​​​​

COAST Student Internships Summer 2018

​Office of National Marine Sanctuaries 

West Coast Region

Land-Sea Connections Internship​​​


Host:  Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), a branch of NOAA, is responsible for managing 14 special marine protected areas designated by the federal government. The West Coast Region (WCR) manages 15,333 mi2 of marine protected areas around Channel Islands, Cordell Bank, Greater Farallones, Monterey Bay and Olympic Coast. The WCR coordinates programs and initiatives that affect resources within and beyond the boundaries of the five west coast national marine sanctuaries to ensure natural and cultural resources are protected while allowing uses that are sustainable.  

Location:  Based in Monterey (map) with possible travel to national marine sanctuaries within California.

Internship Dates:  June 4 – August 17, 2018; start and end dates are flexible with regard to student’s academic commitments.

Stipend: $5,000

Time Commitment: The internship is a full time, 11-week commitment. Over the 11 weeks, the intern may take up to five days off for personal reasons, vacation or illness. If participation is less than 100%, the stipend will be pro-rated.

Position Description and Responsibilities:  One internship (1) is offered with the ONMS WCR to work side-by-side with sanctuary regional managers on a new project: “Connections between National Forests and National Marine Sanctuaries”. The purpose of this project is to explore and describe the connections between national forests and national marine sanctuaries of California to advance land-sea conservation by better understanding the interconnectedness between terrestrial and marine ecosystems.  

Project Responsibilities: ​

1. Research the linkages between national forest ecosystems along the Sierra Nevada mountain range and national marine sanctuary ecosystems. The initial focus is on ecological connections (e.g., species migrations and species habitat use), with an expanded focus on physical connections (e.g., nutrient or pollution loads of watersheds that flow to the ocean) and cultural connections (e.g., anthropogenic and socio-economic). Events or activities in one system may have impacts on the health and function of the connected system. For example, land-based nutrient run-off into marine areas may cause harmful algal blooms, and poor ocean conditions are known to negatively impact the number of salmon entering forest watersheds to spawn. 

2. Produce in a systematic matter a document that summarizes the interconnectedness of national forests and national marine sanctuaries.

3. Where appropriate, delineate the connections across the land and sea using geographic information system (GIS) technology or other mapping technology. 

4. Coordinate with the education team of the WCR and develop web site content for the WCR website to educate the public about the importance of addressing ecosystem health across the land-sea interface. 

5. Work as an effective member of the WCR by participating in regular meetings, and contributing to various reporting requirements (e.g., weekly accomplishment reports).


​Preferred Experience and Capabilities: Skilled in environmental or biological science, environmental policies and regulations of marine protected areas; ideally experienced in marine resource management. The successful candidate must be highly organized with the ability to work independently as well as within a team setting, and able to effectively communicate (orally, in person or on the phone, and in writing) with researchers, educators and sanctuary colleagues. Also important is the ability to effectively manage multiple projects. Very good writing ability is a necessity. Skill in GIS techniques is desired but not required. Core internship duties may be performed by students with physical disabilities or limitations.

Skills Gained: The intern will learn about how the United States manages its national marine sanctuaries, as well as how to incorporate complex scientific concepts into education and outreach strategies. The intern will learn how to operate within a small professional office and interact with colleagues remotely.

Eligibility/Requirements: The intern must be able to work independently and interact in a professional manner with WCR and sanctuary staff and partners throughout California. Travel to sanctuary offices in Sonoma and Santa Barbara counties may be required. Applicants are also subject to general eligibility requirements.


Return to Announcement for Application and Additional Requirements​