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Coral Restoration Officer [open]

Pulau Lang Tengah, Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia

Job Type

Full Time - Project based contract

After almost 5 years of research & development, we are upscaling our on-site operations. To achieve our ambitious targets, we are looking for 2 Coral Restoration Officers to be based on site, starting in February / March 2024. This is a full-time salaried position with a fixed annual contract. We are looking for practical individuals with working experience in coral reef conservation (or in a related field), or for strong divers with a clearly demonstrated interest in working in coral reef conservation, restoration and research . The position is part of a 3 year research project with a significant practical component. The successful candidate will work alongside local and international partners, and will be part of one of Malaysia's largest coral restoration initiatives. Through this project, successful candidate will get the opportunity to gain unique inter-disciplinary skills.

About the Role

The Coral Restoration Officer will report directly to our Project Coordinator, who will be coordinating all fieldwork related activities and duties. Roles and duties progress and partially change with the project timeline, as we move from ex situ experiments, to in situ coral nursery culture, to eventual outplanting and monitoring of restoration success. Please note that this position requires you to SCUBA dive extensively to collect data and perform various underwater tasks, as well as take part in conservation activities on land. The position thus involves three major focus areas: research, coral restoration, guest education and other conservation related activities.


Research tasks:

  • Conduct ex situ experiments (supporting role).

  • Underwater data collection (permanent monitoring of reef sites, monitoring of coral nurseries and outplanted corals, monitoring of coral bleaching, etc.).

  • Data entry and management.

  • Data analysis & synthesis (supporting role).

  • Report writing (supporting role).

Coral restoration tasks:

  • Construct and stock coral nurseries.

  • Maintain coral nurseries.

  • Outplant corals from our nurseries.

  • Monitor nursery & outplanted corals.

  • Collect photographic material of outplanted corals.

  • Coral predator removal.

Guest activities & related tasks:

We are establishing a Marine Discovery Centre by early 2024. This will be one of the Coral Restoration Officers primary responsibilities to operate, and includes greeting visitors, providing information about our organization and projects, and giving awareness talks on related marine conservation topics. Specifically, following tasks will be a key duties of the Coral Restoration Officer's job scope:

  • Planning and executing coral planting dives (and / or snorkels) with island visitors.

  • Event management of CSR projects, school trips and awareness campaigns (supporting role).

  • Co-manange the coral adoption database (e.g., collect update photographs, database updates, etc).

  • Co-manage the Marine Discovery Centre (e.g., maintain the area, greet visitors, pland and conduct activities).

  • Various small administrative tasks (e.g., equipment maintenance, stock accounting, etc.).

Required Skills

Please DO NOT APPLY if you do not meet the minimum requirements for this job. Many of the responsibilities and tasks that you will perform are very specific, as our research methodology and standard restoration practices are well established. This means that we understand that we will have to train you on our in-house operation, basically from Zero to Hero. Hence, we are looking for an ambitious team player who is ready to learn on the job and apply the skills right away, but if you do not meet the requirements below, we are not able to offer you this position.

  1. Practical and demonstrated working experience, specifically underwater fieldwork experience. We are ideally looking for someone who has at least 1 year hands-on working experience, or someone who has conducted extensive research fieldwork as part of professional internships and undergraduate research work.

  2. Open Water Diving License with at least 50 logged dives. If you do not have the minimum number of dives, but you consider yourself a skillfull diver with great buoyancy, please still apply. We are looking for someone who can dive independently in a shallow coral reef area (up to 18 meters), and someone who understands the Xs and Os of SCUBA diving. We can teach you the rest, but if you are expecting to learn diving on the job, then this is not for you.

  3. Excellent written and oral English language skills.

  4. Excellent command of MS Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

  5. Physically fit (i.e., able to carry and lift 20kg)

  6. Strong open water swimmer and able to free dive 10 meters.

  7. Strong communications skills.

  8. A 'team first' attitude.

  9. Malaysian citizens only (or a permanent residence / visa).

Highly desired skills

These are the skills that will make you the perfect candidate for this position. You do not have to have these skills, but any of these skills is a big bonus:

  1. Fluent in Mandarin

  2. Ideally a univeristy level background in Marine Science, Ecology, Biology or related discipline.

  3. Strong command of RStudio.

  4. An intermediate knowledge of underwater photography & editing.

  5. Previous experience in scientific publishing.

  6. Previous experience in conducting coral reef surveys, coral restoration tasks, and other scientific underwater work.

  7. Coral identification skills (up to genus evel).

  8. Reef fish identification skills (up to species level).

  9. Avid social media user who can contribute to our social media pages.

Do not apply:

  • If you are looking for a 1 year stint to get your feet wet. This position is progressive and follows a strict project schedule, thus tasks and duties build upon previous progress. We have to train you for this position, and we are not interested in training new staff every year.

  • If you are not willing to live on an island for 8-9 months of the year.

  • If you are not fit for extensive fieldwork. Some days will be very long and physical (e.g., four 90-minute dives a day in possibly rough conditions, followed by data entry).

  • If being underwater is not really your thing.

  • If you are not interested in working in a 'team first' environment.

  • If science does not excite you.

  • If you are not willing to put in the extra effort to get the most out of each day and task.

Terms & benefits:

  • Fixed annual contract with a full-time salary and inclusive of EPF, SOCSO, and diving insurance.

  • Paid annual, medical and emergency leave.

  • While on the project site, shared accommodation (2 PAX / room) and 3 meals a day are provided.

  • 7 days off / month with the (desired) option to leave the project site to go home or somewhere else. Monthly travel between project site and home residence will be covered.

  • Anticipated start date is the 1st of March 2024 with a 3 months probation period.

Career benefits:

You will learn unique skills across various fields, from practical coral restoration skills, diving skills, scientific diving skills, coral identification, etc. We are committed to your individual progress, and we offer to train and invest in you. As you will contribute significantly to numerous research projects, you will have the opportunity to be a co-author of all research publications, adding further credentials to your resume. If you have chosen natural science, marine science or ecology as your desired career path, this position will enable you to work in various sectors, such as tourism, academia, conservation and / or policy and governance.

How to apply

Please send us your full CV to, and state at least 2 referees that we are allowed to contact for feedback (ideally from 2 separate institutions / organizations). In addition, let us know why you are interested in this position, what your desired career path looks like, and what motivates you to work in this field. You can choose the format in which you do this: this can be a traditional cover letter, an essay, a video message, or something even more creative - feel free to surprise us.

Applications open until the positions are filled. Successful candidates will be contacted and invited to interviews starting in November 2023.

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