Coral reef and dolphin conservation

Project name:

Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS)

Project purpose:

Coral reef and dolphin conservation

Project activities:

  • community awareness

  • data collection/analysis

  • scuba diving

  • teaching

Weekly cost (approx USD):



Direct benefits you gain:

  • data/statistical skills

  • field research skills

  • gain qualification and/or credit

  • remote scenic location

  • undertake your own research

Noteworthy conservation points:

Wild Sun Rescue Center


bungalow style cabins with twin bunks and on-suite bathroom.

When does the project run?


accommodation included, food included, electricity, showers, internet access, local airport transfer

How long can I stay?


Details of the day-to-day life on the project:

The Roatán Institute for Marine Sciences is made up of the Education Center, the dry laboratory, the wet laboratory and the Roatán Museum. The Education Center is designed for use as a comfortable and spacious classroom. This room also houses exhibits on the coral reef, fish, invertebrates, reptiles, birds, and geology of the Bay Islands.

Dolphin Research

RIMS studies bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Authorization of the Honduran government permits RIMS to work with these animals for education and research. The animals are currently housed in two extremely spacious lagoon enclosures, which link the animals to the local ecosystem. Ongoing behavioral studies and medical and morphometric data has been collected since the facility opened. With this information, a database has been established whereby the health, growth patterns and characteristics unique to the bottlenose dolphins at our facility are being monitored.

Interns will:

  • Receive in-depth lectures on a variety of topics including evolution, anatomy, and physiology.

  • Utilize field research methods to observe and record behavioral interactions.

  • Learn marine mammal training techniques.

  • Assist in dolphin husbandry and animal care management.

  • Develop and implement and independent research project.

  • Interact with and extremely dedicated and caring team of marine mammal professionals.

Coral Reef Monitoring

The goal of this monitoring project is to better understand the natural processes and dynamics of the reefs on Roatan so that we may continue to manage these important resources in the future. This documentation will be instrumental in our efforts to expand the marine reserve and enforce laws against practices that pose threats to the marine environments on which the Bay Islands are dependent. RIMS has a strong commitment to cooperate with other facilities in the Bay Islands and greater Caribbean and is willing to facilitate and assist visiting research scientists with their research.

Interns will:

Through lectures, field exercises, collaborative research activities, and independent research projects, participants will learn the flora and fauna of the local habitats and understand the different ecological processes within these communities. 

Reviews & ratings



5 Oct 2021

Great experience

Great experience. I have learned a lot about wild animals and the bush. The kids are super. Thanks to Michele and Ian but also I would like to thanks all the volunteers and local people.


Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage



21 Mar 2020

Very Good Program

My week at Daktari was excellent and the program is very intense in the sense that we all get together with the kids and animals from 7am until 9 pm. It is an excellent choice for a first volunteering program abroad considering and I would definitely like to go back someday


Daktari Bush School & Wildlife Orphanage

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