Published: Feb. 3, 2021

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. As an intern, you will be trained in all aspects of dolphin photo-ID research as well as any other current research projects at IMMS that may involve spices such as: bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, or diamondback terrapins. Interns will also participate in other operations at IMMS including: stranding response, aquarist and reptile care, 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.


Term:                                                                  Deadline to Apply:              

Winter/Spring (Jan-May)                                 November 1

Summer (May-Aug)                                          March 1

Fall (Aug-Dec)                                                    June 1

Interns must:

  • Commit to a minimum of 12 weeks. The internship can be extended depending on work performance
  • Be available to work Mon-Fri and must be available for all boat- based surveys. Some field days may fall on the weekends.
  • Have a 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, 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’ boat), and learn how to use ArcGIS
  • Secondary Duties include: assisting animal care staff, attending marine mammal necropsies, responding to marine mammal and sea turtle strandings, and assisting with educational staff
  • 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.

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 assist interns in finding rooms available to rent, usually with other staff members. Please check the FAQ, as it may answer additional questions you may have.

More unpaid internships at IMMS available. Learn more and apply here!