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 those interested in the field of marine science. Hands-on experience with field research techniques and data analysis better prepares young professionals 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 the NECWA office based in Middleboro and to our field sites on Cape Cod and in the Southcoast area (Onset, Wareham, Marion and Mattapoisett). Housing is not provided, but NECWA staff will offer suggestions and provide assistance in finding affordable housing.

Download our Internship Program Overview to learn more about our internship program.

HOW TO APPLY: Fill out our online Internship Application form. At the bottom of the form, you will be asked to attach a cover letter and your resume. References are recommended, but not required. References should be emailed to

To contact us directly about our internship program, send an email to our NECWA Intern Coordinator.

2020 Update: Positions are now available for our Winter 2020 and Summer 2020 Marine Wildlife Internship Programs. For our Winter Internship Program, applications are can be accepted at any time. For our Summer Internship Program, applications are due the first week of May 2020. Summer internships start on May 15th.

NECWA is focusing on 3 main projects:

  • New England Basking Shark and Ocean Sunfish Project
  • Southcoast Terrapin Project
  • Project Marine Wildlife Research
    • Humpback Whale Research and Photo-analysis
    • Finback Whale Research and Photo-analysis

Internships with NECWA help provide the skills needed to succeed in an environmental setting. Whether it is out in the field collecting research data or in the office overseeing daily operations in an environmental non-profit organization, you can feel confident that the skills learned will help carry you on to the next level of your career. NECWA provides 2 types of internships: Mini and General.

Mini Internships - Mini internship positions are office positions that provide limited office hours combined with working remotely from home in order to fit an intern’s busy schedule. Mini internships comprise a total of 10-15 hours a week and last a minimum of 3 months. Mini Internships currently available include: Ocean Sunfish Intern, NEBShark Intern and Humpback Whale Catalog Intern.

General Internships - General interns will be provided with a more in-depth internship lasting 3 months.

NECWA has the following General Internship positions available:

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Accounting Intern
  • Marketing/Fundraising Intern
  • Multi-Media Intern
  • Educational Outreach Intern
  • Graphic Designer Intern
  • Field Research Assistant
  • GIS and Drone Intern
  • Virtual Assistant Intern
  • Web Designer Intern

NECWA research project involve the collection of various types of data, including sighting and photographic data as well as environmental data. Interns help manage these databases and can also assist in the creation of a photo-ID catalog for finback whales, humpback whales, ocean sunfish, basking sharks and diamondback terrapins that are sighted offshore. This information is managed by NECWA and is used in our conservation and educational outreach activities.

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 assist 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 marine 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, you can make a tax-deductible donation on NECWA's Donation Page by clicking HERE

Internship Program Overview