Marine Wildlife Internships

New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance - NECWA offers marine wildlife internships to 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 aboard the Capt. John & Son IV. 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. In the future, NECWA hopes to increase the number of internships by providing paid internships that are supported through private donations from local businesses as well as from individuals.

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 contact@necwa.org.

2014 Update: All summer internships are full at this time. We are accepting applications for our fall and winter internships. 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

For many of these research projects, data are collected each season by project participantsGreg Gaudreau analyzing data at the BSC laboratory. Photo courtesy of NECWA. aboard Captain John Boats operating in the waters of Cape Cod Bay and Massachusetts Bay. 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 off the Capt. John & Son IV. 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 at the Cape Cod Natural History Conference. 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.


Download our Internship Program Overview to learn more about our internship program. To apply to our Internship Program, download our Internship Application. Complete this form and send with a cover letter and resume to NECWA at 11 Clarence Soule Drive, Middleboro, MA 02346.

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

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