Internship Programs

Marine Conservation Institute is a non-profit conservation advocacy organization that has been working since 1996 to protect and restore marine biodiversity.  From our offices in Seattle, WA and Glen Ellen, CA, we encourage research in marine conservation biology, bring scientists together to examine crucial ocean issues, conduct policy research to frame the marine conservation agenda, lead educational outreach efforts, and build partnerships to solve problems affecting marine life and coastal communities.

Please also consider donating to support our work. Together, we can protect marine life for us and future generations.



This internship program provides motivated and academically-promising students an opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in a real‐world arena. During their internship, students work closely with science and policy staff on cutting edge issues in marine conservation biology and ocean policy. Many of the internship opportunities are geared towards graduate students or individuals who have recently completed graduate degrees, though opportunities are occasionally available for undergraduates to work on pressing marine conservation issues. 

For internship positions, we seek individuals with excellent communication skills, substantive knowledge or experience in marine science or policy, and a shared commitment to protecting our oceans. We also prefer candidates who have a demonstrated ability to work independently, with minimal direct supervision. Training is provided.


Types of Internships:

Science Internship – Based in our two west coast offices, science interns have an opportunity to train closely with our science staff to research a specific marine conservation research topic. Previous science interns have assisted projects such as: the Global Ocean Refuge System, our high seas gems project, habitat conservation assessments for National Marine Sanctuaries, and the Atlas of Marine Protection. These internships are available as project development dictates.

Communications Internship - Based in our Seattle headquarters, communications interns have the opportunity to train with the Communications Coordinator to gain important skills in conservation communications. Communication interns help coordinate institute-wide communications including but not limited to: social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), blogs, press releases, action alerts, daily newsclips, monthly newsletters, and infographics. Interns also have the opportunity to contribute pieces to the institute’s blog On The Tide.


Available internships:


Blue Parks Science Internship

Reports to: Blue Parks Director 
Location: Glen Ellen, CA
Period: 3-4 months (currently reviewing applications for winter & spring 2020)

Position Overview:
As a leader in the global movement to protect and recover the integrity of vast ocean areas, Marine Conservation Institute uses the latest science to identify important marine ecosystems around the world and then advocates for their protection. Our unique effectiveness comes from our vision, expertise and our willingness to partner with others. Training out of our Glen Ellen, CA office, interns have the opportunity to gain important conservation science, communication and advocacy skills. 

To safeguard marine ecosystems on a global scale, Marine Conservation Institute launched Blue Parks. Blue Park Awards incentivize governments to protect marine life by recognizing effective marine protected areas that meet science-based standards. We aim to catalyze strong protection for at least 30% of the global ocean by 2030, enough to avert the extinction of most marine life.

Blue Park Science Interns train closely with the program director to help evaluate marine protected areas (MPAs) for Blue Park Awards. The Science Intern will conduct research on nominated MPAs and write evaluation reports. The intern will also have the opportunity to contribute pieces to the Institute’s blog, On the Tide. We will consider part-time applicants (20+ hours/week) or full-time applicants (35+ hours/week) for this volunteer, at-will internship.

Desired skills:


  • Excellent internet research skills
  • Proficient in Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Ability/willingness to learn new computer programs

Marine Science

  • Understanding of ocean conservations issues
  • Familiarity with marine protected areas
  • Experience searching and reading scientific literature


  • Interpersonal skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

Intern tasks may include:

Research activities:

  • Research and compile information on MPAs from around the world
  • Research advances in MPA monitoring and enforcement approaches

Conservation program assistance:

  • Assist with communications – writing blog pieces, etc.
  • Proofreading a variety of external documents, emails, website pages
  • Brainstorming a variety of activities and programs


Internships are on a volunteer basis; no benefits or relocation costs are provided. We are willing to work with interns and their universities to obtain academic credit for internship work. It is the intern’s responsibility to negotiate this relationship with their institution and verify that the internship training and experience meets academic credit requirements.

Application Process

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis and will be posted until filled. To apply to this position, please send the following materials via email to

  • Cover letter detailing your interests, relevant experience, goals and availability
  • Résumé
  • Short formal writing sample 
  • Course list detailing applicable coursework experience
  • List of 3 references
  • Dates of availability to be in Glen Ellen, CA for the internship

Please reference the position title and your name in the subject line, and do not call our office regarding this opportunity.


Development/Communications Internship

Development/Communications interns have the opportunity to train with the Development staff to gain important skills in environmental conservation communications and development.

Interns will help coordinate institute-wide communications including but not limited to: social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), blogs, web design press releases, action alerts, daily news clips, monthly newsletters, videos and infographics. Interns also have the opportunity to contribute pieces to the institute’s blog On The Tide.


  • Help identify both local, state and national influencers such as, journalists, experts, thought leaders, bloggers, social media influencers, key organizations, etc.
  • Implement content strategies for email marketing, social media channels and website.
  • Think creatively to distill complex scientific information for our target audience.  
  • Research partnership, grant and foundation opportunities with businesses and organizations and enter them into the database.
  • Identify event opportunities for growth of business partnerships and strategic initiatives.

Qualifications and skills: 

  • College student currently enrolled or applicable experience.
  • Demonstrated interest and ability to think creatively and present information visually.
  • Excellent communication, writing and organizational skills.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks while demonstrating attention to detail.
  • Interpersonal skills and ability to work in a team environment.
  • Experience in graphic design, video editing or multimedia storytelling a plus.
  • Interest in ocean, climate change and environmental, issues.


  • Salary: Unpaid.
  • Location: Glen Ellen office in the historic Jack London Village, North Bay California
  • Starting Time: Spring/Summer 2019, applications reviewed and position filled on rolling basis
  • Hours: Negotiable. Hours dependent on assigned projects and can be set according to the intern’s needs. We prefer a commitment of at least 15-20 hours/week for ten weeks or longer. Please include available hours and start date in your application.  Start and ending date are flexible.
  • Benefits: We are happy to work with academic departments to ensure the internship meets requirements for academic credit.

If interested please email a brief cover letter and resume to stating why you would like this internship.