Research Internships


    Ano Nuevo Reserve

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    Ano Nuevo Reptile and Amphibian Surveys

    Also listed in the Conservation tab. 

    Contact: Ptrick Robinson (Reserve manager) Patrick.robinson@ucsc.edu 

    Come learn about snakes, lizards (maybe some frogs and rodents too) with an internship at the Año Nuevo UC Natural Reserve. In April of 2013 the UCSC Field Methods Class and Natural Reserve placed 25 coverboards in the main park area between the Año Nuevo visitor center and main beach as well as 25 coverboards in a recently acquired State Park property (BART property) just to the north. The coverboards have now aged and are likely providing habitat for snakes, lizards, amphibians, and perhaps small mammals. This internship will involve checking these coverboards on a weekly basis throughout the quarter, recording data, identifying species, and entering data into a database. Data from your project will help State Parks compare herpetofauna across the two sites (the BART property was farmed as recently as 2006 whereas the main park area was last farmed in the early 1950s).

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    Elephant Seal Flipper Tag observations

    Listing also found in Water and Marine-Related tab

    Contact: Patrick Robinson (Reserve manager) Patrick.robinson@ucsc.edu 

    Come learn about northern elephant seals with an internship at the Año Nuevo UC Natural Reserve. Every year thousands of elephant seals haul out at Año Nuevo to molt and breed. Researchers from UCSC attach flipper tags to identify individual seals. We need your help to work with researchers to find and record information about these tagged seals. This decades-long study helps us understand the demographics of this population.

    To apply for this internship, please fill out an application here: https://sites.google.com/site/anonuevoresearch/home/volunteer-opportunities 


  • California Collaborative Fisheries (CCFRP)

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    Research Internship

    Listing also found in the Conservation and Water and Marine-Related tabs.

    Contact: Ryan Fields, ccfrp@mlml.calstate.edu 

    CCFRP interns gain insight into the world of marine science and valuable, hands-on experience for professional development through active participation in various forms of field work, data analysis, and project support.

    Interns provide organizational, logistical, and administrative assistance to the Fisheries & Conservation Biology Lab at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. Within the CCFRP, the lab conducts background research for fisheries-related projects, coordinates a variety of events, collects and analyzes field data, and disseminates information to the public. Program interns help facilitate any/all portions of these activities while additional duties are assigned as needed.

    Please contact the internship office for an application, as one is needed for this internship. 


  • City of Santa Cruz

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    Climate Action Program Intern

    Also Under Summer

    Contact: Tiffany Wise-West, TWise-West@cityofsantacruz.com 

    The City of Santa Cruz’s award winning Climate Action Program is part of the City Manager’s office. Since its inception in 2007, the program has been tasked with the implementation of the City’s Climate Action Plan and meeting its 12 climate action milestones. This program is seeking three Climate Action interns for summer 2019 to support the Resilient Coast Initiative.

    This initiative invites residents of Santa Cruz to document their values around coastal recreation, transportation, ecosystems, natural resources, climate change and sense of place through creative and interactive community engagement techniques. Interns will conduct Coastal Use Surveys, collect observational data along coastal regions, conduct parking surveys, and assist in outreach projects and events for the Initiative.


  • Coastal Prairie Restoration Research

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    Restoration Research Intern

    Also Under Conservation and Summer

    Contact: Justin Luong, jluong4@ucsc.edu

    Student will assist with Graduate Student Justin Luong with research in whether the use of plant functional traits and phylogenetics can be predictive in restoration planting survival and growth, because restoration often has unpredictable outcomes. Presumeably, this will be exacerbated by climate change. Interns have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at Younger Lagoon Reserve at Coastal Campus utilizing rain-out shelters that simulate a 1-in-100 year drought after five years for 12 CA coastal prairie plants, collecting data such as plant community composition and plant functional trait data, and categorizing plants in subgroups by leaf area and thickness. No experience is required. 


  • Council Member Drew Grover

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    Research and Policy Internship

    Also Under Public Policy and Environmental Justice tabs

    Contact: Drew Glover, dglover@cityofsantacruz.com

    Council member Drew Glover is looking for motivated college students who are interested in creating dynamic groups (3 or more) to address environmental policies important to both students and constituents. Each team member contributes using the skill in which they excel while gaining hands on experience in areas where they wish to improve. You and your team will conduct research, write and analyze reports, and craft presentations for City Council meetings. The ideal candidate is interested in a career in local government and/or obtaining a theoretical and practical understanding of local environmental policies. The goal is to create or change ordinances, passing legislation, gaining knowledge on policy creation, and increasing public awareness/education. Areas of focus can go beyond Environmental Policy. Relevant topics may integrate with: Housing, Public Safety, Waste Management, Budget Analysis, Transportation, and Water policy. The City of Santa Cruz offers an outstanding environment for learning, professional growth, and community involvement. After completion, a letter of recommendation and an evaluation report can be available upon request. 


