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COAST Student Internships Summer 2021

​​Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary 

Ocean Exploration Internship


Host:  The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) is one of 14 special marine protected areas designated and administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS). CINMS manages diverse and productive marine ecosystems through a combination of regulatory and non-regulatory programs. CINMS programs focus on conducting and coordinating research and monitoring, organizing and carrying out education and outreach within local communities, and, most importantly, ensuring natural and cultural resources are protected while allowing uses that are sustainable.

Location:  Based in Santa Barbara (map) with occasional travel to coastal communities in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties (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. 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.

Internship Focus: One (1) internship is offered with the CINMS to assist in ongoing research and monitoring efforts that support the sanctuary. A major project that the intern will engage in will be the execution of sanctuary education and outreach related to a research mission aboard either the sanctuary’s research vessel (R/V Shearwater) or larger ships of opportunity that may be conducting work in Channel Islands. Previous research missions have included collection of multibeam and sidescan sonar data to fill in gaps in CINMS bathymetry maps, paleoshoreline mapping and characterization around the sanctuary, SCUBA dive operations to study kelp forests and eelgrass beds, and habitat characterization using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to survey deeper regions of the sanctuary. The specific details of the 2021 field season will be shaped prior to the start of the internship and may include activities related to CINMS priorities such as developing a story map of sanctuary soundscape data and audio files, developing deep-sea coral education and outreach products related to the ​Nautilus 2020 Expedition​, creating a Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary map catalog, and assisting with the coordination of the sanctuary’s Get Into Your Sanctuary annual event.

Internship Responsibilities:

    1. Assist the CINMS Team Lead for Education and Outreach and Research Team with planning and coordination of datasets and audio files for Sea Sketch Sanctuary Soundscapes story map.  
    2. Assist CINMS Education and Outreach team with developing Deep Sea Coral education and outreach products related to the Nautilus 2020 Expedition. The intern will also help assemble a digital map catalog and ensure all map products are current with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Best Practices. Finally, the intern will work with CINMS Volunteer and Outreach coordinator to plan and implement virtual and in person events associated with Get Into Your Sanctuary Day.  
    3. Assist the CINMS Research Coordinator and Team Lead for Education and Outreach with implementation of a variety of fieldwork coordination and education programming activities that will occur during research cruises in June or July 2021.
    4. Work as an effective member of the sanctuary research and education teams through participation in regular meetings, and contributing to various reporting requirements (e.g., weekly accomplishment reports). The intern will also help support the July Sanctuary Advisory Council Meeting.  
    5. Develop web site content and data visualizations from different research initiatives.  Intern will be responsible for distributing social media posts for the sanctuary prior to and during the research cruises to highlight the scientific approaches and findings of the mission.

​​Preferred Experience and Capabilities: Experience or academic training in resource management, environmental sciences, or biological sciences. Some experience working with scientific instrumentation is desirable. 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 with researchers and sanctuary colleagues. Ideal candidates should be self-motivated, creative, innovative, and comfortable working with a diverse team in a fast-paced, collaborative environment. Also important is the ability to effectively manage multiple projects, and enthusiasm about marine science, stewardship and conservation.  Proficiency in using computers is essential. The work may include some heavy lifting of equipment (up to 50 pounds) and fieldwork on boat platforms in varying sea conditions within and around CINMS.

Skills Gained: The intern will learn about current research and monitoring efforts underway at CINMS, develop best practices for communication and outreach, and gain an understanding of the importance of marine science to support sound resource management. The intern will gain experience working with a small team to plan vessel-based marine research, sanctuary advisory council meeting, and outreach programs. Intern will learn how to operate within a small professional office and interact with research and education colleagues remotely. ​

Eligibility/Requirements: A Federal background security check requiring the intern to provide fingerprints and two forms of valid identification will be conducted.​ The intern will be required to provide their own laptop for daily use. ​Applicants are also subject to gener​al eligibility requirements.


Return to Announcement for Application and Addition​al Requirements​​