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Internship Opportunities
Internships Currently Offered
IMMS Research Internship

Program Description

The IMMS Research Internship Program is designed as a way for students interested in a career in marine science to gain valuable research experience in a real-world setting. Interns will participate with multiple projects involving bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles and diamondback terrapins. As an intern, you will be trained in all aspects of dolphin photo-id research, sea turtle satellite tracking, and other current research projects at IMMS. Interns will also participate in other operations at IMMS including stranding response, education, and animal care. Our goal is to give Interns a well-rounded experience in a variety of areas while providing expert training and experience in marine science research.

Principle Duties and Requirements

 Interns must:

  • Commit to a minimum of at least 12 weeks. The internship can be extended depending on work performance.
  • Be available to work Mon-Fri and must be available for all boat trips. Some field days may fall on the weekends.
  • Have strong sense of responsibility, work ethic, attention to detail, and ability to admit mistakes.
  • Produce high quality research efforts and exhibit strong interpersonal skills.

  • Principle Duties include: data entry, searching and cataloging journal articles, learning all research protocols, cropping and sorting photo-id fin images, learning to use photo-id programs such as Darwin (fin matching software), and FinBase (Microsoft Access), boat based field research (21’ and 31’ boats), and learn how to use ArcGIS
  • Secondary Duties involve: Assisting with animal care staff, attending marine mammal necropsies, responding to marine mammal and sea turtle strandings, and assisting with educational tours.
  • Field days: Interns must be able to spend many hours on the water and on shore in sometimes extreme seasonal conditions. Seasonal temperatures range from over 100 °F in summer to 30 °F in winter. Field days typically exceed eight hours and occur at least two or three times a week.

Dates  
Term: Deadline to apply:
Winter/Spring (Jan—May) November 1
Summer (May—Aug) March 1
Fall (Aug—Dec) June 1

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be 18 or older and must have a genuine interest in marine research. Applicants should be actively pursuing a college degree or be a recent graduate in oceanography, marine science/biology, biology, or a related field. Previous research experience in any capacity is a plus. Applicants must be able and willing to fulfill all duties outlined for this Internship Program. This is an unpaid position and Interns are responsible for their own housing and transportation. Once accepted, IMMS staff will be able to assist Interns in suggesting suitable housing options and locations. Please check the FAQ, as it may answer other questions you may have.


To Apply
Please send the following documents to researchintern@imms.org with "Research Internship" in the subject line:

  • IMMS Research Internship Application
    (Save the application in pdf form to your computer FIRST then fill out the form. Otherwise, your information will not save to the form when emailed.)
  • Full resume - include computer skills and proficiencies, volunteer experience, and/or other accomplishments.
  • Two letters of recommendation – Provide at least one academic, and one work/volunteer- related reference if applicable. Letters may be emailed from the applicant or the person providing the recommendation letter.
  • A one to two- page statement of interest – describe your background, pertinent experiences and interests, accomplishments, and how this internship will benefit you. If you believe you may have difficulty complying with one or more of the required duties or responsibilities due to a physical limitation or other reason, please address these concerns in the statement of interest, and include questions found on the application form.
  • A copy of your current college transcript. Applicants may submit an unofficial copy.

Documents must be in one of the following formats - PDF, .doc, .docx, and must be submitted together with your first and last name and the date in the file name.
Ex)
2010Aug_Jane_Doe_Resume,
2010Aug_Jane_Doe_Statement,
2010Aug_Jane_Doe_Transcript.

Click here to read previous intern experiences.

IMMS Animal Training Internship

Program Description
The IMMS Animal Training Internship Program is designed as a way for students/individuals interested in a career in animal care and training to gain valuable experience in a real-world setting. Interns will primarily be trained in aspects of animal care, but will also participate in other activities at IMMS. Our goal is to give interns a well-rounded experience in a variety of areas while providing expert training and experience. This is an unpaid position and all interns are responsible for their own housing and transportation. Once accepted, IMMS staff will be able to assist interns in suggesting suitable housing and locations. Positions are limited. IMMS reserves the right to end an internship at any time.

Eligibility Requirements

    Interns must be:
    • 18 years or older.
    • A recent graduate or actively pursuing a college degree in the sciences.
    • Willing to accept the internship as an unpaid position.
    • Able to commit to a minimum of at least 12 weeks, 40 hours a week. The internship can be extended depending on work performance.
    • Available to work weekdays, weekends, and holidays.
    • Able to lift 50 lbs, work long hours on your feet, and work outside in extreme conditions.
    • Able to maintain a positive attitude, good work ethic, sense of responsibility, and a strong willingness to learn.
    • Financially stable enough to obtain housing and transportation, though IMMS staff will do their best to assist you in making arrangements.
    • Able to comply with IMMS rules and regulations.


