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COAST Student Internships Summer 2018

​C​alifornia State Lands Commission 

Marine Invasive Species Program 

Northern California Vessel Biofouling Management Internship​


Host: The California State Lands Commission – Marine Invasive Species Program (CSLC-MISP) is a statewide program tasked with developing and implementing science-based policies to reduce the risk of introducing aquatic nonindigenous species into California waters through commercial shipping activities. The CSLC-MISP accomplishes this goal by identifying and funding targeted research, convening stakeholder discussions to inform policy development, and conducting outreach and enforcement of existing policies.​

Location: Based in Sacramento (map) with regular travel to Ports of Sacramento and Stockton, once a week travel to the field office in Hercules (San Francisco Bay Area), and potential travel to CSLC office in Long Beach

Internship Dates: June 4 - August 17, 2018; start and end dates 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-week period, 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: Vessel biofouling refers to the organisms associated with the underwater surfaces of vessels (e.g. barnacles), and is believed to be responsible for up to 60% of the currently established nonindigenous species in California’s coastal and estuarine waters. The CSLC-MISP is responsible for the development, adoption, and implementation of regulations to reduce the risk of biofouling-mediated introductions of nonindigenous species into California waters. 

Antifouling coatings are one of the ways vessels manage biofouling. These coatings either deter the attachment of organisms through the use of heavy metals (e.g. copper, zinc) or reduce the strength with which organisms attach resulting in detachment once vessels are moving at the appropriate speed. These coatings typically have certain operating conditions that are optimal for performance (e.g. ideal vessel speed, maximum number of years in the water). If these operating conditions are not met, the coatings may lose effectiveness. 

One (1) internship is available to work with MISP scientists on two projects associated with the development and implementation of vessel biofouling management policies:

1. Investigate the suitability of antifouling coatings used on vessels that arrive at California ports. The intern will research the operating conditions for different antifouling coatings currently on the market by contacting the manufacturers and populating a program database. The intern will then compare the coatings operating conditions with the operating conditions of vessels that arrive at California ports to assess suitability of coating use. The intern will create a report describing and summarizing these analyses. 

2. ​​​Investigate biofouling management practices on maritime shipping vessels to identify how vessels are implementing California’s new biofouling management regulations. The intern will examine the presence, type, and structure of vessel biofouling management plans and record books and specific management actions for vessel biofouling hot spots (e.g., propellers) required by emerging regulations. This project will require the intern to board maritime shipping vessels with CSLC Marine Safety Specialists and scientists to review shipboard documentation and interact with vessel’s personnel. The intern is expected to work collaboratively with the Long Beach CSLC-MISP intern to collect these data from vessels across the state and jointly produce a report documenting their findings. 

In addition to producing the two reports described above, the intern will have the opportunity to present their results during informal brown bag talks to CSLC colleagues in Sacramento, Hercules, and Long Beach.

Preferred Experience and Capabilities:  Experience in marine biology or related field is necessary. Basic knowledge of invasion ecology, chemistry, and basic statistics is preferred but not required. Experience with Excel and PowerPoint is a plus. The intern must be well organized and be capable of effective oral and written communication.  

Skills Gained: The intern will gain a solid understanding of how shipping activities facilitate the movement of organisms around the world. The intern will gain firsthand experience working within a statewide program focused on prevention through vector management. The intern will have the opportunity to: 

- ​Interact with an extensive network of state, federal, and international scientists and other stakeholders.

​- Board commercial ships and interact with international ship crews and marine safety personnel.

-​ Observe and participate in California’s process of developing and implementing policies/regulations that will impact a global industry.

​Eligibility/Requirements: The intern must be able to work independently and interact in a professional manner with MISP management, scientists and inspectors, and other stakeholders. The intern must be able to climb temporary stairs/gangways to board ships, and must be eligible to obtain a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC​) to gain access to ports. Travel to offices in Hercules (SF Bay) may be required. Applicants are also subject to general eligibility requirements.


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