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C3 Internship Review – Verena Ziemen – Philippines 2011

November 24, 2011

As I encountered a dugong one time during a dive I was fascinated by these animals, therefore I was searching for an internship on dugong conservation and I found C3 starting a dugong project in the Philippines. I visited the Philippines twice already and I love this country so it wasn’t a hard decision to apply for that internship.

It was a new experience for me to come in such a close contact with the local community as I was able to during the interviews with fishermen. I was highly impressed by the hospitality and open- hearted reception I could feel in every conversation and contact with locals regardless of the status they had. People just tried to help and were even happier when they could assist you. As another part of our field work, we assessed the seagrass beds of the different barangays. I really learned a lot about the important connection of the ecosystems mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs and their interactions. C3 gave me above others the opportunity to develop the methods for the seagrass surveys in the project and to learn identifying different species of seagrass. I really enjoyed this kind of work and there was no better reward after a long, exhausting day of seagrass work in the water than the boat ride back on a calm sea with the sun disappearing and the sky turning red.

I can say I developed further and I developed my writing and presentation skills. Furthermore I learned new techniques and a lot of new experiences from the field work. I came home a little bit sad after this amazing time, but with the feeling to be part of an important work struggling for the survival and continuity of the silent giants with the “ horse-like face” in the waters of Busuanga.


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