Dates
Term:       Deadline to apply:
Winter/Spring (Jan-May)       November 1
Summer (May-Aug)       March 1
Fall (Aug-Dec)       June 1

Duties: The IMMS animal care and training staff is in charge of caring for Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions, sea turtles, large parrots, and a small collection of reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Interns will work directly with animal care staff and be exposed to all aspects of the daily routine. Heavy emphasis is placed on basic tasks such as food preparation, and daily cleaning and facility maintenance. Interns will learn how to train animals with operant conditioning through observation and may assist during sessions. Enrichment is very important to the well-being of our animals and interns will be asked to design and implement an enrichment device for our dolphins and/or birds. Interns will also give educational presentation to guests before they interact with our animals, as well as help staff with daily water quality. Because we want interns to have a well rounded experience, they will also be asked to assist in other departments. Interns may participate as 1) environmental educators and assist in giving presentations to the public, 2) research assistants that help with our many wild dolphin based research studies, or 3) emergency responders as IMMS is part of the Southeast Regional Marine Mammal Stranding Network and responds to stranded marine mammals and sea turtles. Please check the FAQ link, as it may answer other questions you may have.

To Apply:
Please send the following documents to: kburton@imms.org with “Animal Training Internship” in the subject line.

  • IMMS Animal Training Internship Application
  • Resume with cover letter.
  • Two letters of recommendation - Provide at least one academic, and one work/volunteer- related reference if applicable. Letters may be emailed from the applicant or the person providing the recommendation letter.
  • A copy of your current official college transcript. Applicants may submit an unofficial copy.
  • Full photograph

Documents must be in one of the following formats - PDF, .doc, .docx, and must be submitted together with your first and last name and the date in the file name.
Ex)
2013Aug_Jane_Doe_Resume,
2013Aug_Jane_Doe_Application,
2013Aug_Jane_Doe_Transcript.

IMMS Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Response Internship

Program Description
The IMMS Stranding Response Internship is designed as a way for students interested in a career in marine mammal and sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation to gain hands on experience in a real-world setting. Interns will participate in the response to both live and dead marine mammals and sea turtles. Interns will also participate in other operations at IMMS including research, education, and animal care. Our goal is to give Interns a well-rounded experience in a variety of areas while providing expert training and experience in marine animal rescue and rehabilitation.

Eligibility Requirements

Interns must be:

    18 years or older.
    A recent graduate or actively pursuing a college degree in the sciences.
    Willing to accept the internship as an unpaid position.
    Able to commit to a minimum of at least 12 weeks, 40 hours a week.
    Available to work weekdays, weekends, and holidays.
    Able to lift 50 lbs, work long hours on your feet, and work outside in extreme conditions.
    Able to maintain a positive attitude, good work ethic, sense of responsibility, and a strong willingness to learn.
    Financially stable enough to obtain housing and transportation, though IMMS staff will do their best to assist you in making arrangements.
    Able to comply with IMMS rules and regulations.

Internship Period
January –May: Apply by Nov 1
May- August: Apply By March 1
August – December: Apply by June 1

Principle Duties:

  • Respond to stranding hotline calls which include walking in rough terrain, occasional boat trips, heavy lifting, and extreme weather conditions
  • Perform husbandry procedures for sea turtles in rehabilitation
  • Participate in necropsies on deceased marine mammals
  • Assist the veterinary staff in medical treatments and procedures
  • Collect and record data for each reported stranding
  • Assist with daily cleaning/upkeep of the veterinary hospital and quarantine areas
  • Participate in the release of rehabilitated animals

 

To Apply:
Please send the following documents to wendy@imms.org with "Stranding Internship" in the subject line:

  • IMMS Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Internship Application
    (Save the application in pdf form to your computer FIRST then fill in the form. Otherwise, your information will not save to the form when emailed.)
  • Full resume - include computer skills and proficiencies, volunteer experience, and/or other accomplishments.
  • References – At least two letters of recommendation are required. Provide at least one academic, and one work/volunteer-related reference if applicable. Include name, phone number, and email address.
  • A one to two- page statement of interest – describe your background, pertinent experiences and interests, accomplishments. Include any animal related experience you may have and how this internship will benefit you. If you believe you may have difficulty complying with one or more of the required duties or responsibilities due to a physical limitation or other reason please address these concerns in the statement of interest.
  • A copy of your current college transcript.

Documents must be in one of the following formats - PDF, .doc, .docx, and must be submitted together with your first and last name and the date in the file name.
Ex)
2013Aug_Jane_Doe_Resume,
2013Aug_Jane_Doe_Application,
2013Aug_Jane_Doe_Transcript.

