COAST Student Internships Summer 2023

The application period for the Summe​r 2023 internships is now closed.​

Want to get paid to explore the ocean, learn about marine policy, or help protect marine species?
Then apply for a COAST Summer Student Internship today!

No GPA minimum, no Letter of Recommendation required, no prior research experie​nce needed! 

​Please read this entire page in detail BEFORE you apply to this opportunity to ensure you are applying correctly and following all instructions. Incorrectly submitted applications will not be reviewed. 

Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 1, 2023, 5:00 pm PST

Internship Dates:  June 1 - August 16, 2023

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 prorated. See individual descriptions for additional details specific to each internship. 

Stipend: $8,000

Informational Webinar: Wednesday, February 8, 2023​ | Recording​ | Slides

Jump to: Eligibility | Application Instructions | Professional Reference | Previous Application Examples​ 

Frequently Asked Questions

The CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology (COAST) is offering paid internships for continuing CSU undergraduate and graduate students for Summer 2023. Interns will be placed with a host institution where they will work side-by-side with professionals on current scientific research, policy, and resource management projects. This is an excellent opportunity for CSU students to gain valuable experience and technical skills while working with experts in marine fisheries, ecology, policy and technology!

Students who are members of groups that have been historically excluded from marine and coastal science, including students who are Hispanic, Latina/o, Black or African American, Asian, Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaska Native; female; LGBTQIA+; first-generation college students; economically disadvantaged; veterans; and students with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants of any race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, dis/ability or veteran status are welcome. 

Individual internships may have their own requirements for citizenship or immigration status (e.g., permission to work in the US). Please check the Eligibility/Requirements section of each description for this information. Some internships do not have any requirements for identification or documentation and undocumented students are encouraged to apply to these opportunities.

Please click on the red internship titles in the table below for individual internship descriptions. General eligibility requirements and application instructions are provided below the table. Individual internships may have additional eligibility requirements. A list of frequently asked application questions can be found here

PLEASE NOTE: Most internship hosts are planning for in-person participation but see individual descriptions for specifics. Hybrid or remote participation may be offered or required​ based on circumstances. 

Internship Host

Internship Title (click on the red internship titles for individual internship descriptions)
Location and Format
​(see individual internship descriptions for full details)

​Aquarium of the Pacific

Sea Otter Surrogacy Program+

​Long Beach (in-person)

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Aquaculture and Animal Husbandry
(2 positions)​+

San Pedro (in-person)

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Marine Region

California Spiny Lobster Fishery Management

San Diego (hybrid)​

White Abalone Restoration

Kelp Restoration and Management 
(2 positions)+

​Santa Rosa (in-person)

​Whale Safe Fisheries Project+

Monterey (in-person with some remote work)

California Ocean Science Trust

Science to Accelerate Equitable Climate Adaptation+

Primarily remote; office is in Sacramento; some in-person participation may occur if the opportunity arises.

California State Lands Commission 

Environmental Justice Policy Implementation and Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion+

Remote; in-person participation may be offered if the intern is near Sacramento or Long Beach.

Marine Invasive Species Program+


Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary 

Ocean Exploration​​+

Santa Barbara (in-person)

NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Coast Watch West Coast Regional Node

Ocean Satellite Data+


NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Protected Resources Division

Abalone Conservation

Long Beach (hybrid)

NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service,
Southwest Fisheries Science Center

Coastal, Marine, & Natural Resource Social Science Research+

Santa Cruz (hybrid; fully remote participation may be offered or required based on circumstances​)

Deep-Water Data Analysis+

​Santa Cruz (in-person; hybrid or remote participation may be offered or required)

NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, West Coast Region

 Ocean Policy​

Monterey (in-person participation highly preferred, however there is an option for hybrid/remote participation)

San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission

Adapting to Rising Tides ​Program+

San Francisco (hybrid)

+Core internship duties may be performed by students with physical disabilities or limitations.   

All internship offerings are contingent upon funding. 

General Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be continuing CSU students in good standing. You must be enrolled in the same degree program at the same CSU for Fall 2023 as at the time of application. Graduating seniors are not eligible to apply. 

Undergraduate students must complete at least two full years of coursework by the end of Spring 2023 and be considered at least a Junior at the beginning of Fall 2023 (i.e., 60 semester units or 90 quarter units completed). Graduate students must be enrolled in a degree program. Both part-time and full-time students may apply.

Applicants are not required to be U.S. citizens; international students are eligible to apply. Some individual internships may require students to be U.S. citizens and/or pass a federal background check, including fingerprints and character references. If a background check is not required, undocumented students may be eligible to apply. Please see individual descriptions for specific requirements.

