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COAST Student Internships Summer 2017

​National Marine Fisheries Service 

West Coast Region Protected Resources Division 

Whale Entanglement Internship​


Host: National Marine Fisheries Service West Coast Region Protected Resources Division​

The NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation's living marine resources through scientific research, fisheries management, enforcement, and habitat conservation.  The West Coast Region of NMFS administers a variety of programs along the coasts of Washington, Oregon and California and in the vast inland habitats of Washington, Oregon, California and Idaho.  We work to conserve, protect, and manage resources under the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act, and sustainably manage West Coast fisheries as guided by the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation Act.

Location: Based in Long Beach with occasional travel to coastal communities throughout California, as needed.

Internship Dates: June 5 - August 18, 2017; start and end dates are flexible with regard to student’s academic commitments and project implementation schedule.

Stipend: $5,000 (contingent upon federal funding​)

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: NMFS, in collaboration with numerous partners including the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS), is working to address emerging issues and concerns over the increased reporting of whales entangled in fishing gear along the U.S. west coast in recent years, particularly within the boundaries of National Marine Sanctuary waters in Central California.  Current initiatives include engagement with commercial and recreational fishermen, state fisheries managers, non-governmental organizations, and researchers throughout the U.S. west coast to identify and promote promising research and fishery management actions that will work to reduce the risks of entanglements along with addressing priority information gaps surrounding this issue. 

One (1) internship is offered during the summer of 2017 to work with NMFS and MBNMS staff to participate in a number of these initiatives that support NMFS and MBNMS priority goals and objectives.  The intern will be expected to contribute to or take leadership in a number of ongoing NMFS and/or MBNMS activities, as well as develop and implement new ideas. Duties may include: review and synthesis of entanglement data and documentation, including incoming 2017 reports and photo/videos; participate and assist in meetings alongside NMFS or MBNMS staff with stakeholders involved in developing plans to address the whale entanglement issue; conduct literature search on world-wide developments in addressing the entanglement issue; assist with coordination and execution of ongoing research projects, including collection/synthesis of data from these projects as needed; and outreach to stakeholders and the public on the  progress of these initiatives. 

Preferred Experience and Capabilities: This internship will require excellent verbal, written, and organizational skills. Experience with data management (MS Office, Access Database, ArcGIS), analysis, and production of outreach materials or reports for dissemination is desired. Previous experience working with marine mammal conservation or fisheries bycatch management issues is a plus. Intern must have the ability to multitask in a team-oriented process while taking initiative and working independently.  

Skills Gained:  The intern will gain perspective on science, management, and policy issues related to marine mammal conservation and addressing a complex fisheries bycatch problem from the perspective of the federal government, as well as insight into perspectives from other highly motivated stakeholders.  The intern will gain experience working collaboratively with a diverse set of interests in a dynamic group setting. The intern will be able to directly contribute to ongoing efforts to address an important issue in marine mammal conservation.  

Eligibility/Requirements: The internship is intended for upperclassmen (juniors/seniors) and graduate students.  A valid driver’s license is required.  Intern must be 18 years or older. Applicants must be able to work independently and interact in a professional manner with all stakeholders, the public, researchers, and other NMFS and MBNMS staff. Interns must be able to keep excellent notes and organize various streams of information into a coordinated or concise message. Travel may be occasionally required throughout California as needed to execute this project. A Federal background investigation, to include fingerprints and character references, is required. Applicants also subject to additional eligibility and requirements that can be found here.​​


Return to Announcement for Application and Additional Requirements