IMMS Education Summer Internship
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Program Description

The IMMS Education Internship Program is designed as a way for students interested in a career in science education to gain valuable hands-on experience in a real-world informal educational setting.

Interns will participate in our daily public programs that educate our visitors about marine mammals and sea turtles, as well as issues affecting their habitats. As an intern, you will also narrate our dolphin presentation, and spend at least one week in our summer camp program working as an aide to a certified teacher.

Interns will further their knowledge by working in other IMMS departments, including Research, Animal Care & Training, and Veterinary/Stranding. Our goal is to give Interns a well-rounded experience in a variety of areas while providing expert training and practical involvement in marine science education.

This is an unpaid position and all interns are responsible for their own housing and transportation. Positions are limited and IMMS reserves the right to end an internship at any time.

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Principal Duties

  • Demonstrate science concepts and interpret live animal displays for guests participating in:
    • Daily public tours,
    • Student field trips,
    • Summer Camp (Day camp for ages 5 to 14, with off campus components),
    • Dozing with Dolphins (Overnight program for scouts and other youth groups),
    • Public outreach (Local events like boat shows or seasonal festivals).
  • Assist IMMS staff in preparing and maintaining program equipment and materials, including:
    • Organizing equipment and materials for daily use,
    • Cleaning and stowing equipment after use,
    • Making copies,
    • Running errands,
    • Cleaning display cases.
  • As a component of the IMMS Summer Camp program interns may have the opportunity to:
    • Serve as assistant on kayaking trips,
    • Serve as assistant on trips to Ship Island (Gulf Islands National Seashore).
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Secondary Duties

  • Assist IMMS staff in caring for Education reptile collection:
    • Feed & weigh resident snakes, alligators and freshwater turtles,
    • Update feeding & health records,
    • Clean and maintain wet and dry habitats.
  • As their departmental schedules permit interns may also:
    • Assist in the animal care department with daily feedings/cleanup/observation of training sessions.
    • Assist the aquarist with daily feedings, water chemistry, and maintenance of fresh and saltwater tanks and touch pools.
    • Assist in the research department with wild dolphin photo identification.
    • Attend a research boating trip to observe dolphins, if available.
    • Assist in the stranding department (turtle feeding, vet tech work, data input).
    • Attend a necropsy and a turtle release, if available.

Internship Timeframe

Dates: May 11-July 31*

*We may be able to offer some flexibility on dates, so please note earliest and latest availability on your application.

Deadline to Apply: March 15

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicant must be 18 or older.
  • Applicants must be able to commit to a minimum of 12 weeks, 40 hours a week.
  • Applicant must be available to work weekdays, weekends, and holidays, IMMS operates 7 days per week and has some evening programs so your work week may not be 9AM - 5PM, Monday - Friday.
  • Applicant must be a recent graduate or actively pursuing a college degree in the sciences or education.
  • Applicant must maintain a positive attitude, good work ethic, sense of responsibility, and a strong willingness to learn.
  • Applicant must be comfortable with public speaking and using a microphone.
  • Applicants should be comfortable working with audiences "K-to-Gray", but especially elementary age children.
  • Applicant must be comfortable with handling different types of crabs and reptiles (snakes, alligators, turtles).
  • Applicant must have good organizational skills.
  • Applicant must be financially stable enough to obtain housing and transportation, once accepted, IMMS staff will be able to assist interns in suggesting suitable housing and locations.
  • Applicant must be able to comply with IMMS rules and regulations.
  • Applicant should keep in mind that the summer climate on the Gulf Coast is HOT and HUMID and that they will be required to work outside.

To Apply

Please send the following documents to: mmashburn@imms.org with "Education Internship" in the subject line.

  • Download and complete the IMMS Education Internship Application (Save the application in pdf form to your computer FIRST then fill in the form. Otherwise your information will not be saved to the form when emailed)
  • Resume with cover letter
  • Two letters of recommendation - provide one academic and one work/volunteer (related reference if applicable). Letters may be emailed from the applicant or the person providing the recommendation letter.
  • A one-two page statement of interest - describe your background, pertinent experiences, interests, and accomplishments (include how this internship will benefit you). If you believe you may have difficulty complying with one or more of the required duties or responsibilities due to a physical limitation or other reason, please address these concerns in the statement of interest.
  • A copy of your current college transcript. Applicants may submit an unofficial copy.

Documents must be in one of the following formats - .Pdf, .Doc, .Docx, and must be submitted together with your first and last name and the date (yyyy/Month) your internship would begin in the file name.
Ex: 2015Aug_Jane_Doe_Resume
2015Aug_Jane_Doe_Statement
2015Aug_Jane_Doe_Transcript

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The Institute for Marine Mammal Studies is an equal opportunity employer.

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