Internship 2014 Jason

intern, internship tracc, diving, conservation

Me diving on a coral reef as a Rescue diver. WOW

When picking companies as my compulsory spot for university’s industrial training, I found TRACC. I preferred to go for practical work rather than just doing paperwork in office. After the period of internship at Pom Pom Island and Kudat, I didn’t regret at all for choosing TRACC. TRACC offered whole new experiences to me compared to all the jobs I had done before.

I knew lot of people when I am staying with TRACC. All of them shared their life and travel experiences with me. Everyone gave me the feeling of home and I felt very warm. I would like to stay for longer period if possible. I learned a lot technical and science stuffs such as machinery, mechanical, electrical, management and marine science. I believed I would not learn such things if I work in a company.

Teaching environmental science at the local school,

Teaching environmental science at the local school,

Pom Pom Island is my first dive spot, the marine life over there is extremely interesting. TRACC lead me to my new interest which is diving. Diving make me felt relax and calm, I could release my stress and enjoy underwater. Underwater photography definitely is my top interest as I love to search for macro life and take pictures of them. I learned lot about marine and coral species identification, I didn’t know any names before that. Also, I had assigned to lead some science projects which I able to improve my leadership and planning skills. Underwater projects tend to be harder due to several factors but we could increase the effectiveness with experiences and practices. TRACC had proven lot success approach and significant results in many projects. TRACC is definitely a best place for internship if you want to learn different things.

Intern experiences 2014  – Kit – Jason – Ng – Killian – Lauren – Eva – Mel
Dive Master Trainees – Eva – Oscar
Volunteer guest bookChris and Sarah blogReviews -

internship at coconut cove beach at Tip of Borneo, Kudat Sabah

coconut cove beach at Tip of Borneo, Kudat Sabah

uvenile Green Turtles are common all year on the sea grass beds.

Juvenile Green Turtles are common all year on the sea grass beds.

deep wall dive at pom pom island

A deep wall dive

Intern experiences from Kit 2014

intern, tracc, reef survey, marine conservation

doing a TRACC reef survey

I’ve always been looking for job that involved more physical interaction with outdoor environment and animals, as well as the application of scientific knowledge in work. Having my internship here give me the opportunity to experience exactly this kind of job. Working as a science intern in TRACC require you to combine all the skill you have in socializing with people, scientific research, problem solving, life skill as well as physical strength.

Before I start my internship in TRACC, I’m taking a degree in Environmental Science and technology, which is a very different field of knowledge to what is required in TRACC (Marine Science). Hence, working here gave me the chance to learn a lot of new things that is totally new compare to what I have learned in University as well as in my life. However, the skill of critical thinking in solving problem with scientific method are still the same for all the field in science. This is because critical and creative thinking is very important to look for alternative in problem solving when we are living on an island with a limited resource. The diving experience in TRACC is the most unforgettable in my life. Its not about the beauty of the reef around Pom Pom Island, but it’s the experience of working in dive. Moving artificial coral reef, collecting data for scientific research, coral nursery cleaning and lots more are all challenging and enjoyable.

Fringing reef, barrier reef or estuary, we learnt a lot.

Fringing reef, barrier reef or estuary, we learnt a lot by being there and seeing it.

Beautiful sunsets

Beautiful sunsets

Working in TRACC also allow me to meet with many different people from across the world, listen to stories and personal experience from volunteers allow me to know a little bit about other places without actually being there. Some volunteers also provide very useful idea on making TRACC a better conservation organization. These ideas inspired me and allow me to learn more about organization management.
Working in TRACC really taught me a lot of things that is out of academic area, also earned tonnes of unforgettable experience. However, one must be prepared in both mentally and physically to work as an intern in TRACC because it is not going to be an easy job.

Intern experiences 2014  – KitJasonNg – Killian – Lauren – Eva – Mel
Dive Master Trainees – Eva – Oscar
Volunteer guest bookChris and Sarah blogReviews -

Internship Ng 2014

Incredible and Fantastic exploring wilderness internship in my University life

welcome to TRACC sign tip of borneo, kudat

welcome to TRACC sign made by the interns for the doorstep.

Internship at TRACC is an extraordinary experience in my life ever. Before this, I was worrying did I make a right decision came to TRACC. After I became a family of TRACC, I will never forgave myself if I didn’t came to TRACC. I can honestly say that deciding to internship at TRACC was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life!

