COAST Student Internships Summer 2022

​Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary 

Indigenous Community Engagement Strategy Internship


Host: Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) is one of 17 special marine protected areas designated and administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS). Sanctuary staff manage diverse and productive marine ecosystems through a combination of regulatory and non-regulatory programs. These programs focus on conducting and coordinating research and monitoring, organizing and carrying out education and outreach within local communities, and most importantly ensuring natural resources are protected while allowing uses that are sustainable.

Location: Office space will be available in Monterey, CA. Depending on COVID conditions, the amount of remote work could range from 20 to 100 percent. 

Internship Dates: June 1 - August 16, 2022; start and end dates flexible with regard to student’s academic commitments.

Stipend: $6,000. Up to $2,000 in additional funding will be available to students who must relocate to participate in the internship.​​​

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.

Internship Focus: One internship (1) is offered to work side-by-side with the MBNMS superintendent, research ecologist, and other staff members on a project focused on developing an engagement strategy for the Indigenous Communities adjacent to the sanctuary. In 2021, ONMS produced a Roadmap to Working with Indigenous Communities to better recognize and engage with Indigenous Communities and their relationships with resources connected to national marine sanctuaries. These connections to place are central to the identities and cultures of Indigenous peoples. Recognizing and valuing these relationships is essential to ONMS’ mission to protect these nationally significant places for current and future generations. The Roadmap will serve as a framework for developing an engagement strategy for our sanctuary.

Project Responsibilities:

  1. Sanctuary staff will have already made some progress on development of the engagement strategy; the intern will assist in providing additional detail where needed. 
  2. Conduct background research on traditional ecological knowledge and cultural practices of the local Indigenous Communities adjacent to the sanctuary.
  3. Identify what to highlight of the Indigenous Community knowledge and cultural practices in sanctuary signage, websites, videos, visitor centers, cooperative science, and other projects. Emphasis on producing materials in native languages.
  4. Write a summary report highlighting the methods, analyses and general results.​

​​Preferred Experience and Capabilities: Experience or academic training in conducting research and managing data in cultural, biological, or environmental sciences. The successful candidate must be highly organized with the ability to work independently as well as within a team setting, and able to effectively communicate (orally and in writing). Ideal candidates should be self-motivated, creative, innovative, and comfortable working with a diverse team in a collaborative environment. Also important is the ability to effectively manage multiple projects, and enthusiasm about marine and cultural science, stewardship and conservation. Proficiency in using computers is essential and familiarity with the Google suite of products is a plus.

Skills Gained: The intern will learn about Indigenous Communities adjacent to the sanctuary, and gain an understanding of the importance ONMS places on embracing their responsibility and opportunity to work with Indigenous Communities to better understand and recognize their rights, responsibilities, knowledge, and connections to places (including resources) that are a part of national marine sanctuaries and monuments. The intern will gain experience working with a small team, and working independently to plan and create a product to enhance sanctuary conservation. The intern will learn how to operate within a small professional office and interact with staff researchers. 

Eligibility/Requirements: The internship is intended for an upper-class undergraduate student (seniors) or graduate student, in good academic standing with their university. Intern must be 18 years or older. To work on site at the MBNMS offices in Monterey, the intern must be a U.S. citizen and pass a federal background investigation, including fingerprints and character references. Alternatively, the intern may choose to work entirely remotely, in which case a background check will not be required and the intern will not be required to present any official government issued identification.​ Applicants are also subject to gener​al eligibility requirements.


Return to Announcement for Application and Addition​al Require​ments​​​