One of the key components of graduate-level marine biology degree programs is the marine biologist internship. Marine biology internships give aspiring marine biologists a chance to work in their field for at least one semester and gain valuable work experience. Internships, fellowships and volunteer programs designed for marine biologists-in-training may require the student to travel abroad for a semester or work at a dedicated ocean site or facility to complete their training requirements. You'll find several environmental organizations, environment protection agencies and universities that offer paid and unpaid internships for prospective marine biologists. Take some time to learn about the different marine biologist internship options available in your state so you can apply for the right degree program.
Types of Marine Biology Internships
From the National Park Service to fellowship and internship opportunities from the National Science Foundation, you can find a wide range of student training options The following types of marine biology internships are available on an annual basis from various organizations and institutions:
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellowships for Scientists and Engineers
- American Fisheries Society Internships
- American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO)
- Career Services Network of Syracuse University
- Environmental Careers Organization (ECO)
- American Zoo and Aquarium Association
- Environmental Protection Agency Graduate Fellowships
- K-Adult Opportunities Listings from The Bridge
- Environmental Careers Organization Internships
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) Student Training Opportunities
- Marine Technology Society Internship
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Internships
- National Park Service Career Internships
- Smithsonian Institution Internships
- U.S. Department of Commerce's Student Employment Opportunities
- National Wildlife Federation Internship Opportunities
Marine Biologist Internship Requirements
Many colleges and universities that offer marine biology degree programs offer summer internships for undergraduate and graduate students. These programs allow students to earn some college credit while working at a marine laboratory, biological research station, marine science lab or a marine center. Marine biology students typically need to have at least one or two years of college-level experience to apply for an internship and may be required to move off campus for the duration of the training program so that they have easy access to their training facility. Internships give students a chance to gain valuable hands-on experience in the field, work with professional marine biologists, and participate in research projects under the supervision of a prospective employer. Some students are able to apply for a position with the laboratory or research station that they completed their internship in shortly after graduation. Internships are also offered to minority students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Some include an academic scholarship opportunity for those who want to enroll in a specialized degree program after the internship is over, or continue their education towards an advanced degree.
Even though a school may not require the student to complete an internship, marine biology students may choose to complete a paid or unpaid internship over a summer for their own benefit. Summer research internships, for example, can complement a student's master's degree program in specialized areas such as neurobiology, molecular biology, cellular biology and other areas of marine biology.