Water and Marine Related Internships

    Ano Nuevo Reserve

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    Elephant Seal Research

    Listing also found in Research 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: 


  • California Collaborative Fisheries (CCFRP)

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    Research Program

    Listing also found in the Conservation and Research 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.

  • California Marine Sanctuary Foundation

  • California Marine Sanctuary Foundation

    California Marine Sanctuary Foundation

    Listing also found in the Environmental Education tab.

    Contact: CMSF@CaliforniaMSF.org

    The California Marine Sanctuary Foundation is excited to announce openings for internship positions. We’re seeking applicants with an interest in ocean education and outreach with an emphasis on generating greater awareness of and support for California’s marine protected  areas. Ideal candidates will be self;motivated and will work closely, but independently, with Sanctuary Foundation staff on one or more projects. Applications will be considered from currently enrolled undergraduate students as well as
    students who have recently graduated from an undergraduate program. While this position is unpaid, our Foundation maintains close collaborations with several organizations throughout California who often seek highly qualified job applicants. Upon successful completion of this program, we will be glad to point you towards potential employers and write letters of recommendatioon your behalf.

  • Central Coast Wetlands Group at Moss Landing Marine Labs

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    Restoration Internship

    Listing also found in Conservation and Public Policy tabs. 

    Contact: Cara Clark, cclark@mlml.calstate.edu

    The Central Coast Wetlands Group is an affiliate research group at Moss Landing Marine Labs focused on the study, preservation, and restoration of wetlands. We work closely with regional and state partners to improve wetland science communication between researchers, resource managers and policy makers. We do this through on the ground research, the development and dissemination of tools and materials, and through organizing and hosting meetings and symposia that bring groups of people together to increase dialogue.

    We are interested in hosting interns with the right fit for our organization. We seek an intern who is self-motivated, has clear goals, and has a sound scientific background. Due to these requirements, we prefer students who have completed at least 2 years of undergraduate courses.

    The intern would assist with restoration activities including native plant propagation and out-planting, weed control, and monitoring. They may also be involved in scientific research and monitoring of water quality treatment wetlands and local watersheds. There is also data analysis and management and other office work that may be needed. The balance of these various duties would depend on the season and the need, as well as the abilities and interest of the intern.

    Our office is located in Moss Landing, CA, about half an hour south of Santa Cruz. The intern would have to provide their own transportation to Moss Landing.

  • Coastal Watershed Council

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    Environmental Education Intern

    Listing also found in Environmental Education tab

    Contact: Mollie Behn, mbehn@coastal-watershed.org

    The Coastal Watershed Council works in public elementary, middle and high schools throughout Santa Cruz County to involve teachers and students in sustainability education. Education Program Interns will support the Education Coordinator in developing and teaching lessons to K-12 students about 1) watersheds 2) human activity impacting the health of our watersheds such as stormwater runoff, trash disposal, pollution, among other 3) water quality monitoring 4) sources of water and water conservation 5) sustainable practices such as reducing/reusing/recycling/repairing and composting and 6) climate change. Training and support are offered on the lessons and activities, working with students, group management and teaching techniques. There is both school/field time and office time for this internship.

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    River Events

    Contact: Alev Bilginsoy, abilginsoy@coastal-watershed.org 

    CWC hosts diverse events along the river and participates in events hosted by our partners like Earth Day and Guelaguetza. We also encourage people to host their own event and support them with permitting, promotion and gathering necessary supplies to create the river event of their dreams. CWC is seeking an energetic and confident River Events Intern to support all types of river events at the Santa Cruz Riverwalk.

    Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Plan, organize and coordinate CWC's river
    • Identify and support external partners in organizing river events
    • Recruit new groups and individuals to host the river events along the Santa Cruz
    • Conduct event
    • Organize event permits and coordinate event planning with the City of Santa Cruz
    • Attend and photograph
    • Share media and attendee stories on Facebook, lnstagram and on the CWC
    • Track event
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    River Restoration Intern

    Contact: Alev Bilginsoy, abilginsoy@coastal-watershed.org 

    The Coastal Watershed Council maintains approximately 3 acres of habitat restoration area along the San Lorenzo River between the Soquel Avenue Bridge and Laurel Street Bridge. In this area, CWC staff and volunteers have planted hundreds of beneficial native plants and removed invasive plants. CWC leads monthly River Health Day events for community members of all ages to volunteer at the restoration site. CWC also leads regular team-building experiences at the restoration area for local companies and community organizations. River Restoration Champions will play a critical role in the success of this restoration area through leading maintenance, and supporting community engagement and volunteerism. River Restoration Champions work primarily with CWC River Scientist.

     Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Regularly water, weed and conduct site
    • Track plant survival and map biological
    • Promote River Health Day opportunities and recruit
    • Lead River Health Day events for your community
    • Teach volunteers and community members about the San Lorenzo River and the ecological significance of the riparian
    • Document and share volunteer participation and volunteer
    • Collaborate with CWC staff to plan and facilitate special events 


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    Blog and Newsletter Internship

    Listing also found in Conservation tab.

    Contact: Erin Loury erinloury@fishbio.com

    FISHBIO is a fisheries and environmental consulting company dedicated to the research, monitoring, and conservation of fishes around the world. Our offices are located in Chico, Oakdale, and Santa Cruz, California, as well as in Vientiane, Laos. FISHBIO updates a blog on our website (www.fishbio.com) three times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The Monday blog post also doubles as our weekly email newsletter, called the Fish Report, which is distributed to more than 3,000 subscribers. Fish Reports and blog posts cover FISHBIO project updates, topical news stories, or recent research publications related to fisheries, water, or environmental science. There is a decided freshwater and salmon focus to the content, but stories on marine issues and other species are welcomed as well. 
    The intern’s primary responsibility will be pitching, researching, and writing stories for the FISHBIO blog and newsletter. The intern will also craft social media posts to promote the finished stories. Time and interest permitting, there may be opportunity for the intern to develop blog posts and lesson plans for FISHBIO’s Three Rivers Education program.


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    FISHWISE Internship

    Contact: Jodie King, (831) 427-1707

    The Intern’s primary responsibility is two-fold: 1) to provide support to existing member retailer partners and 2) provide general office support. The intern will work with existing Project Managers who are the main customer service contact for retail partners with questions or needs after the launch of the FW program. The intern will help them support these partnerships through materials development and shipment, newsletters and website updates. The Intern will conduct work to support major buyer partnerships with database work and species research. The Intern will also conduct general office work such as assisting with technology, cleaning, and purchasing supplies.

  • Gravity Water

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    Gravity Water Internship

    Contact: Danny Wright, danny@GravityWater.org 

    Gravity Water is a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) Non Profit Organization that focus on providing long-term access to clean drinking water for community members in developing countries. Gravity Water’s mission is to eliminate waterborne illness and death through providing a reliable and localized source of clean drinking water that can be managed an sustained by local community members in receiving countries.

     As a Gravity Water Intern you will have an opportunity to be part of a young, professional, and inspiring Organization that brings clean water to developing countries around the world. As an intern, you will gain the opportunity to see the inner workings of an International Non-Profit Organization. Position reports to the Assistant Director of the Organization. The Intern will be responsible for the development, coordination, and implementation of external communications as well as supporting Staff on select Gravity Water Initiatives. School Credit is available for relevant programs. This internship has potential to lead to a paid position within the Organization. For more info, click here.

    Please send your resume and cover letter to Danny Wright at danny@GravityWater.org 

  • Marc Shargel, Living Sea Images

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    Digital Photography Library Intern

    Listing also found in For-Profit Business tab.

