price listed in the booking form is not necessarily the weekly price of your trip. You will be directed to pay a flat deposit fee (€100) via our website and will later receive an invoice to your email that corresponds to the pricing below. Discounts on the quoted weekly rate will apply for longer stays, as shown below.

Length in weeks Cost per week in € Total cost in €
2 490 980
3 465 1395
4 440 1760
5 420 2100
6 400 2400
7 390 2730
8 380 3040

 

FAQs

What happens if there is a quarantine in effect by the time of my trip?
Your trip will be canceled and you will be given a full refund or offered a later date.  Note: do not book your flights until the information provided by completing the questionnaire at https://entercroatia.mup.hr/ indicates there will be no quarantine requirements for your nationality and departure country.

Can I bring a friend? Is there a referral program?
Yes, we encourage our volunteers to book in groups! For every friend you refer who pays their deposit, you and your friend receive a discount of €5 off the final price. If you are referring a friend, please ensure you and your friend(s) email us with the name of the person you are referring/who referred you at info@friendsofwallacea.com so we can register the discount when we send your final invoice.

What is involved at each of the sites?
See the activities in the Itinerary tab above. Please note that while all of these activities will be completed over the opening periods for the center, not all of them happen each week.

Do I need to have any previous experience to participate in the internship?
No, we are looking for people who are enthusiastic and able to mix socially with people from a wide range of backgrounds and with differing experiences.

What if I am not dive certified but want to work at the Croatia marine site?
You don’t have to be dive qualified to work at our marine site. The Silba Centre dive team can train you to dive as part of your stay at the center.  If you don’t want to dive at all, you can participate in many of the activities as a snorkeler. If you would like to become dive certified or raise your qualification while on Silba, please check the box for the dive add-ons you want on the booking form.

Can I stay in the country after my internship is over?
Yes, but please check any entry requirements for your nationality to Croatia which may restrict the total number of days you can spend in-country. Many students will use the opportunity of being in the Adriatic to do a bit of traveling afterward before flying home.

Can I switch between sites? What about between Romania and Croatia?
In Croatia, you can swap between the Krka Valley and Silba island sites as long as you spend a minimum of two (2) weeks at each site.  The transfers are organized for you as part of the bookings and will be included in your final invoice. Moving between countries such as Croatia to Transylvania to do these placements is a lot more difficult due to current travel restrictions and should be done as separate bookings with a few days traveling in between.

How long are the internships? What is the difference between staying for two weeks and staying for 8 weeks?

You can choose, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 weeks and the price per week reduces the longer you stay at the center.  If you change centers then you start again on the higher-priced week. Bookings for each of the Croatia centers are treated separately because the costs of getting you on-site and getting your trained are higher at the beginning of your stays.

What is the difference between Friends of Wallacea and Operation Wallacea?

Operation Wallacea has been established for 25 years and is designed to fund academics to complete annual biodiversity surveys in a range of sites around the world. Funding comes from tuition fees paid by students who have an immersive experience in biodiversity research both at terrestrial and marine sites.

Opwall students provide research assistance to the 200+ academics and 90 PhD students that have been funded by the program and help with producing high-quality data that leads to publications in peer-reviewed journals (more than 500 papers in just the last few years).

Friends of Wallacea (FOW) was set up to work with the Opwall local partners to attract visitors outside the Opwall season and provide them with some additional year-round income to support conservation efforts.  By joining the FOW internship program, you will be helping the sites become established as viable tourism and biodiversity conservation centers outside the Opwall season.  The experience will not be the same as Opwall; there will be some elements of wildlife monitoring although not as extensive as on the Opwall programs, but you will also be getting experience in developing the opportunities for visitors and wildlife sightings.

Price:490.00

Book the tour

Optional Course Add-ons

Sustainable Development Course (287.50)

Aquaponics Course (115.00)

GIS Training (287.50)

 Weeks or Number of Tickets  × 490.00
Total = 980.00
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