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COAST Student Internships Summer 2021

​​National Marine Fisheries Service

West Coast Region Sustainable Fisheries Division 

Highly Migratory Species Internship


Host:  NOAA Fisheries, West Coast Region (WCR) is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation's living marine resources through scientific research, fisheries management, enforcement, and habitat conservation. The Sustainable Fisheries Division (SFD) oversees the conservation of marine resources and the management of sustainable commercial, recreational, and tribal fisheries on the West Coast. SFD’s​ Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Program works to develop, implement, and evaluate policies and regulations for managing sustainable fisheries for eastern Pacific Ocean species such as Pacific tunas, swordfish, sharks, and billfish at both national and international scales.​

Location: Long Beach (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 are flexible with regard to student’s academic commitments and project schedule. 

Stipend: $6,000

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 percent, the stipend will be pro-rated.

Position Description and Responsibilities: The HMS Program of the WCR works with staff from the Pacific Islands Regional Office, the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, and the Southwest Fisheries Science Center to interpret scientific findings on the status of highly migratory species stocks, including tunas, swordfish, sharks and billfish, and influence decision-makers’ adoption of appropriate management measures based on status determinations. The stock status of species, especially when determined to be overfished or subject to overfishing, serves as a foundation for deciding future federal fishery conservation and management actions. Due to the transboundary nature of highly migratory species stocks, these federal decisions must also take a broader international context into account. NOAA Fisheries staff in the regions also work with Headquarters’ staff to fulfill the agency’s obligations to annually report the status of all federally-managed stocks to fishery management councils and Congress and to communicate the latest information on the catch and sustainability of U.S. seafood to the public at-large. Status of and adequate protections for striped marlin is of particular interest to the West Coast sportfishing sector and has become a topic of increasing interest to decision makers as they seek to identify alternative forms of fishing for highly migratory species off the West Coast, namely swordfish.

One (1) internship is offered during the summer of 2021 to work with NOAA Fisheries staff to document the status of striped marlin and present considerations for management of this species in the eastern Pacific Ocean. To complete the project, the intern will need to interpret policies for determining and reporting the status of highly migratory species stocks of the Pacific Ocean and oversee the day-to-day execution of the project including 

    • ​​Compiling data on the status of stocks. 
    • Evaluating data for quality assurance. 
    • Analyzing agency and stakeholder positions. 
    • Presenting analytical and management considerations in a clear and meaningful way. 

The intern will work with HMS Program staff to effectively determine research needs, gather information, and plan project milestones. Duties include meeting with project partners, facilitating ongoing communication on the status of the project, interpreting scientific results and relevant laws and policies, and soliciting and incorporating feedback. The intern will be expected to organize and deliver project results to staff across various NOAA Fisheries offices. A presentation and summary report are expected at the completion of the internship. Additional duties may include interviews of NOAA Fisheries staff and/or stakeholders, providing input to NOAA Fisheries Species Information System or FishWatch, communicating stock status issues to NOAA Fisheries leadership, and promoting responsible fisheries management in support of a sustainable U.S. seafood supply. 

Preferred Experience and Capabilities: This internship will require excellent verbal, written, and organizational skills. Intern must have the ability to take initiative and work independently, and operate in a team-oriented setting. Some graduate level coursework and experience with data analysis (MS Office) is desired. Previous experience working on fisheries management and conservation issues is a plus. Core internship duties may be performed by students with physical disabilities or limitations.  ​​

Skills Gained: The intern will gain perspective on the confluence of science, management, and policy issues related to sustainable fisheries in both a domestic and international context. Specifically, the intern will acquire experience in project management while working in collaboration with professional fishery scientists and managers. The intern will be able to contribute to the development of a scientific basis for agency positions and gain experience communicating the status of highly migratory species stocks in the Pacific Ocean to fishery management decision-makers, Congress, and the public.

Eligibility/Requirements: The internship is intended for graduate students seeking STEM or STEM related degrees. Applicants must be able to work independently and interact in a professional manner with project partners, the public, and NOAA Fisheries staff. Interns must be able to keep excellent notes and organize various streams of information into a coordinated action plan. A Federal background investigation, to include fingerprints and character references, is required.​ Applicants are also subject to general eligibility requiremen​ts​.​​


Return to Announcement for Application and Additional Requirem​ents​