Ocean Career: Sea Otter Research Intern at Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Career Development Pathway (CDP) program is a rich learning resource for interns and externs, enabling them to partner with the Aquarium in pursuit of our shared DEI objectives and take our mission to the next level.

Targeting underrepresented communities of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), the CDP will provide eligible college, undergraduate and graduate students with meaningful work experience under the direction of an Aquarium mentor. The CDP program is outcomes-based, requiring a project report at the conclusion of the program, further documenting the participants' growth along their developmental pathway.

Job summary

For more than 30 years, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has been a key contributor to sea otter recovery in California. Aquarium researchers and policy experts have advanced scientific knowledge, promoted improved management and raised public awareness of the contributions sea otters make to healthy coastal ecosystems. The Sea Otter Program operates within the Conservation & Science division and strives to understand the health of the wild otter population and to restore southern sea otters along the central California coast.

The Sea Otter Program is seeking enthusiastic and motivated individuals to assist staff with field observations and data collection of wild and previously rehabilitated sea otters along the Monterey Peninsula and other parts of coastal, central California.

Core Responsibilities

Project responsibilities include, but are not limited to, data collection from shore and occasionally on a small boat using radio telemetry equipment and making visual observations with spotting scopes. Will record daily re-sights, movement patterns, forage observations, and activity budget data on marked individual sea otters. Occasional overnight travel with staff to monitor rehabilitated and released sea otters in other parts of central California may also be required, as needed.

Qualified applicants must be able to work in a team environment, as well as independently without direct supervision, and must have good communication skills.

Skills / Knowledge / Ability / Experience or Education / Absolutely Required

  • At least 18 years of age
  • Current or recent student at an accredited college, university, tech, or trade school
  • Must be a student during the term immediately preceding the CDP opportunity. (Not to exceed 1 year education gap)
  • Must submit a resume of courses and/or experience related to position applying for
  • Must provide a minimum of 2 letters of recommendation
  • Must be in good academic standing
  • Six-month commitment of 24 hours each week
  • Must have or obtain a valid California driver's license within one month of starting internship
  • Personal vehicle to use while in the field
  • Cell phone
  • Willingness to perform project task assignments on a flexible schedule, including weekends and late evenings
  • Able to lift up to 50 pounds and walk short distance over hilly terrain

Willingness to stand out in the elements for up to 8 hours at a time

  • Previous experience in a field work setting or behavioral data collection, including coursework
  • A project-based report will be required at the end of the internship

Desired Skills / Knowledge / Ability / Experience or Education

  • Strong Interest in and awareness of animal behavior, natural history and marine science/ecology
  • Experience in education and outreach for general public
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Good organizational skills
  • Interpersonal skills and proven ability to work effectively with colleagues
  • Ability to work independently with minimal direct supervision
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access software
  • Boat handling skills appreciated but not necessary

This CDP internship is a paid STEM opportunity. Housing may be provided.

(STEM may include funding provided through your educational institution).

College credit may be available. Please refer to your College/University's student services division.

Early submission of applications is encouraged.

At the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we are passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that celebrates and values diversity. We firmly believe that having a team of diverse backgrounds and voices, working together, increases our capacity to serve our visitors and fulfill our mission. We welcome people from all walks of life into our team and strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, and people with disabilities to apply.
Application Deadline: May 16, 2021
Location: Monterey Bay

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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