Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), a branch of NOAA, is responsible for managing 14 special marine protected areas designated by the federal government, five of which are on the west coast. National marine sanctuaries manage diverse and productive marine ecosystems through a combination of regulatory and non-regulatory programs. At each sanctuary, ONMS conducts and coordinates research and monitoring, organizes and carries out education and outreach within local communities, and most importantly ensures natural resources are protected while allowing uses that are sustainable. Resource protection is a key principle that guides many activities within management of national marine sanctuaries, such as analysis of resource protection strategies, education and enforcement of regulations, and permitting of otherwise prohibited activities.
Location: Based in Monterey at ONMS West Coast Regional Office; possible travel to national marine sanctuaries within California.
Internship Dates: June 6 - August 19, 2016; start and end dates flexible with regard to student’s academic commitments.
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.
Position Description and Responsibilities: One (1) internship is offered at the ONMS West Coast Regional Office to work side-by-side with sanctuary regional managers to address several priority resource protection issues. One priority is to make progress in minimizing impacts to sanctuary resources from vessel groundings and sinkings while also minimizing costs to sanctuary management from vessel salvage. Another priority issue is entanglement of wildlife in fishing gear, which has been increasing over the past few years. The intern will work with specific staff contacts at national marine sanctuaries offshore California (Cordell Bank, Greater Farallones, Monterey Bay and Channel Islands) and Washington (Olympic Coast) to develop action plans or strategies to address these priority resource protection activities.
The intern will develop a database of vessel groundings within sanctuaries on the West Coast; conduct background research on requirements of vessel insurance for boat owners in various states; survey other national marine sanctuary sites or other protected marine areas such as national parks within the nation on how they address this issue; and develop an action plan that ties all these elements into a cohesive strategy that also includes outreach and education to boat owners.
Depending on time and interest, the intern will also better characterize entanglement of wildlife in national marine sanctuaries. For example, we want to know the temporal and spatial scale of entanglements, the species entangled, and gear types that pose the biggest threat. With this knowledge the intern will then develop strategies to address the issue through prevention and removal, including collaboration with fishermen and partners.
Preferred Experience and Capabilities: Skilled in science, policies and regulations of marine protected areas; ideally experienced in marine resource management; capable of talking to colleagues on the telephone and ability to take initiative and exercise creativity and judgment. Very good writing ability is a necessity.
Skills Gained: The intern will learn about how the United States manages its national marine sanctuaries, as well as how to incorporate complex scientific concepts into resource protection strategies. The intern will learn how to operate within a small professional office and interact with colleagues remotely.
Eligibility/Requirements: The internship is intended for upperclassmen (juniors/seniors) and graduate students. Intern must be at least 18 years old and must have a valid driver’s license. The intern must be able to work independently and interact in a professional manner with WCRO and sanctuary staff as well as staff at parks throughout California. Travel to sanctuary offices in Sonoma and Santa Barbara counties may be required.
Applicants are also subject to additional eligibility and requirements that can be found
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