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Seagrass Habitat Program Intern/Volunteer

FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute's Seagrass Habitat Program (SHP) is seeking detail-oriented interns and volunteers to assist with general laboratory and field work duties in its St. Petersburg headquarters for single-semester internships. College students and recent graduates with an interest in marine science or a related field may apply for this internship opportunity.

Successful candidates will be task-oriented individuals that have the ability to work independently in a laboratory setting and assist in field work and data collection. Interns will be encouraged to develop an independent research project using pre-existing datasets or data collected during the internship.  To summarize this work, interns will produce one or more of the following: (1) a final report, (2) a 15-20 minute presentation or (3) a scientific meeting poster.

Activities during the internship will include:

  • processing seagrass biomass samples;
  • assisting in benthic and water quality surveys conducted in shallow water from small craft (<25 ft.);
  • wade and/or snorkel in water 2-10 ft deep;
  • data entry and database management;
  • literature searches and EndNote entry;
  • public outreach opportunities

During the Spring semester internship, we will be conducting seagrass reproductive ecology field work in Boca Ciega Bay and are looking for students who would be willing to aid in collecting and analyzing ecological data.  The field work would involve repeated visits to shallow water sites nearshore to study seagrass fruits, flowers and seeds. Students will be encouraged to use these data or design an independent project to complete their credit requirement.

During the Fall semester internship, students will have opportunities to assist in monitoring of seagrass transects around Tampa Bay. Students will learn about monitoring methods and field data collection.  Students would need to be comfortable on a boat and snorkeling in shallow (1-6 feet) water with the potential for long hours in the field.  Students will also have the opportunity to participate in FWC’s annual MarineQuest event.  This would involve planning and production of the Seagrass Lab display, informing the public about the importance of the seagrass ecosystem, and/or volunteering for other Agency activities.  During the semester, students will be guided to use existing data or to create and run an independent experiment for their final project.

Other tasks associated with the internship will include supporting the research group on potential additional field research projects, aid in developing educational and outreach materials, literature searches, and opportunities to learn basics in programs such as ArcGIS and R.

College credit is possible, and candidates seeking college credit are preferred. Please check with your department advisor at your home institution for details.


You may qualify if you are:

  • a current student who has successfully completed introductory coursework in any of the following areas: statistics, environmental science, chemistry, marine science, geology or biology;
  • willing to work in the laboratory setting, processing biological samples containing organic mud, small vertebrates/invertebrates, seagrasses and macroalgae;
  • willing to work long hours on and in the water with the possibility of adverse weather conditions;
  • able to communicate effectively verbally and in writing; and
  • able to lift at least 50 pounds.

Preference will be given to applicants seeking an undergraduate or advanced degree (or recent graduates) in the following (or related) scientific disciplines:  Oceanography/Marine Science, Biology and/or Environmental Science. Candidates with working knowledge of Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), knowledge of R and/or ArcGIS are a plus. Prior field and/or laboratory experience is preferred but not required.

If you are interested in applying for an internship with the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, the following information is required:

  • A cover letter describing your area(s) of academic/research interest and the dates, days, and hours of availability.
  • A résumé (or curriculum vitae) describing your relevant training and experience.
  • Current academic transcripts.
  • Names and contact information for three references.

Please submit application items as an e-mail attachment

If electronic submission is not possible, hard copies can be mailed to:
Intern Coordinator
FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
100 Eighth Avenue SE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701-5020