COAST Student Internships Summer 2016

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Marine Region Southern California Fisheries Research and Management Internship


Host: The Mission of the 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 Southern California Fisheries Research and Management Team: conducts life history studies on local fishes; samples kept and discarded basses aboard Commercial Passenger Fishing Vessels (CPFVs); and performs laboratory-based biological research to aid in science-based management of California’s marine finfish resources.

Location: The position is based out of the Los Alamitos office in Orange County. Field work takes place locally, but may also occur from San Diego to Santa Barbara and out at the Channel Islands.

Internship Dates: June 6 - August 19, 2016; start and end dates flexible with regard to student’s academic commitments.

Stipend: $4,000.00

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 available working with CDFW scientists at the Los Alamitos office to conduct research informing the management of Southern California’s marine finfish fisheries. The intern assigned to the Southern California Fisheries Research and Management Project will be working with Department biologists to collect essential fishery information pertaining to the barred sand bass, kelp bass, white seabass, and halibut fisheries. The intern will work alongside experienced fisheries biologists in laboratory, field, and office settings, with the majority of work occurring in the laboratory. Laboratory work will include sectioning and mounting otoliths for ageing and preparing ovary slides for histological staining and batch fecundity counts. Field sampling will take place on Department research vessels, CPFVs, and at commercial fish markets that are central to Orange County, but may also occur from San Diego to Santa Barbara. Interns will measure and count discarded fish and collect fish samples for subsequent laboratory processing. Interns will also assist with data entry, editing, and various analyses. At the end of the internship, the intern will be expected to provide a report summarizing the results of the CPFV bass discard collection efforts and field surveys.

Preferred Experience and Capabilities: This internship will require excellent verbal, written, and organizational skills. Experience with Excel, fish handling skills, knowledge of southern California fish fauna and sport fishing, and ability to use a compound microscope are desired.

Skills Gained: The intern will learn about the link between science and management of nearshore marine finfish fisheries and conservation in California. The intern will gain experience working with a team of investigators on field surveys as well as interacting with the public during surveys aboard CPFVs. Interns will gain hands-on experience in conducting marine fisheries research and learn its applications for fisheries management. The intern will learn about the process of planning, executing, and presenting scientific research to inform management. Specific skills gained include fish identification, fish handling, working on boats, small boat handling, performing data quality control and assurance procedures, and experience with different sampling methods and gear types.

Eligibility/Requirements: The internship is intended for upperclassmen (juniors/seniors) and graduate students. Intern must be 18 years or older. Intern will be required to drive and must be able to get to the Los Alamitos office daily. Applicants must be able to work independently and interact in a professional manner with the public and other CDFW staff. 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 additional eligibility and requirements that can be found here.

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