Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies
Host of the first permanent Ocean Observatory focused on multi-ecosystem time-series research in Africa
- High level, in-depth scientific internships with one-on-one mentoring with professional scientists
- Host of the first permanent Ocean Observatory in Africa
- Located in the highly biodiverse Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique
BCSS is an innovative platform, hosting the first permanent ocean observatory focused on multi-ecosystem time series research in Africa. The facility opened its doors in 2017 to address core scientific and conservation needs in the Bazaruto Archipelago, and to use its strategic location and data to support environmental management at a local level, facilitate regional collaboration and contribute to international scientific programs. This presents many opportunities for you to witness megafauna like sharks and whales from up close, to join research expeditions and dive and tag sharks, collect invaluable data and to analyse sea and learn about permaculture – all while staying on an idyllic island off the coast of Mozambique with a team of like-minded environmentalists.
About Bazaruto Center for Scientific Studies
During your stay at BCSS you will assist at the Ocean Observatory and learn first-hand from our resident scientists about pressing environmental issues and what can be done about them. The objectives of research conducted by BCSS are divided over four major themes - ecosystem monitoring and function, species identification and habitat mapping, migratory fish population dynamics and land outreach. There are a total of four internships available: Divemaster, Marine Research, Scientific Media and Land and Outreach.
BCSS’s founding principles are to understand, protect and guarantee, in the best possible way, marine science in Eastern African marine ecosystems and to support future generation’s management of this unique environment. Every visitor to BCSS, whether a documentary filmmaker, volunteer or scientist, contributes to this mission. The research station is permanent, and collects valuable data on marine life and ecosystems on a daily base, contributing to science both regionally and on an international scale. Every person who steps onto the BCSS premises helps the station to achieve the mission stated earlier.
BCSS employees are 70% local and we encourage local hirings to support the community as much as we possibly can. Extensive training is offered to our staff and there have been numerous occasions where our staff have been promoted due to their enthusiastic approach and commitment to our projects. We do extensive research during local hiring processes to ensure there is an even spread of employees amongst different families to ensure equality amongst the communities here on Benguerra Island. BCSS offers a watering station for hydration and cleaning for the local community which before had no direct access to potable water. The community collects approximately 750 litres per day from our station.
BCSS is an innovative platform hosting the first permanent Ocean Observatory focused on multi-ecosystem time-series research in Africa.
To use our strategic location and data to support environmental management at a local level, facilitate regional collaboration and contribute to international scientific programs.
Day in the life
Our days are filled with research activities, complemented by free time to relax and unwind with your fellow volunteers and project staff. Volunteers will also have some free time during most weekends, to enjoy the many recreational activities of the Bazaruto Archipelago, or simply read a book on an unspoilt, empty beach. A hearty breakfast is served at 7am, whereafter you will be briefed on the days activities. In the morning you will go out with the research boat for expeditions; the expeditions missions vary from mapping ocean wildlife, and diving, to shark or fish tagging, DNA sampling and redeployment of sensors. Around noon, lunch will be served at the station. In the afternoon you will be joining various projects from BCSS, e.g. permaculture community garden training, adding to the wildlife database from photo or video footage, or assisting the researchers in the laboratory. Dinner is served at 7pm.
"Six weeks. That’s how long I spent in a place most people would call paradise. The pictures of the Bazaruto Archipelago I saw on my screen before arriving were stunning. The real images hitting my eyes upon arrival, unlike most other places I’ve travelled to, did not disappoint. As a volunteer, I got to experience how it was like on the inside – not as a tourist, but as an active member of the team. It was amazing to see the constant effort by and dedication of everyone to drive BCSS’ research forward, even when faced with countless obstacles. Conservation is a core tenet of the station, and it influences everything – from the way the station is built, to the activities they conduct, to the food they grow and eat. In the name of scientific research and conversation, I scuba dived to retrieve and replace ocean sensors, caught fish for sampling and sushi, helped deliver water to the local clinic, prepared samples for DNA tests, coded a data tool, and more. Marine conservation requires hard work, patience, resourcefulness, and a multidisciplinary, systemic and globally collaborative approach – and I am grateful to have been part of the BCSS team who are pioneers in their field. If you just want to have ‘fun’ dives every day, then BCSS isn’t for you. If you want to get stuck in, however, and meet some great people, learn new skills and make an impact as part of a well-oiled team that truly cares for our oceans, then BCSS could very well be one of the best places to be. Individually, we may create ripples, but together, we can turn tides." - Shenji Schaeppi, volunteer