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COAST Student Internships Summer 2022

​​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 edu​cation and outreach within local communities to reach more diverse audiences, 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 hybrid or remote participation may be offered or required based on circumstances. 

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 (1) internship is offered with the CINMS to assist in education and outreach related to ongoing research and monitoring efforts that support the sanctuary; this could include work related to projects taking place aboard the sanctuary’s research vessel (R/V Shearwater) in Channel Islands. Previous research missions that COAST interns have developed outreach materials for include: mapping missions to fill in bathymetry gaps within CINMS; paleoshoreline mapping and characterization missions in the sanctuary; SCUBA dive operations to study kelp forests, eelgrass beds, and giant sea bass movements; hydrophone retrieval and deployment operations to investigate soundscapes (natural and man-made sounds) within and outside of sanctuaries; and habitat characterization using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to survey deeper regions of the sanctuary. The specific details of the 2022 field season will be shaped prior to the start of the internship and may include activities related to CINMS priorities such as developing social media content using sanctuary soundscape data and audio files, developing deep-sea coral education and outreach products related to 2020 Nautilus and other past cruises, creating a Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary map catalog, assisting with the coordination of the sanctuary’s Get Into Your Sanctuary annual event, and assisting with a Sanctuary Advisory Council meeting.

Internship Responsibilities:

  1. Assist the CINMS Team Lead for Education and Outreach and Research Team with planning and coordination of datasets for different online outreach tools and products. 
  2. Assist CINMS Education and Outreach team with developing Deep Sea Coral education and outreach products related to 2020 Nautilus and other past expeditions. 
  3. Work with CINMS Volunteer and Outreach coordinator to plan and implement virtual and in person events associated with Get Into Your Sanctuary and ONMS 50th Anniversary “Save & Enjoy Spectacular'' events. Duties may include hosting a public webinar and supporting outreach activities to highlight these sanctuary initiatives including a focus on best practices for recreational fishing, marine debris prevention and community science.  
  4. 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 2022.
  5. 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.  
  6. Develop web site content and data visualizations for 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 COAST Intern will be invited (but not required) to participate in boat-based fieldwork opportunities. If they are comfortable with this, they must be a proficient swimmer, able to lift equipment weighing up to 50 pounds, and able to handle a variety of sea conditions.   

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, community-based stakeholder meetings (through our sanctuary advisory council), and outreach programs. The intern will learn how to operate within a small professional federal agency office and interact with research and education colleagues remotely. ​

Eligibility/Requirements: The internship is intended for an upper-class undergraduate student (juniors/seniors) or graduate student, in good academic standing with their university. The intern must be 18 years or older. A Federal background security check will be conducted, requiring the intern to provide fingerprints and two forms of valid identification. 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 Require​ments​​​