COAST Student Internships Summer 2019

California State Lands Commission 

Marine Invasive Species Program

Southern 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: Long Beach (map); regular travel to Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and occasional travel to CSLC offices in Sacramento and Hercules (San Francisco Bay area).

Internship Dates: June 3 - August 16, 2019; 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-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.

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

  1. 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.

  2. Investigate patterns of compliance and noncompliance with California’s new biofouling management regulations for maritime shipping vessels. The intern will enter inspection report data into the MISP database and will conduct analyses of these data to identify common deficiencies and noncompliance trends.

The intern will produce a report outlining the two projects. The report will include introduction, methods, results, and discussion sections, and will make recommendations to the CSLC-MISP for outreach ideas or other avenues for increasing awareness of, and compliance with, California’s biofouling management regulations. In addition to producing the report 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 library research methods, invasion ecology, 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 vessels and interact with international ship crews
  • 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 Sacramento and Hercules (SF Bay) may be required. Applicants are also subject to general eligibility requirements.


Return to Announcement for Application and Additional Requirements