Activities and qualifications vary with each internship. Each internship has specific preferred experience and capabilities, eligibility/requirements (including coursework, skills and physical capabilities) and is based in a specific geographic area. If selected, it is expected that the intern will be able to relocate to the specific area for the entirety of the internship if in-person participation is expected. Several internships require working with data in an office setting and the core duties may be performed by students with physical disabilities or limitations while others require intense fieldwork and have extreme physical requirements such as:

  • Carrying equipment up to 50 pounds
  • Working in remote locations,
  • Working out of small boats,
  • Controlling equipment and accurately and legibly recording data during harsh weather conditions.

Application Materials and Procedures

To apply, you must submit a Google Form with your Application Package(s) attached. You may apply for up to FOUR internships. 

You will complete ONE Google Form (​ission*)​ and attach your Application Package(s) to it. You must submit a separate Application Package for EACH internship you wish to be considered for. For example, if you are applying to FOUR internships, you will attach FOUR Application Packages (each with all three components listed below) to ONE Google Form.

An Application Package has THREE components:

1. Applicatio​n Form (Click on the red link to download the Application Form​​​)

- You will complete an individual Application Form for each internship you are applying for. 

- Please note that this is NOT the same as the Google Form noted above.

- All information on this form must be typed. 

- You will provide contact information of one professional reference (more information below).

- Examples of strong applications from previous interns can be found below.

2. Professional resume (two-page maximum) 

- For tips on resume building and example resumes, please see

3. Transcripts

- Submit your FULL transcripts (including GPA) from ALL institutions attended (community college, undergraduate and graduate).

- Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.

- Ensure that transcript files are not protected documents. 

Each Application Package you submit must include all of the items listed above, compiled in that order, as ONE PDF file. Name each Application Package using the following convention: ApplicantLastName_FirstName_InternshipTitle.pdf. 

Please note: Google Forms will send you an email confirming your submission. Please keep this email. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please contact COAST ( immediately. COAST is not responsible for applications that were not successfully submitted if applicants cannot provide a copy of the Google Forms confirmation email.

*What to do if you receive an error message stating that "uploading files is not permitted when data loss prevention is enabled for your domain" when you try submitting your applications through the Google Form (​): This error message could be a result of accessing the form while on your campus's network that has security settings preventing you from accessing the form. Try submitting again from an off-campus location to fix this issue. If you continue to have problems, please contact​ before the deadline.

Professional Reference ​

​On the last page of the Application Form, we ask you to provide the name and contact information of someone who can serve as a reference for you. This should be someone who knows you well and in an academic or professional context. Your reference cannot be a family member, close personal friend or family friend. Here are some tips on how to ask for someone to serve as a professional reference:

  • ​​​First, identify someone who would serve as a good reference. Ideally, this should be someone who is a current (or former) employer, professor, supervisor, coach or other academic or professional mentor.
  • To ensure that the person you list is willing to serve as a reference for you, be sure to give them enough time to respond before you apply.
  • In your request, describe the internship program, which internships you are applying for, and provide links to our webpage so they can learn more.
  • Keep your request concise and professional. It may be helpful to provide them with your resume so they can have the materials they need to prepare responses to questions they may be asked if you are selected for an internship.
  • Confirm their contact information so you know what phone number and email address you should provide in your application. 

Examples of Applications from Previous Interns

The examples below from students who were selected to be COAST interns are provided to help potential applicants understand what makes for a strong application. Each of the example applications demonstrates significant effort on the applicant’s part to develop a thorough, detailed, well-written application. 

Please note: 1) these are examples of the Application Form only. See Application Materials and Procedures​ above for a list of materials required for a complete Application Package. 2) We have changed some parts of the Application Form this year,​ so the form you complete will be different from the form in the examples below.  

Cerille (Micah) Castrillo, Undergraduate, Dominguez Hills: Very strong, thorough, well-written application. The applicant includes a personal story that provides context for her interest in a specific internship.   

Anonymous Graduate, Northridge: Very thorough, detailed application. Note that this applicant was a graduate student so understandably has more field and laboratory experience than an undergraduate student would have. Excellent writing. 

Christopher Ewert, Undergraduate, San Luis Obispo: Excellent academic coursework section that highlights what the applicant felt he learned in each of these courses. Overall, the writing is concise and very focused throughout the application. Please note: the applicant requested that his GPA (2.90) be displayed to demonstrate that students with a GPA <3.0 can be competitive in this program and succeed in securing an internship! 

Gabby Yang, Undergraduate, Pomona: Strong, detailed application with great writing and specific examples. All of the sections are very good, and the field and laboratory experience section stands out because of the specific detail provided. ​

 Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 1, 2023, 5:00 pm PST. 
All materials must be submitted by this deadline in order for your application to be complete. ​

Applicants should consult with appropriate personnel on their home campus concerning the potential impact of support provided through COAST internships on other forms of compensation already received from or through their university, including financial aid.

A list of frequently asked application questions can be found here. Please direct all additional questions to the COAST Program Analyst, Kimberly Jassowski (

Internship Flyer​​ 

This program is made possible with generous financial support from our host institutions. Thank you!



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