Seeking Volunteer Developers, UX/UI Designers, & a Product Manager to Build NEMO – A Citizen Science App to Protect Coral Reefs

We’re looking for volunteer developers and designers to help us build NEMO, a citizen-science web app that will give travelers and adventurers the power to help protect one of our planet’s most remarkable coral reefs – The Mesoamerican Reef. 

The Mesoamerican Reef is the world’s second largest reef system, stretching over 600 miles (1000+ kilometers) along the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. Every year, over 12 million people visit the reef, putting pressure on this haven of biodiversity. But, what if these same visitors could be a force to save it? This is what inspired us (Sustainable Travel International) to launch NEMO – a new program that will leverage the power of tourism to support reef conservation.

The NEMO App

NEMO App Screenshot

The NEMO app will allow divers and snorkelers to become Natural Environment Marine Observers (NEMOs) and watch over the Mesoamerican Reef. Users will simply take photos of the marine life, pollution, and coral disease they see on the reef and upload it to the NEMO app. Photos will be collected in our NEMO database which will be shared with the local marine park authority, scientists, and conservation groups so that they can stop threats faster and better protect the reef!

Thanks to a team of dedicated volunteers from Booking.com, we’ve already begun development of the NEMO desktop and mobile apps. We are now seeking additional volunteers to jump in and build upon this initial work so that we can get our MVP up and running, including a project lead. If you’re a web developer, product manager, or designer (all skill levels) and are passionate about protecting nature – we invite you to join us in bringing this innovative tool to life!

Required Dev Skills

  • JS (we’re using React) 
  • Laravel/PHP

Preferred Design Chops

  • UI Design (we’re using Figma)

About the Mesoamerican Reef

Despite its massive size, the Mesoamerican Reef is a sensitive ecosystem whose future is at stake. Over half of the reef is in poor or critical condition due to overtourism, pollution, climate 

change, and unsustainable fishing.To make matters worse, a rapidly spreading coral disease outbreak is killing over 20 coral species on the Mesoamerican Reef, some of which took hundreds of years to grow.

Local conservation groups are working hard to protect this sensitive ecosystem, but their efforts are hampered by a lack of information about what’s happening on the reef. Without immediate intervention, the reef, along with the 2 million people and 900+ species who depend on it, face grave consequences.

About Sustainable Travel International

Sustainable Travel International is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and conserving our planet’s most vulnerable destinations. We are transforming tourism’s impact on nature and people by working alongside local communities, engaging travelers and businesses in responsible practices, and strengthening destination management. Through our work, we aim to safeguard nature, combat climate change, and empower communities to preserve the integrity of destinations around the globe. To learn more visit www.sustainabletravel.org

How to Volunteer

Have a look at our codebase here https://github.com/SustainableTravelInternational/nemo and check out the contribute section at the bottom. If you’d like to get involved, please email your CV/resume to Kaitlyn @ kaitlynb@sustainabletravel.org. Designers please provide design samples and/or link to portfolio.