Marine Wildlife Internships

New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance - NECWA offers marine wildlife internships to upper level high school students, college students and professionals in southeastern Massachusetts. Internships provide educational outreach and research opportunities to students and professionals who are Meredith Reback collecting sighting data offshore. Photo courtesy of NECWA.interested in the field of marine biology. Hands-on experience with field research techniques and data analysis better prepares students for similar opportunities in their chosen field.

Currently, NECWA internship positions are unpaid and are therefore on a volunteer basis. Interns must have their own transportation to and from work areas and housing is not provided. However, NECWA will offer suggestions and will provide assistance in any way possible.

Download our Internship Program Overview to learn more about our internship program. This PDF file will open in a new window.

If you would like to apply for our internship program, download our Internship Application. This PDF file will open in a new window. Complete this form and send with a cover letter and resume to NECWA at 11 Clarence Soule Drive, Middleboro, MA 02346.

To contact us directly about our internship program, send an email to

2016 Update: Positions are now available for our summer 2016 Marine Wildlife Internship program. We are also accepting applications for our fall and winter internship positions. A fall internship can begin as early as mid-August.

NECWA is focusing on 3 main projects:A new intern helping out with data collection. Photo courtesy of NECWA.

  1. New England Basking Shark Project (NEBShark)
  2. New England Ocean Sunfish Project (NEOceanSunfish)
  3. Project Marine Wildlife Research
    • Humpback Research Project
    • Finback Research Project

Note: NECWA also has intern positions open for more land-based activities like program development, fundraising, graphic design, and computer programing. All of these activities are important and needed to support the work that we do on behalf of marine wildlife. Contact us if you are interested in these types of internships.

For many of these research projects, data are collected each season by project participantsGreg Gaudreau analyzing marine wildlife sighting data. Photo courtesy of NECWA.

NECWA interns and participating naturalists are responsible for collecting sighting and photographic data while offshore. Our interns help manage the databases and assist in the creation of a photo-ID catalog of known individual Amanda Taylor taking photographs of marine wildlife. Photo courtesy of NECWA.finback whales, humpback whales, ocean sunfish and basking sharks sighted offshore. The projects’ databases are managed by NECWA staff and interns and are used in NECWA's educational outreach activities.

Interns utilize a variety of software programs,including Microsoft Excel, Adobe Photoshop and FileMaker Pro, to manage and analyze their data. Analysis techniques applied to this data include photo-identification analysis and Geographic Information Systems - G.I.S.Lauren Midi presenting her poster on finback whales. Photo courtesy of NECWA. mapping. Interns are encouraged to present poster and oral presentations of their work at local workshops and conferences in the New England area.

Many of our college interns have presented their research at the Cape Cod Natural History Conference sponsored by the Massachusetts Audubon Society at Wellfleet Bay. Presenting at conferences allows interns to gain experience in public speaking and to meet professionals from many fields that live and work in our New England area.

Interns also assistBiologists conducting a necropsy on a dead humpback that washed ashore on Race Point Beach, MA. Photo courtesy of NECWA. with necropsies which are animal versions of autopsies. Marine wildlife that has died and washed ashore is a sad event, but these carcasses can provide a great deal of information on the species regarding their health status, reproductive status as well as the individual’s cause of death.

Necropsies on whales, sharks, ocean sunfish, and other large marineMeredith assisting at a necropsy at WHOI. Photo courtesy of NECWA. animals is typically conducted on site which is usually the beach where the animal stranded. Necropsies on smaller animals like dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea turtles can be done at indoor facilities at research institutions like Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and at facilities associated with area stranding centers. Information collected from external examinations and necropsies provide important information that scientists and managers can use to better protect and conserve wild populations of marine wildlife that are found in the water’s of the Gulf of Maine.

NECWA is also asking for donations from community businesses and private individuals that are interested in providing long-term support to student interns through a monthly giving program or via a one-time donation.

If you would like to help support NECWA’s internship program, please make your tax-deductible donation today.

To donate online, click our Just Give button below.

To donate through the mail, please send a check or money order to:

  • NECWA - New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance
  • 11 Clarence Soule Drive
  • Middleboro, MA 02346

Online Donation Button


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