GIS volunteers wanted for non-profit marine outreach project

Louisa Wood, project manager for the marine protected area (MPA) layer in Google Earth, is looking for volunteers, and asked if she could post a job description here. Louisa works for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an international non-profit organization.

The IUCN and Google have partnered in an initiative to make information about Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) available to a global audience in ‘Oceans in Google Earth’, available through Google Earth v5.0. This layer contains both exciting multimedia content and core data on MPAs that is critical to our global monitoring efforts. IUCN WCPA-Marine, in collaboration with many partners, has also developed a web portal,, which has the following objectives:

  • to provide complementary and additional information on MPAs to that provided in the Google Earth layer;
  • to provide a conduit to the best marine conservation information on the web;
  • to provide a publicly accessible and editable online system for all users to add and update MPA data and multimedia content that is displayed in the Google Earth layer.

We are currently offering a range of volunteer opportunities to work on this exciting, collaborative initiative. The primary benefit of volunteering for IUCN WCPA—Marine is career development. We offer a unique opportunity to work on ground-breaking and globally-reaching marine conservation projects with extremely high-profile partners, from a range of sectors, such as Google and National Geographic. IUCN WCPA-Marine is also the world’s premier network of marine protected area expertise, consisting of professionals and academics who work in all aspects of marine protected area (MPA) planning and management, both theoretical and practical, and at all scales, from on the ground in a single MPA, to global. After working with us for at least six months you will be eligible to join WCPA-Marine. In addition, the roles we are currently offering will enable you to develop a range of skill sets that are of value to both academic and professional contexts, including web development, research, GIS and data management, communications and outreach. Finally, our global focus means you may have the opportunity to work with people from all over the world, literally.

Our volunteering opportunities are organized in a somewhat modular, product-oriented way, so that, depending on your time availability and skill sets, you may be interested in undertaking more than one. Please review feel free to apply for all those of interest to you. Current positions available include:

  • Assistant web developer
  • Multimedia Assistant
  • GIS and Google Earth Assistant
  • MPA Research Assistant

Full descriptions of all opportunities can be downloaded here. Applications should be sent to Louisa Wood at These are ongoing positions with 6-monthly cycles. The next application deadline is 15th May 2009.