Southeast Fisheries Science Center Internships
Learn more about the internship and volunteer opportunities available through the Southeast Fisheries Science Center.
Internship and Volunteer Opportunities
The Southeast Fisheries Science Center has internships available through a partnership program with students from the MAST Academy in Miami, Florida. Other student internship opportunities may be available on an as-needed basis, but are limited.
Volunteer opportunities are available on an as-needed basis.
Internships with NOAA Fisheries' Shark Population Assessment Group - Panama City Laboratory
Throughout the year, internship positions are available for current upper-level undergraduates (incoming juniors or seniors) or recent university graduates (prior to graduate work) to work with the Shark Population Assessment Group. Internships encourage a close relationship between student and professional and also help focus those students interested in pursuing research careers in marine biology, fisheries science, population biology, ecology, or other applied sciences.
Internships are field intensive, requiring long hours on small boats in the sun. Interns participate in a fishery-independent population abundance survey called the GULFSPAN survey. The GULFSPAN survey consists of day trips two to three times per week to several bays and inlets in the panhandle of Florida. Interns also participate in the Smalltooth Sawfish Abundance Survey in the Florida Everglades. These are week-long excursions to southwest Florida; sampling takes place in Everglades National Park, the Ten Thousand Island National Wildlife Refuge, and Florida Bay.
In the field, interns aid staff biologists in sampling, identifying, measuring, tagging, collecting, and cataloging elasmobranch (sharks, rays, and skates) and teleost (ray-finned fish) samples. Interns are required to have a dry bag, hat, sunglasses, bathing suit, closed-toed water shoes, personal medications, and clothes that can get dirty. Interns are provided with basic protective equipment.
When not in the field, interns participate in ongoing studies of elasmobranch age and growth, bioenergetics, diet and foraging ecology, distribution and movement, and reproduction. Interns also have the opportunity participate in other laboratory activities and various research cruises.
Internship Dates and Deadlines
- Dates: between January and May.
- Deadline for application submission: October 31.
- Dates: between May and August
- Deadline for application submission: February 28.
- Dates: between August and December.
- Deadline for application submission: July 4.
All internships are unpaid and housing is not provided.
Interested? To begin the application process, email a cover letter stating for which internship (spring, summer, or fall) you would like to be considered to Alyssa.Mathers@noaa.gov. To complete your application, you are required to send a resume (or CV), an unofficial copy of your transcript(s), and have three professional references write a letter on your behalf. Applications must be completed by the deadlines stated above to be considered for that season.
Internships with NOAA Fisheries' Reef Fish Survey Team - Panama City Laboratory
Former interns preforming various tasks.
Internship positions are available throughout the year for current undergraduates or recent university graduates to work with the Reef Fish Survey Sampling Group at NOAA Fisheries’ Panama City Laboratory.
Interns participate in a fishery-independent reef fish survey, using stationary video camera arrays and traps to monitor population relative abundances. This survey takes place in depths of 10 to 50 meters, from waters offshore of Pensacola, Florida to Cedar Key, Florida. Camera and traps are deployed on natural, hard bottom reefs during 5-7 day trips aboard a research vessel. Other opportunities include participating in remotely operated vehicle (ROV) video sampling. This entails helping use a live-view remote-controlled vehicle to collect video information on fish community structure, relative abundance, and size structures. In the field, interns aid staff biologists in handling underwater video equipment, identifying, measuring, taking samples, tagging fish, handling a variety of marine electronics and data gathering equipment, and will become familiar with several sampling and data analysis techniques.
While the summer time is the height of our field season, there are plenty of opportunities in the winter for interns to get involved in field work. Along with the ROV and our fisheries-independent reef fish survey, interns can participate in side scan sonar mapping. This project involves towing a high-definition side scan sonar on single- and multi-day trips in order to find, classify, and measure areas of natural hard bottom.
When not in the field, interns participate in processing of fish samples, reading videos for fish counts, measuring fish through Geometric software, and processing sonar data by classifying and measuring hard bottom. Interns also have the opportunity to participate with other laboratory research groups.
All internships are unpaid and housing is not provided.
For more information, please contact Katherine.Overly@noaa.gov. To complete your application, you are required to send a resume (or CV), an unofficial copy of your transcript(s), and have three professional references write a letter on your behalf.
- Shark Population Assessment Group
- Surveys and Tagging
- Reef Fish Survey Team
- Fishery-Independent Surveys and Habitat Mapping