  • Joshua Tree Symbiotic Interactions Curriculum Development

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    Educational Research Internship

    Contact: Juniper Harrower, jharrower@ucsc.edu

    Joshua trees are threatened by climate change and may be locally extinct from Joshua Tree National Park within a 100 years. My research focuses on the symbiotic interactions (soil fungi and pollinators) that are key for its survival. Additionally, I am an artist and use that research to guide the creation of multimedia art exhibits. I am seeking an intern to take my research findings and to create lesson plans for K-12 public schools or National Park guides. You will be researching other lesson plans across fields to find strong research proven examples to guide the development of original lessons. This is a very creative project that has a huge potential for outreach! 


  • Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Climate Change

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    Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Climate Change

    Contact: Chelsea Prindle, Chelsea.Prindle@noaa.gov, 831-442-4181 

    The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is looking for a Climate Change intern to assist in the coordination of a Fall Climate change seminar and interpretation workshop.

    Intern will conduct research and prepare summary of current Climate Change Knowledge, Summarize information into main “Exhibit” categories, Help coordinate two public climate change seminars, Help coordinate one climate change interpretation workshop. 


  • Organic Farm Research

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    Agroecology Research Intern

    Also under Campus

    Contact: Carol Shennan, cshennan@ucsc.edu 

    The Shennan Lab is base at the Department of Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz We work closely with teh Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS). In the Shennan Lab research group, we study agricultural sustainability using participatory approaches in high input, capital-intensive vegetable/strawberry production in California. Sustainability issues in California include reliance on controversial toxic soil fumigants and issues releated to inefficient and overuse of inputs that result in on-point source pollution. Our work targets the development of alternatives to soil fumigants for soil-borne disease management, strategies for improved nutrients use and disease suppression in high-intensity organic strawberry/vegetable rotation systems and the potential for landscape diversification to enhance biological control of arthropod pests. Under supervision, interns will learn and experience scientifitic methods and research processes by working along with other undergraduate students for ongoing research projects. 

    For more information, visit our website 


  • Re-census the UCSC Forest Ecology Research Plot

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    Re-census the UCSC Forest Ecology Research Plot

    Contact: Greg Gilbert, ggilbert@ucsc.edu.

    Help with the expansion and 5-yr re-census of the 6-ha Forest Ecology Research Plot (FERP) on the UCSC Campus Natural Reserve. The FERP is a living laboratory designed to study forest dynamics and species interactions in the mixed-evergreen forest, an is a resource for teaching and student research in ecology, evolution, and environmental sciences at UCSC.


  • Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group

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    Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group

    Contact: Zeka Glucs, zekaglucs@ucsc.edu 

    We currently have two internships that provide students with opportunities to learn more about Peregrine Falcons, working with members of the public on a conservation education project, collecting data on provided forms, and developing observation skills. Participation in the winter quarter Rachel Carson College class, “Peregrine Falcon Recovery—A Case Study in Conservation Success” is strongly advised and class participants will have priority for internships. There are two opportunities to participate. Falcon Nest Camera Operator: (2 units—6-8 hours per week) We offer views of nesting falcons to the public from three locations in the Bay Area. Operator/attendants use their computers to move the cameras as needed during incubation of eggs and rearing of young. Attendants become intimately familiar with the nesting chronology of peregrine falcons, and participate in a large conservation education effort (camera web site receives 600,000 or more hits per week). They also collect prey delivery data. Nest camera operators must also staff at least one, five-hour shift at a nest site during the period when young falcons fledge in May.
    For more information...

  • UCSC Sea Otter Research Internship

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    Sea Otter Research

    Listing also found in Water and Marine-Related tab.

    Contact: Sarah Espinosa, smespino@ucsc.edu  

    Research on sea otters is mandated by the U.S. Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act.  For California, this research is the responsibility of the USGS Western Ecological Research Center.  The research program is headquartered at the Santa Cruz Field Station, whose offices are located at the Center for Ocean Health at the University of California, Santa Cruz.   Interns will be trained to participate in radio tracking studies of sea otter behavior and population dynamics.  Specific duties include visiting locations throughout the study area by vehicle in order to record the location and reproductive status of tagged study animals.  Otters will be located using radio receivers attached to an antenna, and identified using high powered spotting telescopes.  Interns will record the exact position of individual otters using GPS and rangefinders.  Other data recorded will include number of other otters sighted with the study animal, reproductive status (whether or not females have pups), behavioral states, and environmental conditions.  Resights for each study animal will be obtained each day, weather permitting.  Interns may also assist with capture/tagging operations, and have opportunities for boat-based work. 

    Please send a cover letter and resume/CV to werc@ucsc.edu. Contact Sarah Espinosa at smespino@ucsc.edu with specific questions.