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10 Marine Biology Internships for High School Students

If you are a high school student interested in marine biology, an internship would be a value-add to your portfolio. Through an internship, you highlight your ability to apply theoretical concepts in practical situations, a skill greatly valued by college admissions officers.


In this blog, we have curated a list of 10 marine biology internships that you can consider as a high school student! Every program is an opportunity to network with industry laborers, gain exposure to different careers in marine biology and conduct field research.


If you are interested in research opportunities and competitions in biology, you can look at our other pieces!



Why do a marine biology internship in high school?

Marine biology has various career opportunities, and an internship can help you narrow your future career and study path!


Additionally, the main benefit of an internship is gaining real-world experience in your interested field, which supplements your theoretical knowledge. Moreover, the internships on this list allow you to network with your peers and leading individuals in your industry. These connections will enable you to learn from their expertise and are excellent references for letters of recommendation and future job prospects!


Lastly, doing an internship while in high school showcases your commitment to your subject as you dedicate time outside school. Mentioning this on your resume can help increase your chances of acceptance to your dream school!



The Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program is an 8-week paid summer internship and mentoring program sponsored by the American Fisheries Society. The program stimulates interest in fisheries and aquatic science, especially among underrepresented groups.


As a Hutton Scholar, you will be matched and mentored by a fisheries professional in your local area. You will gain hands-on fisheries science experience in marine or freshwater, conducting laboratory and field research.

You will participate in resource conservation and management projects as a Hutton Scholar. Moreover, you will learn about career opportunities while receiving resources on potential course students. Some possible activities include electrofishing, examining specimens, data procession, establishing aquatic vegetation and fish habitats, and more!

An added benefit is an all-expense paid trip to the Hutton Scholars Summit conducted at the University of Arkansas!

Cost: No cost; stipend provided ($3,000 for 8 weeks)

Location: Based on your locality (Hutton aims to match students within a 45-minute commute of your home)

Application Deadline (Summer 2023): February 14th, 2023

Program Dates (2023): June to August (It depends on the Scholar's schedule)

Selection Rates: Selective (For their 2023 cohort, they had a 12% acceptance rate)

Eligibility:

  • Students who live and have residency in the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

  • All current high school students.


SUNY Oneonta offers 9-week summer research internships for New York State residents. SUNY Oneonta internships are highly selective, with only 1-3 positions available for high school students (with one place awarded to a resident of Otsego County, NY).

In the internship, you will aid faculty and staff at the BFS central lab with their research projects or work on your research projects. Through the summer, you will experience a mix of fieldwork, laboratory analyses, data analysis, and writing. You can view previous publications here! Previous fieldwork and laboratory analyses experiences include:

  • Fisheries and plant surveys

  • Water sampling

  • Water chemistry

  • Zooplankton ID

  • Fish dissection

The program concludes with you producing a poster to display your research findings to your mentor, BSF faculty, and other interns!

Cost: No cost; stipend provided

Location: SUNY Oneonta campus, Buffalo, New York

Application Deadline (Summer 2023): March 10th, 2023

Program Dates (2023): Late May through August

Selection Rates: Highly Selective

Eligibility:

  • Open to all high school students.

  • Must have a solid academic background in environmental or natural sciences.



The Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center was established with funding from the National Science Foundation. They aim to use marine technology to inspire and challenge students to apply STEM to real-world problems currently faced in the maritime world.


MATE has a variety of internships open for high school students, from helping with turtle conservation to working alongside the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies. Each internship will give you real-world experience in careers in marine science, and you will be able to network with industry experts in various fields.

Note. MATE has a database for internships that include external opportunities!

Cost: No cost

Location: Varies based on position

Application Deadline (Summer 2024): Varies; the standard deadline is April.

Program Dates (2023): Varies based on position

Eligibility:

  • Open to all high school students.

Note. Certain programs have specific eligibility criteria.


Ladder Internship is a selective program for high school students to work with startups.


Ladder Startups work in fields including environmental science and sustainability, healthcare and medicine, technology, and more. You can explore all the options here on their application form.


As part of their internship, each student will work on a real-world project and present their work at the end of their internship. In addition to working closely with their manager from the startup, each intern will also work with a Ladder Coach throughout their internship - the Ladder Coach serves as a second mentor and a sounding board, guiding students through the internship and helping them navigate the startup environment.


Note that as a Ladder Intern, you will engage in a coaching+work-based model - a component that sets it apart from most internships in this list. The virtual internship is usually 8 weeks long.


Cost: $1490 (Financial Aid Available)

Location: Remote! You can work from anywhere in the world.

Application Deadline: April 16 and May 14

Program Dates: 8 weeks, June to August

Selection Rate: Selective

Eligibility: Students can work 10-20 hours/week for 8-12 weeks. Open to high school students, undergraduates, and gap year students!



Conducted by the National History Museum, this internship allows high school juniors and seniors to enhance their exposure to marine science and the potential careers offered. The program starts in the spring, where interns spend their weekends connecting with museum professionals to discuss marine research, collections, and program development. They then become full-time employees in the summer, where they develop a marine science-related project!


At the end of the program, you will have gained exposure to museum research, and be able to contribute to museum conservation and interpretation! Moreover, through your interactions with museum experts, you can learn from their expertise and utilize their experience in your project.


