COAST Student Internships Summer 2021

California Department of Fish and Wildlife ​Marine Region

Emerging Box Crab Fishery​ Internship

Host: The mission of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is to manage California's diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public. The Invertebrate Management Project​ conducts ecosystem surveys, fisherman interviews, and laboratory-based ecological research to aid in science-based management of California’s marine invertebrate resources.

Location: Santa Barbara (map​) or San Diego​ ​(map​​(planning for in-person participation but will transition to hybrid or remote if necessary)

Internship Dates: June 1 - August 13, 2021; start and end dates flexible with regard to student’s academic commitments. 

Stipend: $6,000

Time Commitment: The internship is a full time, 11-week commitment. Hours may include multi-day or long single days in the field (10-12 hours) and may occasionally include weekends. 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: One internship is available working with CDFW scientists to conduct research on invertebrate fisheries, primarily box crabs. An experimental fishery for box crab is underway to evaluate the potential for creating a commercial fishery, and to determine the primary fishery design elements. The intern will work closely with CDFW staff and commercial fishermen to conduct research on box crabs as part of a collaborative at-sea sampling program. Work will require frequent single- or multi-day trips on commercial fishing vessels to assist with crab tag-recapture studies as well as other projects. Accommodation on overnight fishing expeditions is expected to be a bunk in a common cabin space shared by fishermen. If possible, the intern will be given a leadership role in coordinating and conducting tag-recapture field work as well as data entry, quality control, and analysis. Depending on needs, the intern may assist with studies of other established and emerging invertebrate fisheries. The intern will also learn about general CDFW processes for management of commercial and recreational fisheries including data collection, entry, management, and analysis as well as preparation of materials for presentations and reports. At the end of the internship, the intern will be expected to provide a report summarizing the results of their activities. 

Preferred Experience and Capabilities: This internship will require excellent verbal, written, and organizational skills. Candidates are expected to be comfortable on the water and will need to exhibit independence, safety and responsibility while at sea. Experience with MS Office is desired. Additionally, the ability to lift 50 pounds is needed. Knowledge of marine invertebrate taxonomy and ecology is a plus. Understanding of statistical concepts and methods is also a plus.

Skills Gained: The intern will learn about the information needed to develop emerging fisheries and the types of research studies that may be used to collect that information. The intern will gain experience working with a team of investigators in field and professional settings. The intern will assist with or may take a leadership role in designing and executing hypothesis-based research and translating that information so that it is relevant for management.    

Eligibility/Requirements: Interns must be able to work independently and interact in a professional manner with fishermen, the public and other CDFW staff. Interns must be able to keep excellent notes and organize various streams of information into technical reports.

Intern must be able to get to the local CDFW field office (San Diego or Santa Barbara) daily, and occasionally to local harbors in these areas. Travel aboard commercial fishing vessels is required to execute this project. Work will include occasional lifting of heavy research gear and biological samples. Ability to transport self and gear to office, lab and boat sites is required. ​Applicants are also subject to general eligibility requirements.