Volunteer Opportunity

Whale and Dolphin Research Volunteer, Tenerife

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Published 3 months ago
Whale and Dolphin Research Volunteer, Tenerife

Volunteers have been coming to Tenerife, from all over the globe, for over 30 years. All of our volunteers leave feeling inspired, empowered, with a greater awareness of their place in the world, with amazing memories, even better friends, along with the skills and experience needed to land their dream job, whatever it may be!

AWdF volunteers will take part in our Research and Conservation Projects, monitoring the 28 species of cetaceans that can be seen in Tenerife waters. But they will also be involved with our other key programme areas; Sustainable Living, Creative: Film and Photography, Ecotourism and Social Enterprise. Although the primary activity is learning the ins and outs of being a Whale Biologist, the programme covers a broad range of topics, giving our AWdF Alumni the leading edge in the competitive job market. Our volunteers are the full package!

Research and Conservation

Our core database predominantly focuses on the resident Short-finned Pilot Whale and Bottlenose Dolphin populations, through photo identification methodology, along with recording behavioural parameters laid down by the Tethys Institute for non-invasive cetacean research. The 24 migratory cetacean species that travel through Tenerife and the other two resident species (Risso's Dolphins and Sperm Whales) are also recorded.

Volunteers will be an integral part of our research team, involved in all the research areas and platforms listed below, as well as focusing on a specific independent project agreed by the AWdF research team, the intern and the academic supervisor.

There are 4 key research areas:

  1. Cetacean population dynamics
  2. Cetacean spatial ecology
  3. Cetacean behaviour
  4. Plastic research

With several research platforms:

  1. Land Based Research Station - monitoring cetacean behaviour with and without boats present.
  2. RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) - incorporating passive acoustic monitoring, recording cetacean behaviour and photo identification.
  3. Whale watching boats - centred around photo identification, recording cetacean behaviour, and raising public awareness amongst tourists.
  4. Land and sea based plastic monitoring - identifying types and amounts of plastic in relation to geographical positioning and levels of touristic development.


As important as research is, unless we are able to concisely communicate our data and its meaning to the general public, all our hard work is futile! Our volunteers will learn the importance of science communication, community outreach and community engagement on a local and global scale. Education is key to solving global issues!

Sustainable Living

Get hands on experience on our own experimental farm, learning how to live from land and get back to nature as a society. Volunteers will also help us to define the meaning of living an ethical life, as well as starting conversations with a global audience, making them question their own lifestyle choices.

As a conservation organisation it is our duty to encourage people to live more sustainably. But we want to take this one step further. We want to enable people to follow an ethical life, giving them the tools, knowledge and access to a more sustainable future. Our whales and dolphins depend on it!

Creative: Film and Photography

Film Making and Photography are increasingly valuable skills to the modern day conservationist. Being able to tell stories through visual mediums is an incredibly powerful tool to inspire and enact REAL change. Through our Creative Programme we are particularly interested in giving a voice and platform to people, places, ecosystems and wildlife that are often overlooked.


Tourists, by nature, have a global remit and hold a unique power to advocate sustainable and ethical practises wherever they go. Utilizing this power, to make positive change in the world, is what we find most exciting. Our ecotourism projects aim to support rural communities, enabling them to stand on their own two feet by taking them from a local to global market, in an ethical manner.

Social Enterprise

We believe that encouraging people to be social entrepreneurs is the key to a brighter, fairer future. We do not believe in ‘charity’. Our mission is to empower disadvantaged people, enabling them to stand on their own two feet and facilitate their own journey to becoming financially independent. With this Enterprise Programme we believe we can create a new age of Social Entrepreneurs with the skills and competence needed to make the change our world so desperately needs.


Weekends are for exploring. Take part in our famous round the island road trips or any of the activities below. As an AWdF volunteer you get exclusive heavily discounted prices.

  • Scuba Diving
  • Surfing
  • Sea Kayaking
  • Horse Riding
  • Paragliding
  • Hiking
  • Snorkelling


There are no prerequisites or prior qualifications needed to complete this course. We only want to work with enthusiastic individuals and people with great positive attitudes. We work with small groups so that we can work at different levels of ability, with tailored learning and mentorship to suit all abilities and previous experience.

This volunteering programme is designed to give budding conservationists the hand on experience they need to land their dream job in the competitive conservation job market.

For more information



The AWdF is a part of The Fair Earth Foundation Family.

Volunteers have been coming to Tenerife, from all over the globe, for over 30 years. All of our volunteers leave feeling inspired, empowered, with a greater awareness of their place in the world, with amazing memories, even better friends, along…

Details at a Glance

  • Schedule
  • Time Commitment
    Full time (30+ hrs/wk)
  • Recurrence
  • Fee Required



AWdF Volunteer Base

Calle Virgen de Fatima, 38649 Vento, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain

A short 15 minute drive from Tenerife South Airport. Low Cost Airport Transfer available on request.

Apply to This Volunteer Opportunity


To submit a booking enquiry or for more information email

To book directly with us see our website.

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