    Contact: Marc Shargel; marc@lumigenic.com831-335-4849 

    Marc Shargel has worked extensively with marine conservation NGO’s, and served on the Marine Life Protection Act Central Coast Regional Stakeholder Group. His first underwater marine-life photography book, Wonders of the Sea: North Central California's Living Marine Riches, was released in 2008. His second Wonders of the Sea Volume Two: Marine Jewels of Southern California's Coast and Islands came out the following year. In 2010 he published Wonders of the Sea Volume Three: Hidden Treasures of California’s Far North Coast. (See them online at http://www.LivingSeaimages.com/books). Our photo files currently contain about 9,000 images, with over 5,000 now online.

    We are looking for an intern with skills in both marine biology and database management to work on:

    • Keeping this library current, our biological identifications accurate, and the uploads to our image library up to date, is an ongoing challenge for a person with skills in both marine biology and database management
    • Getting our imagery in front of photo editors and other potential buyers is an exercise in marketing, sales, and business management.

    Our database is written and maintained using PHP/MySQL with a web interface. The intern will use this system to add images to the online library. In addition they may use Photoshop or similar software to prepare images for web display.

    For More information...

  • Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project

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    Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project

    Listing also found in Conservation tab.

    Contact: Seth Bowman scsteelheader@gmail.com (831)458-3095, Mat Rowley  chair@mbstp.org  (831)818-9819

    The Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project is a donor-supported, non-profit organization that operates a salmonid recovery hatchery located just north of Davenport in the Scott Creek watershed. The project goals are to help preserve and rebuild local populations of endangered coho salmon and winter steelhead in Santa Cruz/San Mateo coastal watersheds. MBSTP aids in salmonid recovery efforts with CDFW and NOAA/NMFS Fisheries Ecology Division’s Salmon Ecology research team. General duties include assisting hatchery staff with completing daily and seasonal activities at the hatchery, including but not limited to: feeding fish, cleaning fish rearing units, facility maintenance, monitoring water conveyance systems, and occasionally performing above activities in hatchery manager/fish culturist absence. Fall quarter internship would involve transportation and disc tagging of adult coho broodstock. Winter quarter internships are focused on spawning adult salmonids, egg incubation, management of pre-smolting yearlings for later release, and assistance with cleaning and maintenance of water conveyance systems.  Spring quarter focuses on tagging and release of smolts into local watersheds, and care of emergent fry.  Summer quarter duties include fingerling care and growth monitoring along with facility maintenance.  

  • Natural Bridges State Beach

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    Natural Bridges State Beach

    Contact: Martha Nitzberg, naturalbridgesstatebeach@gmail.com (831)423-4609

    Have you ever imagined yourself as an environmental educator? In such a role, you can become a bridge between people and place and a facilitator of connective experiences in nature. At Natural Bridges we have a spring internship that offers training in environmental interpretation and environmental education. In particular, you will learn to lead school group tours of the tide pools in our State Marine Reserve on weekdays and to the public on weekends. We look forward to meeting you!

  • NOAA

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    Ecological Research Internship

    Contact: Cynthia Kern, cynthia.kern@noaa.gov 

    Quarterly internships are available to work with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Santa Cruz. Students will play a key role in conducting ecological research on central coast steelhead and coho salmon. Research and monitoring efforts are conducted primarily in Scott Creek (northern Santa Cruz County). Interns time will be split between field and lab work, including but not limited to, learning species ID, animal tagging, data recording and entry, and gear maintenance (50%-50%, but depends on the season).

  • Rockfish Early Life History Internship

    Quarterly internships are available to work with the NOAA Fisheries Service in Santa Cruz. Students will be involved with studying the early life history of rockfishes. Projects vary by quarter but include studying reproduction and fecundity, larval and juvenile age and growth, and larval swimming ability. Interns will primarily be in the laboratory although there are occasional opportunities for field work

  • Ocean Champions

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    Ocean Champions

    Listing also found in Public Policy tab.

