COAST Student Internships Summer 2024

Admissions for Summer 2024 COAST Internships have officially closed.

​​Please check back in December 2024 to apply for future summer internship opportunities.

​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, February 28, 2024, 5:00 pm PST - NOW CLOSED

Internship Dates:  June 3 - August 16, 2024

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

Contact: COAST Student Success Specialist Adam Paganini at [email protected]

Jump to: Available​ Internship Opp​ortunities | ​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 2024. 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, Alaska Native or a combination of ethnicities; noncitizens; female; LGBTQIA+; first-in-family; economically disadvantaged; veterans; have disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants of any race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, immigration status, 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

Abalone Recovery+

​Long Beach (in-person)
Sea Otter Surrogacy 

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

Animal Care and Research​ 
(2 positions)​+

San Pedro (in-person)

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Marine Region

Kelp Restoration and Marine Algae Management
(2 positions)+

Santa Rosa (in-person)

​California Marine Sanctuary Foundation & Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary


Monterey (in-person)​

Urban Water Quality

Monterey (hybrid)​​​

California Ocean Science Trust

Science to Accelerate Equitable Climate Adaptation ​​(2 positions)+

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

California State Lands Commission 

Marine Invasive Species Program​+

Remote; in-person participation may be offered if the intern is near Long Beach or within the greater San Francisco Bay Delta region​.

Tribal Resources+

Remote; in-person participation may be offered if the intern is near Long Beach or within the greater San Francisco Bay Delta region.​

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary 

Conservation Science and Engagement+

Santa Barbara (in-person)

​The Nature Conservancy 

​Bull Kelp Forest Ecosystem Research and Restoration​ ​(2 positions)​+

​Fort Bragg (in-person)
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Coast Watch PolarWatch Node

Satellite Data Scientist​+


NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Protected Resources Division

Abalone Conservation​​​+

Long Beach (hybrid)

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)

Orange County Coastkeeper

Marine Restoration​+

Costa Mesa (i​n-person)

San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission​​​

Adapting to Ris​ing 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 2024 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 2024 and be considered at least a Junior at the beginning of Fall 2024 (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

Please see the table above for a list of all available internship opportunities and read the below​ step-by-step instructions carefully before you proceed with applying.

Step 1. Confirm that you are eligible for this program! 
Read this page in its entirety and make sure it's the right opportunity for you. Please confirm you are eligible for this opportunity before you dedicate time to applying. Please see our general eligibility information here and make sure you review individual internship descriptions for additional eligibility requirements.

Step 2. Fill out an Application Document
​The next step when applying for a COAST Summer Internship is to fill out an Application Document (​). You will fill out one Application Document for each internship you wish to apply for based on the table of internship opportunities above. You may apply for up to THREE internships. Tip: Fill out the Application Document as a Microsoft Word Document and save it as a PDF, so that you can easily combine it with other materials outlined in Step 3 below.

​​Step 3. Create an Application Package
​An Application Package consists of the following materials combined into ONE PDF in the following order:

  1. Application Document (as outlined in Step 2)
    • ​​You will complete this Application Document for each internship you are applying for (up to THREE).​
    • All information on the Application Document must be typed.
    • You will provide the contact information of at least one Professional Reference on the last page of the Application Document (more information below).​​ You may submit contact information for a second Professional Reference if desired. 
  2. Résumé (two-page maximum) 
  3. Unofficial transcripts 
    • ​​​Submit your FULL transcripts (including GPA) from ALL institutions attended (community college, undergraduate and graduate).
    • Ensure that transcript files are not protected documents.​​​​
​​Each Application Package you submit must include all three of the items listed above (Application Document, résumé, & unofficial transcripts) and must be combined in that order into ONE SINGLE PDF file. Save and name each Application Package PDF using the following naming convention: ApplicantLastName_FirstName_InternshipTitle.pdf. 

​​​​Step 4. Submit via the Application Submission Portal

Once you have prepared a single PDF Application Package for each internship you wish to apply for, upload your Application Package(s) in the Application Submission Portal​ (​​). Remember, you will prepare a single PDF Application Package for EACH internship you wish to apply for. You may apply for up to THREE internships. You will complete the Application Submission Portal process ONCE and upload your Application Package(s) to it and click submit.

You will receive an email confirming your submission. Please keep this email. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please contact the COAST Student Success Specialist, Adam Paganini ([email protected])​ ​immediately. COAST is not responsible for applications that were not successfully submitted if applicants cannot provide a copy of the Application Submission Portal confirmation email.

If you are having trouble using the Application Submission Portal or are unable to upload your document(s), please contact the COAST Student Success Specialist, Adam Paganini ([email protected]), before the application deadline.​​

Professional Reference ​

​On the last page of the Application Document, 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 Strong 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, February 28, 2024, 5:00 pm Pacific Time. 
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 Student Success Specialist, Adam Paganini ([email protected])​.

Internship Flyer​​​ 

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