Internship Programs

Marine Conservation Institute is a non-profit scientific and conservation advocacy organization that has been working since 1996 to promote cooperation essential to protecting and restoring the Earth’s biological diversity.  From our headquarters in Seattle WA and our Washington DC and California offices, we work to protect marine life around the United States and beyond by encouraging research and training in marine conservation biology, bringing scientists together to examine crucial marine conservation issues, conducting policy research to frame the marine conservation agenda, leading outreach efforts to educate scientists, the public and decision makers on key issues, and building partnerships to solve problems affecting marine life and people.


This internship program provides motivated and academically-promising students an opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in a real‐world arena.  During their internship, students work closely with science and policy staff on cutting edge issues in marine conservation biology and ocean policy.  Most of the internship opportunities are geared towards graduate students or students who have recently completed graduate degrees, although we have on occasion developed opportunities for undergraduates to work on pressing marine conservation issues. 

For internship positions, we seek individuals with excellent communication skills, substantive knowledge or professional experience in marine or environmental science or policy, and who share our commitment to the preservation of marine life and biological diversity.  We also prefer candidates who have a demonstrated ability to work independently, with minimal direct supervision.

Types of Internships:

Science Internship – Working out of our two west coast offices, science interns have an opportunity to work closely with our science staff to research a specific marine conservation research topic.  Previous science interns have worked on projects such as: our high seas gems project, habitat conservation assessments for National Marine Sanctuaries, and our MPAtlas project.   These internships are available as project development dictates.

Policy Internship - Working out of our DC office, policy interns have the opportunity to work closely with our policy staff to gain important skills in conservation advocacy. Previous policy interns have had the opportunity to assist with establishing National Monuments and our National Marine Sanctuaries Reauthorization efforts.  Policy interns have described their internship experience as being important for learning about lobbying and the legislative process and for understanding more about packaging science for Federal decision makers.  These internships coincide with the academic calendar.  We offer one in the spring, summer, and fall.

Available Internships:

Conservation Fellow

Position Overview:
Marine Conservation Institute is opening an internship position for a Conservation Fellow in our Seattle office. This position is an unpaid, 3-month commitment for individuals looking to assist a 501(c)(3) conservation non-profit. The commitment can be extended after a 3-month performance evaluation. The estimated time commitment is 16-24 hours/ week in our Seattle office between the hours of 8-4 PM. No benefits or relocation costs are provided, except standard holidays falling during the internship term.  

We’re looking for an individual who shares our commitment to the preservation of marine life. This individual is attentive to detail and able to assist with a variety of administrative tasks including: communications assistance, development work, assisting executive staff, program assistance and general online research. Training is provided.  We prefer candidates who have a demonstrated ability to work independently, with minimal direct supervision.

As a leader in the global movement to protect and recover the integrity of vast ocean areas, Marine Conservation Institute uses the latest science to identify important marine ecosystems around the world and then advocates for their protection. We work with scientists, politicians, government officials and other organizations to identify key threats to areas in the sea and then build workable solutions. Our unique effectiveness comes from our vision, expertise and our willingness to partner with others. Working out of our Seattle office, volunteers have the opportunity to work with our staff to gain important skills and insights into conservation advocacy. 

Desired skills:

  • Computer:
    • Proficient in Word, Excel and PowerPoint 
    • Familiarity with major social media platforms
    • Data entry and management
    • Ability/ willingness to learn new computer programs
    • Basic internet research
    • Preferred: Adobe Photoshop and/or Illustrator, MailChimp, Google Documents
  •  Communication:
    • Interpersonal skills
    • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
    • Proofreading/ Editing experience
  • Organization/ attention to detail
    • Punctuality/ meeting deadlines
    • Ability to work independently

Intern tasks may include:

  • Communications:
    •  Social media coordination
    • Proofreading a variety of external documents, emails, blogs, website pages
    • Researching and data-entry for media lists
    • Implementing minor edits to the Marine Conservation Institute website
    • Research for the institute’s speaker program   
    • Writing basic blogs
    • Brainstorming for a variety of activities/ programs
  • Program assistance
  • Development research and project assistance
  • Executive expense reports
  • Executive travel arrangements
  • Board of Directors work: note taking, committee work and individual assistance
  • Donor partnerships outreach and research
  • Internet based scientific and ocean research 
  • MailChimp newsletter set up

Application Process
To apply to this position, please send the following materials via e-mail to Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis starting May 12, 2015. Please reference the position title and your name in the subject line.

  • A cover letter detailing your interests, relevant experience, goals and availability;
  • A résumé;
  • A list of 3 references
  • Two-three writing samples

Please no calls.