    Contact: hr@oceanchampions.org (831)462-2550

    The Ocean Conservation Intern Position is designed to introduce college-level individuals to working in the non-profit political sector of ocean conservation. The intern will be exposed to a broad range of legislative work in support of Ocean Champions’ mission. This work will include: Research for and development of position papers and other critical media for use in campaigns to move and pass critical ocean-focused legislationp; Monitoring and reporting progress around Ocean Champions’ priority legislation, to include engaging other oceanfocusednon profits collaborating on these issues; Assisting with communications efforts across a range of platforms including web pages, email blasts and social media such as Facebook. 

    For more information visit http://oceanchampions.com/

  • Oceans 360

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    Oceans 360 Internship

    Contact: Steve Mandel, steve@oceans360.org(831)-234-5566 

    We are an ocean conservation education 501(c)(3) nonprofit, that uses virtual reality to communicate the need for reduction of ocean plastics, encourage sustainable use of ocean resources and work on global warming and its effect on coral. 

    For more info, visit their website!

  • Oceanseed

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    Oceanseed Project Internship

    Listing also found in the Environmental Education tab. 

    Contact: Dominic P. Renda, buzz@oceanseedproject.org (831) 325-7048 

    Oceanseed Project is a science-based, results-oriented, environmental non-profit providing access, insight, inspiration, developmental empowerment and new possibilities to at-risk youth. Oceanseed Project transforms our natural world by providing vulnerable children access to the oceans, beaches, estuaries and watersheds accompanied with mentorship and a student-centered curriculum in the humanities and sciences that compliment Common Core education standards. In establishing their direct connection with nature, our children discover a world of new possibilities; forever improving the trajectory of their lives and that of our world. An Oceanseed Project internship provides participant student team members with the opportunity for direct hands on access, experience and professional business education in environmental entrepreneurism, conservation and education including; federal and state regulations, finance, marketing, programs, operations and field work. Oceanseed Project interns are provided guidance and supervision in strategic areas in support of our mission, yet given the freedom and encouragement to truly make it their own. 

  • Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge

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    Seabird Diet and Ingested Plastics Internship

    Contact Person: Jessie Beck, jessie@oikonos.org

    The non-profit Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge (www.oikonos.org) seeks two, motivated UCSC student interns to process seabird stomachs (Albatrosses, Fulmars, and Shearwaters) collected from fishery bycatch carcasses. The data collected from these samples contribute to the Biological Indicators of Ocean Plastic Pollution Network (www.oikonos.org/plastic-ingestion/) to quantify bio-available plastic in the North Pacific marine ecosystem. This is a great opportunity to contribute to a long-term data set on a global conservation issue as well as learn basic, diet study techniques that can be applied to a variety of marine wildlife studies. Interns will gain hands-on experience in the laboratory learning dissection techniques, how to distinguish seabird prey items, and potentially assist in other volunteer opportunities related to ongoing seabird projects. Primary duties for the internship will include processing and sorting natural and non-natural (ingested plastics) stomach contents for subsequent identification in a laboratory setting. Work for this position will be conducted at the Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center (MWVCRC), California Department of Fish and Wildlife office/necropsy laboratory in Santa Cruz, California.

    Check out the website!

  • USGS-UCSC Cooperative Sea Otter Research

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    USGS-UCSC Cooperative Sea Otter Research

    Listing also found in Research tab.

    Contact person: 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

  • Santa Cruz Permaculture

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    10-Unit or Senior Internship

    Listing also found in Agroecology and Plants, Public Policy, and For-Profit Business tabs

    Contact Person: David Shaw, santacruzpermaculture@gmail.com

    Santa Cruz Permaculture provides community development, land stewardship, holistic education, and eco-social design services for a thriving, just and sustainable world. I am looking to sponsor senior internships with qualified students interested in learning and practicing permaculture design in our community. This will include “dirt time” with gardening and land stewardship, as well as “social entrepreneurship” skills needed to run a successful business or non-profit organization. Interns will learn practical skills for personal and professional development that are applicable in a wide variety of fields.

