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.
Currently, internships can be difficult to find due to COVID-19—but TheBestSchools.org has some great suggestions in Internship Alternatives (If COVID-19 Canceled Yours).
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 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Coastal and Ocean Sciences maintains this list of links to resources, internships, camps, and other opportunities 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.
- Undergraduate Scholarship, Internship, and Fellowship Programs - NOAA's National Centers for Coastal and Ocean Sciences also maintains this list of undergraduate opportunities.
- Marine-Related Internship Information - OceanCareers.com lists information on internships, fellowships, and volunteer opportunities from a variety of organizations.
- MATE At-Sea Opportunities for College Students - The Marine Advanced Technology Education Center also has this listing of internship opportunities for college students.
- EnvironmentalScience.org - This comprehensive website provides information on environmental science internships, scholarships, degree programs, and career options.
- 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.
- Seacamp Internship (Big Pine Key, FL) - The Newfound Harbor Marine Institute offers programs in tropical marine science to visiting school groups, and the intern's primary responsibility is to develop and effectively lead these programs.
- Whitney Laboratory Experience for Undergraduates Program (St. Augustine, FL) - Funded by the National Science Foundation, this program offers an opportunity for undergraduates to participate in scientific research at this University of Florida laboratory.
- Virginia Institute of Marine Science Internships (Gloucester Point, VA) - Through this program, interns conduct an individualized project under the direction of a research scientist.
- College of Charleston Summer Research in Marine Biology (Charleston, SC) - This program combines formal classroom work with independent research.
- Shedd Aquarium Marine Mammal Internship (Chicago, IL) - Interns receive firsthand experience in data collection, food preparation, and marine mammal husbandry.
- Alaska SeaLife Center Fellowship Program (Seward, AK) - Interns gain experience in research, rehabilitation, public education, and conservation in North Pacific marine ecosystems.
- Aquarium of the Pacific College Internships (Long Beach, CA) - Internships are geared toward college students and recent graduates who are interested in playing a direct role in ensuring vital and healthy oceans.
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.
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.
- Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Jobs and Grants Page - CZM job postings are listed on this page.
- CZ-Mail - CZM publishes this monthly electronic newsletter, which includes coastal and marine job postings. To subscribe, send a blank email (please be sure that the email is completely blank, with no signature line) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- MassCareers - This website publishes all state job postings in Massachusetts.
- Coastal Employment Opportunities - This NOAA Office for Coastal Management website provides links to employment and personnel pages for many organizations involved in coastal zone management.
- USAJOBS.gov - This website is the official jobsite for the U.S. federal government.
- OceanCareers.com has a Find a Career page, which helps you look for a career by area of interest and alphabetical listing. Their Ocean-Related Professional Societies page provides an extensive alphabetic listing of groups that help professionals keep up-to-date on the latest developments in their field.
- Jobs and Careers - The Marine Advanced Technology Education Center maintains this extensive listing of links to professional career resources in marine and coastal fields.