Field Work Inspires Manatee Photo-identification Interns

Interested in manatee research? Join the manatee photo-identification team and study manatees in their natural habitat.

By joining the photo-identification team, you will gain countless skills important in the field of wildlife research as you observe and photograph manatees, collect behavioral and environmental data, and assist with lab-based photo-identification tasks.

Current Internship Opportunities

Manatee Photo-ID Internship Information

What past interns say about the program:


“I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone looking to gain valuable research experience in an extremely organized program.”

Emma Jones
Summer 2017


“All of the staff I worked with, including Marine Mammal Pathobiology Lab staff, were always welcoming and friendly, easily approachable, willing to answer any questions I had, and just fun to work with.”


Erik Rohrkaste
Winter 2016-2017


Elizabeth Horner

 “It was a great experience to be involved in actual efforts supporting research and conservation. It immerses you in the data collection aspect of research and provides valuable experience.”

Elizabeth Horner
Summer 2016

Shelby Yahn

"I cannot emphasize enough how exciting and unique it was during an internship to be integrated directly into a research team instead of feeling like an accessory. I would absolutely recommend this internship to others. It was an amazing experience and I feel that I have become a better researcher from the skills and experiences that I have acquired here.  After leaving this internship, I feel motivated and encouraged for my future as a researcher.” 

Shelby Yahn
Winter 2015-2016

Sara Wappes

"I learned a lot and added quite a few skills to my repertoire. In addition, I got to meet and work with some very wonderful and knowledgeable staff members that are experts in their field. Oh, and getting to look at manatees all day long was just an added bonus!"

Sara Wappes
Summer 2015

Emma Decloe

“The program exceeded my expectations, not only was I responsible for independently conducting photo-identification at weekly field sites, but I also got to be involved in many other projects; genetics, Crystal River captures, Everglades photo-ID, and a necropsy.”

Emma Decloe
Winter 2014-2015

 Christina Perazio

"By the time I was going into the field alone I felt comfortable and confident in all the procedures. I was so happy with the level of responsibility I was given both in the field and in the lab."

Christina Perazio
Summer 2014

 Megan Begley

"[The internship] boosted my confidence in my ability to learn and become comfortable with a task that is completely unfamiliar."

Megan Begley
Winter 2013-14


 Allison Honaker

“My program met my expectations fully! It was everything I was looking for in an internship and exceeded my expectations in how much I was able to accomplish and learn.”

Allison Honaker
Winter 2012-13

 Marranda Lane

"I would definitely recommend this program. It has truly been one of the best experiences I have ever had. It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it!"

Marannda Lane
Summer 2012

 Stefanie Wolf

“My supervisors were all fantastic.  They were extremely approachable and they treated me like their co-worker rather than an intern.”

Stefanie Wolf
Winter 2011-12

 Roni Shen

"Staff were very supportive throughout my internship and went above and beyond to provide me with a valuable learning experience." 

Roni Shen
Fall 2011

Megan Farris "I felt I was very well trained.  This gave me the confidence, once I was on my own, that I was completing the job properly.  The goals [of the program] were clear and executed professionally."

Megan Farris
Summer 2011
Intern Jen Morris

"The program fully met my expectations.  It was a great learning experience.  I fully enjoyed the field experience and now feel comfortable and confident in moving forward with my career and knowing what to expect for field research positions."

Jennifer Morris
Winter 2010-11

Intern Erin Percifull "Supervisors / direct staff I worked under were helpful and approachable. They were very professional, positive, and gave constructive tips to help me improve!"

Erin Percifull
Spring 2010

"The field work was what I expected but with bonus time spent at the Marine Mammal Pathobiology Lab-which turned out to be a great learning experience. My expectations about the general research conducted were spot on with the description of the program given to me (by the program manager). My best experience was my first day on the boat using the trolling motor, maneuvering around all the manatees at Bartow."

Theresa Scarano
Winter 2009-10


"I am passionate about both marine science and photography, and this program gave me the opportunity to do both. My supervisor also encouraged me to explore opportunities outside of the Photo-ID Program including a manatee release and a large whale necropsy, which are both experiences I will never forget."

Samantha Hartery
Fall 2009

Lorian-Knapp.jpg "If a person is interested in research and conservation biology then this is an incredible opportunity. Thank you again for offering this program to interns. It was an incredible experience."

Lorian Knapp
Summer 2009

"I would definitely recommend this internship to others. The program provides a great learning experience for those who are interested in pursuing a career in marine mammal research."

Kristin Norris
Fall 2008


"I had a great learning experience and it was a great way to find out what a research position entails."

Caitlin Jensen
Summer 2008


"This program has a high level of organization and professionalism which was a joy to work with. It was a true pleasure to come to work everyday."

Beth Brady
Fall 2007, Winter 2007-08, and Spring 2008

Sarah-Rubin.jpg "My program was fantastic. It completely exceeded my expectations. Not only did I photograph manatees I learned priceless information on conducting manatee research...I really have found what I want to do for the rest of my life."

Sarah Rubin
Summer 2007

The internship "fully met my expectations. I learned so much about manatees, polarizers, and computer software."

Katie Schierer
Winter 2006-07


Photo-ID staff "were wonderful mentors and were always available to answer questions and give advice."

Sarah Bowering
Winter 2005-06

Colby-Moore.jpg "The program fully met my expectations. I was provided ample opportunities to work in the field, but also the chance to see where my field work was going (database, etc.) and how it was helping the overall photo-ID program..."

Colby Moore
Fall 2005

Would you recommend this program to another?

"Definitely. It has a lot to offer. This internship has given me very valuable experiences..."

Erica Schmaltz
Summer 2003

FWC Facts:
Whooping cranes, the tallest of North American birds, stand nearly 5 feet tall. Their wingspan measures between 7 and 8 feet.

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