    Specific projects will vary based on the interns passion and skills. Projects may include:

    • Land-based restoration including installation and maintenance of resilient food and water systems at both urban and rural scales. This is a primary way that the interns will learn and contribute.
    • Attendance and support for the Santa Cruz Permaculture Design Course, and other workshops
    • Hosting community forums to learn about issues of social justice and sustainability, and to create a stronger group of people for getting things done
    • Creation of a Santa Cruz Bioregional Directory, a yellow pages of sustainable solutions
    • Creation of a Santa Cruz Permaculture course website with course notes, videos, articles, etc.
    • Social documentation including: writing a monthly eNewsletter, making Facebook posts, taking photos and videos

    Check out these videos (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=155hMJC7GMw) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7i1H358zrM) to get an idea of what you can do!

    This is a 6-month internship, 5 units per quarter offered twice a year (fall/winter and spring/summer)

  • 2-Unit Internship

    Listing also found in Agroecology and Plants, Public Policy, and For-Profit Business tabs
    Contact Person: David Shaw, santacruzpermaculture@gmail.com
    Santa Cruz Permaculture provides community development, land stewardship, holistic education, and eco-social design services for a thriving, just, and sustainable world. See www.santacruzpermaculture.com for details about the organization.
    * Help Create a Bioregional Directory for Santa Cruz! *
    Imagine a “green pages” for the greater Santa Cruz / Monterey Bay area that helps people connect with local organizations and businesses, and identify ways to make our community more sustainable. A beta version is live at santacruzbioregionaldirectory.wikispaces.com and we want your help making the first major draft.
    You’ll learn about a wide range of organizations and sustainable practices in your own backyard, and make a real contribution towards the future of our community. Furthermore, we hope that our bioregional directory will provide a template for other communities world-wide.
    The internship primarily includes researching local organizations, and creating entries in our wiki that include text, photos and videos. It may also include taking photographs and making videos related to permaculture as needed as well as helping promote the directory. Occasionally this position may also contribute to the Santa Cruz Permaculture blog.
    This is a 1-quarter 2-unit internship offered every quarter. Please see our other listing for the 6-month 10-unit internship offered twice a year (fall/winter, and spring/summer).


  • Save The Waves Festival License Intern

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    Save The Waves Festival License Intern

    Save The Waves Coalition is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the coastal environment, with an emphasis on the surf zone, and educating the public about its value.
    This position will be part of a small, ambitious, and fun team based in Davenport. This internship will provide the opportunity for a motivated intern to have a direct impact on the operations of a global nonprofit, which will enhance Save The Waves Coalition’s capacity to protect the coastal environment around the world. Some of the work will be exciting and creative, while other tasks will be purely administrative. This internship seeks a candidate who can thrive under both conditions.
    For more information please visit the website. Check out this video to find out more about the featured films in the festival  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NE_FWXCjKD8 

  • Seymour Marine Discovery Center at Long Marine Lab

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    Seymour Marine Discovery Center at Long Marine Lab: School Programs

    Listing also found in the Environmental Education tab. 

    Contact person: Jen Cormier, volunteers@ucsc.edu  (831) 459-3854

    The Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab is dedicated to educating people about the role scientific research plays in the understanding and conservation of the world's oceans. Teaching & Project interns assist with team-teaching K-12 students through hands-on marine science learning activities in a classroom setting and leading tours to outdoor sites at the marine lab (marine mammal research overlook, blue whale skeleton, touch tank, etc.)

    Read descriptions of Discovery Lab programs on the Seymour Center website.

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    Seymour Marine Discovery Center Docent Volunteer

    Listing also found in the Environmental Education tab. 

    Contact person: Jen Cormier, volunteers@ucsc.edu  (831) 459-3854

    The Seymour Marine Discovery Center at Long Marine Lab is currently recruiting for a Visitor Programs Docent Training Intern. Responsibilities include working with the Visitor Programs Manager to develop teaching materials for the docent training course held at the Seymour Center from January - March 2019. The intern will help set-up the room before each training starts, record lectures, upload videos to a training website, take notes, help clean up the classroom after each training, and many other various tasks. The intern must also create a presentation and present a selected marine science topic to the docent training class.