REEF Marine Conservation Internship
REEF Interns support the organization’s innovative marine conservation and education projects, working as part of a dynamic and fun team in the beautiful Florida Keys. Interns have varied opportunities to be involved in both the office and the field, and support REEF’s marine conservation research, education, and outreach programs. REEF Interns play a key role in the day-to-day operations of REEF, and gain valuable insight in to the workings of a non-profit ocean organization. Interns work closely with all REEF team members. Ideal candidates for the internship program are passionate about the ocean, and are detail-oriented, organized, thrive on variety, and take initiative.
This unpaid program is open to college students with at least 2 years of coursework, as well as recent graduates. Four interns serve in each session (January – May and June – December). An intensive summer internship (June – August) is also sometimes available. Start and end dates are flexible depending on University schedules and other school or work commitments. REEF’s Lead Internship program provides qualified Marine Conservation Interns the opportunity to stay with the organization in a specialized capacity for up to a year beyond the original session.
Marine Conservation Intern Responsibilities and Opportunities
Program activities and tasks vary by internship session depending on the organization’s current projects and priorities. Responsibilities include, but may not be limited to:
- Engaging with and assisting REEF members and donors, over the phone and via email, as well as in person at events
- Assisting REEF Campus visitors, including answering questions about REEF’s programs and processing in-person purchases from the REEF store
- Filling and mailing online store orders
- Conducting educational programming, including Ocean Explorers Summer Camp, Classroom Programs, and Field Courses
- Coordinating and implementing special events like the monthly Fish & Friends seminar series, annual REEF Fest celebration, and Lionfish Derby Series
- Creating promotional and marketing materials such as flyers and social media content
- Updating web content and social media platforms
- Facilitating invasive lionfish education, outreach, and control programs
- Participating in conservation field work and data management
Interns are sometimes able to implement independent projects at REEF related to their areas of interest. For example, a graphic design major could create new info-graphic posters or an education major could create fish identification lesson plans for elementary school classrooms. Interns are provided professional development and networking opportunities, and are able to interact with a variety of other organizations and agencies throughout the Florida Keys and South Florida region. There are also frequent opportunities to dive, snorkel, and kayak in the region, depending on the Intern’s interest and training.
The Marine Conservation Internship is intended for students currently enrolled in or who have recently graduated from an undergraduate or graduate degree program, or who have equivalent work experience. At least two years of college coursework is preferred. Proficiency with desktop computers and office software, as well as excellent written and oral communication skills are preferred. Highly positive attitude and aptitude for working as a self-starter in a fast-paced, non-profit organization is a must. Successful applicants are detail-orientated with strong organizational skills, and are able to work in a diverse and collaborate team across multiple disciplines. A strong interest in ocean life, marine conservation, citizen science, and diving is a plus. Participants from disciplines outside marine science are also encouraged to apply. The Internship Program is open to applicants in the US and abroad, but international applicants need to secure the necessary travel documents.
Due to limited public transportation options in Key Largo, interns must have reliable vehicular transportation during their internship. Although not required, it is highly recommended that interns who plan to scuba dive have their own dive gear. Diving during free time is a benefit of the program and is not an internship requirement.
Program Term, Compensation, Work Environment
The Marine Conservation Internship Program is a 35 hour per week commitment and includes weekend and evening activities. Interns are given up to a day each work week for free time out of the office to dive/snorkel/kayak (often discounted or free of charge thanks to support from REEF’s Conservation Partners), as well as volunteer in the community. The internship is an unpaid position, but scholarship opportunities may be available. Subsidized intern housing is also available. The REEF Internship Program is supervised by David Ehlert, REEF Campus Coordinator, and the program is based at REEF Campus in Key Largo, Florida.
REEF provides a furnished house during the internship and covers a portion of the rental cost. Each intern contributes $500 each month toward the cost of housing. All utilities and high-speed internet are included in this price. Additional living costs vary based on individual expenditures.
For more details and instructions on how to apply, click here.