TRACC is a big family with many volunteer came from all around the world. Different skin colour, different culture and difference language never be the border between us. We work hard and we did play hard everyday. In my mind, this is not a duty to drive me work everyday, I enjoy what we did everyday. In the short time, I learn a lot what TRACC do especially effort on reef restoration, save sea turtle and shark survey,

internship at coconut cove beach at Tip of Borneo, Kudat Sabah

coconut cove beach at Tip of Borneo, Kudat Sabah

intern, internship, volunteer, tracc, sabah

Ng climbing the mountains and viewing the reef development

Diving in the sea is amazing, a lot of coral and school of fish all in your eyes. I can’t believe what I saw under the sea that is another new world beside the land. We can’t fly in the sky, but we can did it in the sea. I feel like I was flying in the sky when all the mountain is under my feet and all the tree and plant like coral grow on the mountain. Now, I am certified rescue diver from a guy don’t know how to diving even swim.

I would like to thanks TRACC to give me such a wonderful and rare opportunity to complete my internship at a beauty nature place. I very grateful I had do my internship at here, I gain a lot of awesome experiences and knowledge for me but no in the class. The course was delivered in a really interactive way, away from the text books which for me, it was the best way to learn. TRACC is a great place in term of the education, conservation, spiritual relaxation, fun, and peaceful paradise.

intern, sunset, internship, volunteer,

Sunset at TRACC camp

Ng did really well and his English improved dramatically.  The paragraph above would not have been possible when he arrived.

Intern experiences 2014  – Kit – Jason – Ng – Killian – Lauren – Eva – Mel
Dive Master Trainees – Eva – Oscar
Volunteer guest bookChris and Sarah blogReviews -

intern, internship, tip of Borneo, english lessons, volunteer

coconut cove beach at Tip of Borneo, Kudat Sabah

Coconut cove camp reef

TRACC camp at Coconut cove, Tip of Borneo

TRACC camp at Coconut cove, Tip of Borneo

The reef in front of the TRACC camp at coconut cove beach near the Tip of Borneo, (Simpang Mengayu) on the west side of the Kudat peninsular.  In Geography terms , this is a rocky shore with pocket beaches and limited reef development. There is no fringing reef but many corals on the rocky headlands and outcrops.  There are scattered corals across the sand and seagrass bed in front of the camp.  The shape of the rocky shore reef to the left of the camp can be clearly seen through the clear water.   This is Jetols reef – (according to Jetol from Longgom Kechil village) – the village is where we have repainted the school and started english lessons. This whole part of the N borneo coast will become part of the Tun Mustapha Marine Park a huge managed park with a tract of seascape going across from the Kudat Peninsular to the Banggi Islands.

Click on the photo to get full size

Other photos of the beach in May 2014 are here

The most interesting species we have found so far is a significant number of the Mimic octopus. more on that later.




Chris and Sarah trip to TRACC June 2014

pom pom sunsetChris and Sarah were volunteers with TRACC during our very unexpected move from Pom Pom Island to Coconut cove at The Tip of Borneo.  This is their story of the move on their blog who goes where.

TRACC marine conservation sites

TRACC coconut cove beach

TRACC coconut cove beach

TRACC – Tropical research and Conservation centre is currently (June 2014) scheduled to be operating in Sabah East Malaysia ( Borneo) at the following marine conservation sites.

May to Oct 2014 – Coconut cove beach, Tip of Borneo, Kudat district

November 2014 onwards  – Pom Pom Island Semporna district  (PROVISIONAL)

May to Oct 2015 – Coconut cove beach, Tip of Borneo, Kudat district  (PROVISIONAL)

This page will be updated as we have more information,  Our Pom Pom projects will continue with our local staff while the volunteers are busy assisting with preparing a management plan for the Tun Mustapha marine park which includes the Tip of Borneo and the Coconut cove beach, .

All flights should be made to Kota Kinabalu (BKI) until further notice. Please see flight & travel recommendations here.   Please contact us close to your date of travel – email – to confirm.

Teaching at Longgom Kechil School – May 2014

Volunteers, staff and interns at TRACC have been taking turns the past two weeks teaching children of various ages in Longgom Kecil for two hours a day.

tracc volunteers give ;essons at longgom kechil school

Lessons at longgom kechil school

The idea of the program was to deliver English language education, teach math skills and start to introduce environmental awareness. The aim was to determine where the children currently are in terms of level of education, level of environmental awareness and enthusiasm. We also wanted to see how such a program would be received by the parents and the community, and what the attendance level would be for such optional classes.

The curriculum included conversational English, how to tell the time, pronunciation, reading and writing, grammar, maths skills using (over)fishing as an example, weather, awareness of natural and man-made products, the food chain in the ocean, drawing and designing a murial for the kindergarten building.

Children and teachers had a good time and learnt a lot.

Children and teachers had a good time and learnt a lot.