Cost: No cost

Location: Varies based on internship.

Application Deadline: Rolling admissions

Program Dates: Part-time in April/May, Full-time from June-July.

Eligibility: Juniors and seniors at the Math, Science, & Technology Magnet Academy, Theodore Roosevelt High School, and Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez High School in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles.



SoundWaters offers an internship for all high school students that allows you to experience field research in the field of marine biology. Through this internship, you can learn to use the local environment as a tool to learn career and life skills.


As an intern, you will work alongside SoundWaters team members and learn about Long Island Sound ecology, water chemistry, ecology of an estuary, and work with student groups! Your primary responsibilities will include

  • Assisting the educators and staff with aquarium care.

  • Program preparation.

  • Teaching on field study programs.

Note. Through this internship, you can also have the opportunity to lead a learning station on your own!


This internship will increase your exposure to field research in Long Island and hone your public speaking and management skills!


Cost: No cost

Location: Stamford, CT

Application Deadline (Summer 2024): While the deadline is not specified, expect it to close a month before the program starts.

Program Dates (2023): 5 weeks from May through June.

Eligibility:

  • Open to all high school students.

  • Interns should have an interest in a field related to environmental science, education, communication, or public relations.

  • Experience with video editing, website design, and social media best practices is a plus.


The Dolphin Research Center is a not-for-profit marine mammal education and research facility that has operated for over 35 years. The Center offers a list of positions from Animal Care and Training to Research and Visual Communications.


As an intern, you can generally expect to interact with DRC staff, gain hands-on research and increase your exposure to various careers in the field of marine mammal research! The current positions offered are:

  • Animal Care and Training Level I

  • Animal Care and Training Level II (Prerequisite required)

  • Education

  • Information Technologies

  • Medical Department

  • Research

  • Visual Communications


If you are interested in marine mammal research and wish to explore different careers in this field, we highly encourage you to apply!


Cost: No cost

Location: Florida Keys

Application Deadline: DRC has 3 Cohorts:

  • October 1st (Winter Term)

  • February 1st (Spring Term)

  • June 15th (Fall Term)

Program Dates (2023): Each internship ranges from 16 to 18 weeks:

  • Winter Term - January through April

  • Summer Term - May through August

  • Fall Term - September through December

Eligibility:

  • Open to all high school students.

  • Interns should be able to read, speak and understand English comfortably.

  • Interns need to be physically fit (need to be able to lift 50 pounds and work in the Florida heat).


LIA offers 120-hour internship opportunities with the Aquarium’s education department. Interns are teamed with the educational department staff, who will mentor interns throughout the internship duration.


In this internship, you will work with the public at the interactive touch tanks. You will assist the public and give lectures on the habitats during operating hours. An added bonus is the guidance mentors offer on pursuing a career in marine science.


Through this internship, you can experience various aspects of marine science through the perspective of marine education. Moreover, you will develop your knowledge of marine biology and refine your public speaking skills through your lectures.


Cost: No cost

Location: Long Island Aquarium

Application Deadline: LIA has 3 Cohorts:

  • Fall Semester - August 15th

  • Spring Semester - December 15th

  • Summer Semester - May 15th

Program Dates (2023): While the specific dates are not mentioned, you will receive a weekly schedule in order to complete 120 hours with LIA.

Eligibility:

  • Open to all high school students.


The Summer Teen Internship Program offered by New England Aquarium allows teens to experience working at an aquarium and learn about prospective careers in marine conservation.


Currently, there are 2 positions open for high school students - Visitor Services Assistant and Conservation Learning Aquarium Guide. While the roles of both positions vary, you can offer insights into animals and ocean conservation issues, interact with large audiences and ensure a positive aquarium experience for all.


By the end of the internship, you can expect to:

  • Gain extensive training in marine science, climate science, public speaking, and customer service

  • Build skills, including time management and responsibility

  • Participate weekly in a required professional development course and an ocean advocacy course

  • Optional behind-the-scenes workshops and weekly social meetings.


Cost: No cost; stipend provided (amount not specified)

Location: New England Aquarium

Application Deadline: While the dates have not been specified, you can expect applications to close a month to a month and a half before the program starts.

Program Dates (2023): 7 weeks during the summer months (1 week of training + 6 weeks of work)

Eligibility:

  • Open to all high school students residing in the Boston and Cambridge area.


Kwiáht Apprentices have the opportunity to carry out relevant research of their choice with access to Kwiáht facilities and mentoring by associates. Kwiáht accepts proposals year-round from students where you can detail your research question, mentors, and analysis to be used.


Through this apprentice, you can network with associates conducting marine biology research and gain hands-on experience with research in this field. An added benefit is that Kwiáht might offer a one-on-one internship with an associate in an area of your interest and a modest scholarship (which is subject to funds being available)!


Note: While this program is open to all high school students, Kwiáht prefers students from local public and private high schools in the San Juan Islands.


Cost: No cost

Location: Kwiáht laboratory, San Juan Islands

Application Deadline: Kwiáht accepts proposals year-round

Program Dates (2023): Year-round

Eligibility:

  • Open to all middle school and high school students.



Bonus - Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you are interested in doing university-level research in marine biology, then you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students that I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.


Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a Ph.D. student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.


Image Source: Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program logo

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