Reports to:  Director of Policy and Legislation
Location: Washington, DC
Period: Rolling

Internship Overview

Marine Conservation Institute’s 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.   Most of the internship opportunities are geared towards graduate students or students who have recently completed graduate degrees, although we have on occasion developed opportunities for undergraduates to work on pressing marine conservation issues.

For internship positions, we seek individuals with excellent communication skills, substantive knowledge or professional experience in marine or environmental science or policy, and who share our commitment to the preservation of marine life and biological diversity.  We also prefer candidates who have a demonstrated ability to work independently, with minimal direct supervision. Experience in environmental economics and/or fisheries management would be highly beneficial, but is not required.

Working out of our DC office, policy interns have the opportunity to work closely with our policy staff to gain important skills in conservation advocacy. Previous policy interns have had the opportunity to assist with establishing Marine National Monuments, to help pass legislation combatting illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, to develop data for our MPAtlas project, and on many communications initiatives. Policy interns have described their internship experience as being important for learning about lobbying and the legislative process and for understanding more about packaging science for Federal decision makers.  These internships usually, but not always, coincide with the academic calendar.

Responsibilities and Duties:  

Internship activities include:

  • Conducting research on US marine policy and data;
  • Setting up appointments with congressional and agency staffers;
  • Accompanying Marine Conservation Institute staff on visits to the Hill, executive agencies, coalition meetings and keeping records of visits;
  • Staying abreast of and briefing staff on marine conservation news, Congressional hearings and relevant legislation;
  • Preparing educational materials, fact sheets, email alerts and blogs;
  • Providing administrative support (answer phones, file, purchase office supplies, open & distribute mail, computer troubleshoot, etc.). This constitutes approximately 10-15% of the intern’s time.


We would prefer to hire a full-time intern (40 hours/week), but will consider bringing on a part-time intern (20 hours/week). Internships are on a volunteer basis.  No benefits or relocation costs are provided, except standard holidays falling during the internship term.  We are willing to work with interns and their universities to obtain academic credit for internship work. Opportunities for independent research in marine conservation should be discussed at the time of interview.

Application Process

To apply to the internship, please send the following material via e-mail to Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis. Please reference the internship title and your name in the subject line.

  • A cover letter detailing your interests, relevant experience, goals and availability;
  • A résumé;
  • A writing sample (2 page maximum);
  • A course list detailing applicable coursework experience;
  • A list of 3 references.

Please no calls.

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