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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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​​California Department of Fish and Wildlife ​​

Office of Spill Prevention and Response 

Natural Resource Damage Assessment Internship

Host: The mission of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) provides the best achievable protection of California's natural resources by preventing, preparing for, and responding to spills of oil and other deleterious materials, and by restoring and enhancing affected resources. The OSPR Resource Restoration Program, Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Unit examines the natural resource injuries from oil spills or other pollution events, quantifies the injuries, and identifies projects that restore both the injured resources and compensate the public for the lost interim ecological benefits and uses of those resources.

​Location: Sacramento ​(map​)

Internship Dates: June 8 - August 21, 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. 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: Resource protection and resource assessment are key principles that guide many scientific activities within OSPR’s Resource Restoration Program. Following spills, water, sediment, and tissue samples are chemically analyzed and used to assess exposure, injury, and time to recovery following a spill of petroleum or other deleterious material. For example, following the Santa Barbara Refugio Beach Oil Spill in May 2015, OSPR scientists collected surf water, sediments, and invertebrate and fish tissues for chemical analysis as a means of determining the level of oil exposure and wildlife injuries caused by the spill. 

One (1) internship is available to work side-by-side with OSPR scientists to address priority resource protection and assessment tasks. Under the direction of OSPR environmental scientists and staff toxicologists, the NRDA Unit intern will assist staff in a variety of tasks related to injury assessment and environmental sampling in mudflats and other estuarine habitats, including the development of field protocols, data analysis, processing of aerial imagery, files and electronic library management, and production of an baseline imagery data and unmanned aerial system (UAS) protocols. The intern will spend approximately 50% of their time working on tasks related to assessment of mudflats and estuarine habitats using UAS including processing of aerial imagery and assisting with literature and field research into benthic invertebrate distribution and life history, and time in the field assisting with UAS operation and sampling. The other 50% will involve general office-related tasks, including scanning and archiving of hardcopy and electronic files related to NRDA cases and management of habitat enhancement grants. ​

Preferred Experience and Capabilities: We are looking for a motivated self-starter who is skilled in science, natural resources, toxicology, chemistry, or biology with excellent verbal and writing skills. Ideally, the selected candidate will be experienced in or capable of learning how to collect environmental samples for chemical analysis and assisting with UAS operation planning and field work. Experience in image processing or Geographic Information System mapping is desirable. Ability to learn and use Microsoft Office and ArcGIS software to perform various tasks will be required. 

Skills Gained: The intern will learn about how OSPR uses scientific concepts for resource protection and resource assessment. The intern will learn how to collect and document environmental samples, operate sampling equipment, process UAS imagery, and interact with a highly technical team of Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. level scientists, including toxicologists, biologists, and environmental program managers.

Eligibility/Requirements: The internship is intended for upperclassmen (juniors/seniors) and graduate students. Intern must be at least 18 years old​. The intern must be able to work independently and interact in a professional manner with OSPR staff. Travel to marine/freshwater shoreline areas may be required.​ The intern must be able to provide proof of citizenship or declaration of right to work. Applicants are also subject to general eligibility requirements.


Return to Announcement for Application and Additional Requirements