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CZ-Tip - Internship/Job-Search Resources: Get into the Blue

Find ways to get to, protect, and enjoy the coast with tips from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM).

With more than 70% of Earth's surface covered in ocean, it's not surprising how many marine-related professions there are to choose from. Some have you literally out in the field or on or in the water (e.g., extreme-science coastal geologist), others have you working directly with sea creatures (e.g., marine mammal trainer), and still others surround you with test tubes and technology (laboratory research). Additionally, many marine management and coastal protection organizations and government agencies need people with expertise in policy development, planning, GIS, law, science, and communications (covering advocacy, education, fundraising, journalism, photography, and even film making). There are hundreds of possibilities, so if the blue calls to you, check out the links below to learn more.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) student opportunities database lists opportunities for students at all levels (from kindergarten through high school, undergraduate and graduate, and even recent graduates) and includes one-day events, summer internships, multi-year fellowships, and more. And for a mix of postings for jobs, scholarships, funding, and other items from industry, government, academia, and nonprofits based in New England, check out New England Marine Science Opportunities. This Google Group provides a moderated platform for sharing these postings.

High School Internships

For high school students ready to get wet behind the ears, here are some excellent resources.

  • MATE Internship Listing - The Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center works to help prepare America's future workforce for ocean-related occupations and maintains this list of national and international opportunities.
  • Woods Hole Science Aquarium Summer Intern Program - Located in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, the aquarium has a summer program that gives students a chance to learn about marine animals and environments, aquarium operations, and careers in marine science and related fields.
  • High School Student Opportunities - The NOAA Student opportunities database includes options for high school students.
  • Internships and Fellowships - This list published by Sea Grant provides a list of intern and fellowship opportunities for marine-related careers, including several in Massachusetts.

College Internships and Fellowships

If the college you attend doesn't offer coastal courses or ocean-related internship/fellowship opportunities, or you want to explore a different geographic area, see these sites.

  • Marine Science Internships Abroad - GoAbroad.com compiles this extensive list of volunteer and paid marine-related internships from Australia to Thailand, and many points in between.
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Guest Student Program (Woods Hole, MA) - Through this informal internship program, a limited number of undergraduates become Guest Students in WHOI laboratories on a year-round basis. Advanced high school students from Upper Cape Cod and the Islands may also be eligible.
  • Marine Wildlife Internships (Southeastern Massachusetts) - The New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance offers internships for college students (as well as high school students and professionals) in southeastern Massachusetts.
  • Cape Cod National Seashore Internships (Cape Cod, MA) - A variety of flexible internship opportunities are available for students to learn about research, monitoring, and stewardship activities at the Cape Cod National Seashore.
  • Five College Coastal & Marine Sciences Program Internships (Amherst area, MA) - Students from the "Five Colleges" (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith, and UMass Amherst) can apply for these paid internships. The site also includes links to other internship options.
  • Shoals Marine Laboratory Undergraduate Internships (Appledore Island, ME) - Located on 95-acre Appledore Island, the lab offers a variety of internship opportunities for undergraduates.
  • Shedd Aquarium Internship (Chicago, IL) - Internships opportunities in various topics, including fishes, marine mammals, conservation, public relations, and veterinary fields.

Graduate Fellowships and Early Career Opportunities

The links below focus on graduate-level opportunities.

  • Coastal Management Fellowships - The NOAA Office for Coastal Management posts this list of graduate coastal and marine fellowship opportunities.
  • Graduate Scholarship, Internship, Fellowship, and Research Programs - NOAA's National Centers for Coastal and Ocean Sciences also maintains this list of graduate-level opportunities.
  • Environmental Fellowship Opportunities - This Columbia University web page includes links to dozens of fellowship opportunities.
  • Smithsonian Fellowships - This web page provides a listing of all the graduate and post-graduate fellowship opportunities available through the Smithsonian.
  • NOAA Fisheries/Sea Grant Fellowship Program - Ph.D. candidates are eligible for this program in population dynamics and marine resource economics.
  • Black Girl Environmentalist Fellowship Program - In honor of the mother of the environmental justice movement, Hazel M. Johnson, Black Girl Environmentalist began this fellowship program in the Summer of 2024 for early career Black women and gender-expansive persons in the United States. Fellows are placed with a partner organization for a 10-week summer internship and cohort experience, gaining the skills, resources, and connections necessary to enter and stay in the environmental and climate sector.

Job Postings

For those who have completed their education (at least for now), these job-search resources are an excellent way to find coastal and marine careers.

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