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COAST Student Internships Summer 2017

​​Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary 

Ocean Exploration Internship


Host:  NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS)

The CINMS is one of 14 special marine protected areas designated and administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS). CINMS manages diverse and productive marine ecosystems through a combination of regulatory and non-regulatory programs. CINMS programs focus on conducting and coordinating research and monitoring, organizing and carrying out education and outreach within local communities, and, most importantly, ensuring natural and cultural resources are protected while allowing uses that are sustainable.

Location:  Based in Santa Barbara at the CINMS headquarters office on the campus of UC Santa Barbara with occasional travel to coastal communities in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

Internship Dates: June 5 - August 18, 2017; 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 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.

Internship Focus: One (1) internship is offered with the CINMS to assist in ongoing research and monitoring efforts that support the sanctuary. A major project that the intern will engage in will be the execution of a sanctuary research mission aboard either the sanctuary’s research vessel Shearwater or larger ships of opportunity that may be conducting work in Channel Islands. Previous research missions have included collection of multibeam and sidescan sonar data to fill in gaps in CINMS maps, dive operations to study kelp forests and eelgrass beds, and habitat characterization using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to survey deeper regions of the sanctuary. The specific details of the 2017 mission will be shaped prior to the start of the internship and may include activities related to CIMNS priorities such as multibeam sonar surveys to complete mapping of deeper water portions of the sanctuary, habitat characterization using ROVs in the network of Channel Islands marine protected areas, seabird monitoring, and dive surveys to monitor kelp forests and eelgrass beds.  

Internship Responsibilities:

1. Assist the CINMS Research Coordinator and Team Lead for Education and Outreach with planning and coordination steps necessary to organize staff, local partners and involved scientists for research missions aboard R/V Shearwater and mapping cruises aboard ships of opportunity.  

2. Assist the CINMS Research Coordinator and Team Lead for Education and Outreach with implementation of a variety of fieldwork coordination and education programming activities that will occur during different mapping and habitat characterization cruises in June or July 2017.

3. Work as an effective member of the sanctuary research and education departments through participation in regular meetings, and contributing to various reporting requirements (e.g., weekly accomplishment reports).

​​4. Develop web site content and data visualizations from mapping cruises. Intern will be responsible for distributing social media posts for the sanctuary prior to and during the research cruises to highlight the scientific approaches and findings of the mission.

​​Preferred Experience and Capabilities:  Experience or academic training in resource management, environmental sciences, or biological sciences. Some experience working with scientific instrumentation is desirable. 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 and in writing with researchers and sanctuary colleagues. Ideal candidates should be self-motivated, creative, innovative, and comfortable working with a diverse team in a fast-paced, collaborative environment. Also important is the ability to effectively manage multiple projects, and enthusiasm about marine science, stewardship and conservation.  Proficiency in using computers is essential. The work may include some heavy lifting of equipment (up to 50 pounds) and fieldwork on boat platforms in varying sea conditions within and around CINMS.

Skills Gained:  The intern will learn about current research and monitoring efforts underway at CINMS, and gain an understanding of the importance of marine science to support sound resource management. The intern will gain experience working with a small team to plan vessel-based marine research and deep-sea exploration expedition, and develop outreach and communication materials that support these projects. Intern will learn how to operate within a small professional office and interact with research colleagues remotely. 

Eligibility/Requirements:  The internship is intended for an upper-class undergraduate student (juniors/seniors) or graduate student, in good academic standing with their university. A valid California State driver’s license is required. Intern must be 18 years or older. Applicants are also subject to additional eligibility and requirements that can be found here​.


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