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COAST Student Internships Summer 2018

California Department of Fish and Wildlife ​Marine Region

California Spiny Lobster 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:  Based in Santa Barbara at the CDFW marine field office

Internship Dates: June 4 - August 17, 2018; 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. 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.  

NOTE: Scientific diving is NOT required for placement in this internship. However, if you are a current AAUS scientific diver, you may have the opportunity to participate in CDFW-led dives as part of this internship. 

Position Description and Responsibilities:  One (1) internship is available working with CDFW scientists at the Santa Barbara office to conduct research on crustaceans including California spiny lobster, crab, shrimp and prawn 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 experimental crab fisheries.  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 interns 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.  Dive experience and 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 Santa Barbara field office daily and occasionally to Ventura harbor. 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. Travel may be required aboard research vessels as needed to execute this project. Applicants are also subject to general eligibility requirements.

Scientific Divers: Applicants who wish to participate in SCUBA diving operations must include with their application: 1) a letter of reciprocity from their university’s dive safety officer (DSO) indicating that they are certified and authorized as a scientific diver (and will be for the duration of the internship) and 2) a short paragraph detailing their diving experience in temperate kelp forest conditions. They must also meet the following requirements: 

- Current AAUS certified Scientific Diver 
- DAN Insurance 
- Current AAUS-approved medical exam with physician approval 
- Current First Aid, CPR, and Emergency Oxygen Administration training 
- Minimum of 50 dives in cold water kelp forest environment 
- A minimum of 12 dives within the past year
- Excellent underwater navigation skills 
- Scuba equipment serviced by an authorized technician within the last 12 months 
- Swim test and check-out dive 
- Ability to transport self and gear to office, lab and boat sites 
- Valid CA driver’s license