There is currently no school in Longgom Kecil village, so we have used the kindergarten in the village as a venue. The children normally have to travel outside of the village to go to school, so it was unusual for them to have access to free education on their doorstep.

school group 2

After a lot more brain work than these children are used to. they collapsed in a little heap.

The program lasted two weeks during the half term school holidays, and it was very well received by the children, their parents and the local community.

This will clearly be the start of an ongoing community education programme.  The adults, teenagers and the police all want English l;essons! :-)

The TRACC beach on the Kudat Riviera

TRACC beach North

TRACC beach North

TRACC beach south

TRACC beach south

track to the beach

track to the beach

Before photos of the beach at the new site for TRACC summer 2014.  In a day or so this will be polluted by volunteers who will be leaving foot prints in the pristine sand.  The lorry has arrived from Semporna so we now have a good dive boat.  The camp is being built so we will have toilets soon.

The island in the pictures to the South is Pulau Kalambu (Kalambu island) off Pantai Kalumbu (Kalumbu beach).  The north headland separates this beach from the beach going to Turtle point.  The Tip of Borneo is a few Kilometres to the North.
The wildlife includes otters, monitor lizards and monkeys plus tracc folk.

The map to the area is here.  Instructions on how to get here.  —

Getting to Tip of Borneo Camp summer 2014

As you will know, TRACC has moved for summer 2014 from Semporna to the tip of Borneo (close to Kudat town).  The security near Semporna was not good so we have moved to a safer location well away from criminal gangs. The diving is great, the beaches are fantastic so we can now sleep safe and have a great summer,

Turtle Bay, Kudat Riviera, sabah, malaysia

Turtle Bay, Kudat Riviera


We’d really like everyone to be arriving now in Kota Kinabalu (BKI) in the morning on Monday or Thursday. So same as before, but at a different airport.

Personally, we’re recommending these:
Air asia Depart Kula Lumpur KLIA2 to KK terminal 2
Arriving: Air Asia 5106 KUL (09:30) – BKI (12:05)
Departing: Air Asia 5133 BKI (18:25) – KUL (21:00)

Malaysian airlines KLIA1 to KK terminal 1
Arriving: Malaysian MH2610 KUL (09:20) – BKI (11:55)
Departing: Malaysian MH2631 BKI (19:15) – KUL (21:35)
longom riverPLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE 2 Terminals in Kuala Lumpor, both are huge and it takes time (1h) to get from KLIA1 to KLIA2 or the reverse.
When you land, there is a bus to town from both terminals every 1/2 h or plenty of taxi- Book to Gaya st which is the centre of town. backpacker map here   or budget hotel map here


2. Land transport
We will try to meet people at the KK airport (mondays) or in KK city (Mondays Foong cafe @ 11-1130 on Gaya st) but cheap long distance minibuses and Taxi’s are available (rm30 per person) which go up to the project site. (see map below)
places to stay in Kota Kinabalu

click on map for larger

These are the instructions FROM KK.

On Jalan Masjid, opposite the kampong ayer shell petrol station in the centre of town is the long distance taxi terminal. SEE Map
Walk along till you see the sign for Kudat.
Say “Kudat?” and someone will point you to the next departing vehicle.
(The earlier in the day you do this, the less time you will have to wait)

Call or sms 0198309046 or 0148629817 or camp 0108024914 when you leave KK.  Please make sure you arrange that you are coming at a particular time. (SEE Communication ).  It is 30-50 min dive each way from camp to Kudat town and we both try to drive into town only once per day and it is likely that the vehicles are being used to take someone somewhere.

About 2hours from KK, start watching the white kilometer posts count down the distance to Kudat.
At about km 20 to Kudat you go through Sikuati
Call or SMS camp 0108024914 from about here
When you get to Kudat Town find a coffee shop or have a wander.  We usually meet people at the cofee shop on the old town main street behind the RIA hotel.  Thats very close to where the taxis stops.  Call camp 0108024914 from there and we will find you
3. Medical
The nearest hospital is Kudat. About 40minutes by road.
We strongly recommend travel insurance.
Please consult your Dr about medication, but we aren’t in a malarial area.

Shark Market Survey 2014

kk market 5-5-14 (7) (640x480)TRACC is doing a rapid assessment of the sharks caught and landed in Sabah in June & July 2014.  For shark lovers it is very disheartening to see all these beautiful creatures as lumps of meat especially since we have been trying so hard to get some protection. Most of the catches are baby sharks with lots of small blacktips and bamboo sharks.  Also a lot of very small skates and rays.  The larger rays end up as chunks of meat with their gills cut out and sent to China for the gill raker trade – apparently they are good for you!!!!
This is a study for TRAFFIC who speciaise in the trade in endangered species.  kk market 5-5-14 (27) (640x395)

kk market 5-5-14 (4) (457x640)



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