ARCHELON’s Monitoring Supervisor talks about his role
Marine biologist Gonçalo J. Lourenço is the monitoring supervisor of ARCHELON’s field projects. Born in Lisbon, he moved to the UK in 2009. He did his Master’s on Marine Environmental Protection and is currently living and working in Wales, UK. He is happy to be a team member of the Zakynthos project for some weeks during the COVID-19 summer. Read his story about sea turtles and his current affiliation with ARCHELON.
The invitation to become ARCHELON’s Monitoring Supervisor came in February 2016 and it is still my current affiliation with the Society. It is a non-pay position, which I hold wholeheartedly because I am a member of the ARCHELON family. I work with people I appreciate, contributing to the efforts of hundreds of volunteers who collect data every year on the beaches, aiming to protect our common environment.
As part of my new role I spent the whole 2016 nesting season in the summer projects. Keeping my base on Zakynthos, I visited and spent extensive periods of time in all core nesting projects of ARCHELON in Greece, which was a fascinating experience. Lakonikos Bay, Kyparissia Bay and Koroni in the Peloponnese are really unique places, and the projects there face different challenges. Of course, I got to know the nesting beaches/ sectors on Crete as well. My visits to Rethymno, Chania and Messara are always very constructive.
A big part of my role since 2016 is to train Monitoring Field Leaders for their tasks both on the beach and at the office. There are usually 13 Field Leaders across the nesting beach projects of ARCHELON throughout Greece that submit their databases every 2 weeks. My job is to perform quality checks to ensure the protocols are being administered correctly. I, then, provide the teams with feedback on their submission and give further training, where needed. Final quality checks are performed to the databases at the end of the season and possible errors are discussed and if needed corrected. Until these quality checks are satisfactory, reproduction data will remain “provisional”.
Last Sunday, alongside their daily tasks, Gonçalo and Nikoletta Sidiropoulou, the Zakynthos Project Officer of ARCHELON, also a marine biologist, found the time to review with the rest of the team a comprehensive induction on recording all types of sea turtle tracks. “It is always useful to check and update our training material. We are sure ARCHELON will keep welcoming new people in the projects in the years to come” said Gonçalo. “People should join ARCHELON’s projects as long as we keep COVID-19 out ” added Nikoletta smilingly.
Important decisions on COVID-19 precautions in ARCHELON’s projects - July 2020
SEA TURTLE RESCUE CENTER “rescued” during the pandemic by Nele Joachim, a volunteer from the European Solidarity Corps
- OUR NEWS29/02/2024
Presentation of ARCHELON 2023 Results: Here is some good news!
On Thursday February 15th, 2024, ARCHELON’s annual Presentation of Results took place downtown, at the Impact Hub Athens. When welcoming members, staff, collaborators, friends and volunteers, Daphne Mavrogiorgos, Director of ARCHELON, spoke about the multi-leveled action of ARCHELON during 2023.
- OUR NEWS02/02/2024
Sea turtles in the Greek wetlands of international importance
World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on February 2. These vulnerable areas of the planet are a refuge for migratory birds and other wildlife species, including sea turtles. ARCHELON is present in wetlands that play an important role for sea turtles, such as the Amvrakikos Gulf.
- OUR NEWS24/01/2024
Why are ARCHELON’s projects international?
ARCHELON’s sea turtle conservation projects are organized with the valuable contribution of volunteers who come to Greece every year not just from Europe but from more distant places such as South Korea, Australia, and Colombia. Speaking English while carrying out fieldwork or public awareness activities as well as when interacting with each other in the campsites is essential to the projects.
- OUR NEWS17/01/2024
ARCHELON has been running a special hospital for sea turtles with tanks and impressive old train wagons for 30 years in Glyfada
Turtles with IV and bandages, rehabilitation and recovery tanks, special environmental enrichment equipment, recovery greenhouses, and… renovated train wagons! The hospital for injured and sick turtles that ARCHELON has set up in the 3rd marina of Glyfada, next to the sea, is certainly something out of the ordinary.
- OUR NEWS05/01/2024
What happened in the world of ARCHELON in 2023?
A world record for reproductive life for a sea turtle and 40 years of ARCHELON’s actions for protecting sea turtles are some of the moments we celebrated together this year. So, what happened in the world of ARCHELON in 2023? Here are some highlights of the past year.
- OUR NEWS21/12/2023
Assuming responsibility for the environment brings more meaning into our lives
“ARCHELON is an opportunity, not only for the animals and the ecosystems, but also for us who participate in it and for the society in which we operate”. Thomas Arapis, President and founding member of ARCHELON, talks about the efforts of the organization and about what he aspires for the future.
- OUR NEWS20/12/2023
Forty years later: the world of ARCHELON has expanded
Thomas Arapis, President and founding member of the Association gives the current coordinates of ARCHELON. "We encounter many turtles in our daily activities, and even more people, many more people actually, who help us. Amongst them are the people who work for us, they stand out for they represent the Association out there, through thick and thin".
- OUR NEWS20/12/2023
19 Environmental NGOs ask the Greek Government not to consent to a change in the wolf protection status in Europe
- OUR NEWS15/12/2023
Messages of love from the world turtle community!
Celebrating ARCHELON's 40th Anniversary we have received warm messages from the turtle community worldwide
- OUR NEWS14/12/2023
When the past becomes a lighthouse for the future
Thomas Arapis, the President of ARCHELON and one of its founding members talks about the quality and values, and the people who marked the setting up and subsequent action of ARCHELON. “Dimitris Margaritoulis taught us, not only the methodology for monitoring and protecting them, but also what it means to organize tasks, take responsibility, work as a team, evaluate our course and cooperate with each other”, he says.
- OUR NEWS12/12/2023
Notes of a volunteer (Part 2): Ηead trauma happens more often and is more serious than you think
Jessica Van Damme who volunteered at the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre for 6 weeks in 2023, talks about what she learned while taking care of sea turtles with human caused injuries.
- OUR NEWS04/12/2023
Notes of a volunteer (Part 1): Jessica Van Damme was at the Rescue Centre
“During my 6-week stay, there were more than 30 injured sea turtles being treated at the Rescue Centre. Seven of them were successfully released, but, during the same period there were five new arrivals – all turtles with human-caused injuries. We, humans, are their biggest threat!”, writes Jessica.
- OUR NEWS30/11/2023
Summer 2024: Come back to sea turtle conservation as a leader!
Joining or returning to ARCHELON’s sea turtle projects as a Field Leader will give you the opportunity to lead specific activities as well as train and help others in the projects. These positions provide a higher level of experience in nature conservation/ environment protection, as well as improved communication and leadership skills. Hurry and apply now! Only a limited number of experienced and skilled volunteers are selected to serve as leaders in each project.
- OUR NEWS23/11/2023
The establishment of the “Amvrakikos Alliance”
The Alliance's vision in collaboration with the local community is to highlight the unique ecological value and the natural and cultural heritage of Amvrakikos, for the most effective management, restoration, and protection of its ecosystems and biodiversity.
- OUR NEWS16/11/2023
Kids Beach Competition 2023: Turtles made of natural materials that stole our hearts!
The little friends of ARCHELON who participated in the Kids Beach Competition 2023 formed turtles from pebbles, sand, water, rocks, sticks, leaves and shells, spreading the message of protecting sea turtles on the various beaches of Greece. Angeliki's (7 years old) little turtle on top of the big rock stole 694 hearts and became the winner!