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​​California Department of Fish and Wildlife ​Marine Region 

Southern California Marine Invertebrate Fisheries Management Internship

Host: The mission of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)  is to manage California's diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public. The Marine Invertebrate Fisheries Management Team conducts ecosystem surveys, fisherman interviews, and laboratory-based ecological research to aid in science-based management of California’s marine invertebrate resources.   

​Location: San Diego  ​[map]

Internship Dates: June 1 - August 14, 2020; start and end dates flexible with regard to student’s academic commitments.

Stipend: $6,000

Time Commitment: The internship is a full time, 11-week commitment. Hours may occasionally include long days in the field (10-12 hours) and weekend days. 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 (1) internship is available working with CDFW scientists at the San Diego office to conduct research on crustaceans and mollusks including California spiny lobster, crab, shrimp, prawn, abalone, and giant keyhole limpets to inform management of these important commercial and recreational fisheries. This position requires acting as part of a team of researchers, and may include occasional lifting of heavy scuba and research gear. Depending on needs, the intern may assist with studies of larval lobster and an ongoing lobster aging study. The intern will also learn about the ongoing management processes of data collection, entry, management, and analysis as well as preparation of materials for presentations and reports. If possible, the intern will be given a leadership role in an aspect of field and/or laboratory investigations. During the field components of the work, the intern will accompany scientists on the CDFW research vessels. At the end of the internship, the intern will be expected to provide a report summarizing the results of their activities.  

Preferred Experience and Capabilities: This internship will require excellent verbal, written, and organizational skills. Experience with MS Office is desired. Experience with dissecting and compound microscopes is desired. Additionally, the ability to lift 50 pounds and experience with basic construction materials and tools is needed. Knowledge of marine invertebrate taxonomy and ecology is a plus. Understanding of statistical concepts and methods is also a plus.

Skills Gained: The intern will learn about the link between science and management of several crustacean fisheries employing multiple gear types. The intern will gain experience working with a team of investigators in field, laboratory, and professional settings. The intern will assist with or may take a leadership role in designing and executing hypothesis-based research and translating that information so that it is relevant for management.

Eligibility/Requirements: Intern will be required to drive and must be able to get to the San Diego field office daily and occasionally to Mission Bay marinas and boat ramps. Applicants must be able to work independently and interact in a professional manner with the public and other CDFW staff. The intern must be able to keep excellent notes and organize various streams of information into technical reports. Travel may be required aboard research vessels as needed to execute this project​.​ Applicants are also subject to general eligibility requirements.


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COAST Student Internships Summer 2020

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The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Tiburon Laboratory

San Francisco Bay Fouling Community Ecology Internship

Host: The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center​ (SERC) is one of the nine research centers that is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex. SERC provides science-based knowledge to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century. SERC’s Tiburon group is part of the Marine Invasions Research Laboratory and focuses on marine invasive species and community ecology along the US West Coast. The Tiburon team tracks biotic changes in estuaries and coastlines from Alaska to Panama and studies the life cycles of non-native species and their impacts on the environments they invade, with a specific long-term focus on San Francisco Bay.  

​Location: Tiburon ​(map​)

Internship Dates: June 1 - August 14, 2020; start and end dates flexible with regard to student’s academic commitments.

Stipend: $6,000

Time Commitment: The internship is a full time, 11-week commitment. Hours may occasionally include long days in the field (10-12 hours) and weekend days. 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 prorated.  ​

Position Description and Responsibilities: Biological invasions - the establishment of species beyond their historical range - are a major force of ecological and evolutionary change. Today, most marine invasions result from human-mediated species transfers, which are often associated with commercial and recreational vessels. Non-native species now make up large portions of California’s estuarine ecosystems and can have significant economic impacts. SERC’s Marine Invasions Research Laboratory has spent the last two decades examining invasions in San Francisco Bay and along the California coast.

This internship will focus on understanding spatial and temporal patterns in benthic communities in California, particularly fouling communities in San Francisco Bay, and investigating the ecological mechanisms controlling these patterns. The intern will participate in survey efforts of fouling and other benthic communities in San Francisco Bay and possibly other locations as well. These surveys and previous data provide opportunities for the intern to focus on questions relating to the effects of specific high-impact introduced species, the effects of environmental factors such as temperature and salinity on community composition and functioning, and the effects of sessile invertebrate communities on ecosystem functioning. We anticipate that the intern will spend 50% of their time working on a project related to one of the above questions, and 50% assisting with the San Francisco Bay surveys.

Preferred Experience and Capabilities: Classroom or working experience in marine biology or related field such as ecology is preferred. Basic knowledge of library research methods, invasion ecology, and basic statistics is preferred but not required. Experience with the R statistical language and Microsoft Office applications is a plus. The intern must be well organized and be capable of effective oral and written communication.  

Skills Gained: The intern will have the opportunity to interact with technicians, postdocs, and senior scientists and will assist in all phases of field and laboratory science, including: 

  • Learning techniques related to marine surveys and experimental marine ecology including design, implementation, sample collection, preservation, taxonomic identification of all invertebrate groups (possibly paying close attention to a particular group for their independent project), data collection, data entry, data verification, and statistical analysis.​
  • Summarizing his/her accomplishments in a public seminar at the end of the project period under the supervision of lab scientists, as well as a written report in the style of a scientific paper.
  • Interacting with other scientists at a variety of levels through lab meetings and seminars.​​

Eligibility/Requirements: The intern must be able to work independently and interact in a professional manner with colleagues and stakeholders. The intern must be able to perform physically demanding activities, including lifting 50 lbs and working in a variety of weather and sea conditions.​ Applicants are also subject to general eligibility requirements.


Return to Announcement for Application and Additional Requirements