Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Internship Program

For the first time in Summer 2020, the Institute for Coastal Plain Sciences is partnering with Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary (GRNMS) to provide an exciting new internship opportunity for GS students. The successful candidate will work directly with the staff at GRNMS and gain valuable experience in the operations and science required to manage this valuable marine resource. If you are interested in pursuing a career in marine science, natural resource management, or any of the related fields then you should definitely submit an application. The deadline for applications is midnight, March 29, 2020. Apply now!

Potential Focus Areas:  

Science and Operations

  • Assist with the top-side collection, management, and processing of research data such as:
    • sea turtles sightings; 
    • lionfish surveys and removal; 
    • GIS Mapping and analysis; 
    • acoustic telemetry-fish surveys; 
    • visual fish surveys, 
    • marine debris surveys, 
    • drop camera, unmanned or remotely operated vehicle surveys. 
    • Processing of underwater photographs and/or video from research archives and other research projects as determined by the GRNMS Research Coordinator.
  • Interns can expect exposure to inclement weather conditions, hazardous aquatic marine life, sun, wind, rain, intense heat, etc.  

Topside aboard research vessels: 

  • Portions of the upkeep of the vessel and dive safety equipment aboard boats will be the responsibility of the intern. The intern will be involved in topside support to the vessel captain and for the scientists aboard.  There will be the potential for vessel handling training and deck leadership experience.  

Scientific Scuba Diving:

  • Although a Scuba diving certification is not required for this position, interns who are certified as American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) divers may support science dive teams as a buddy diver.  They may be involved in habitat surveys, fish and invertebrate surveys, sea turtle surveys, and other underwater observation activities.  There will be the potential for lionfish removal, underwater photography and videography.  
  • The intern may participate in offshore operations at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary and surrounding offshore areas.   

Required Special Project

  • A special project will be negotiated with the GRNMS staff to suit the interest of the individual and will include a presentation at the end of the internship.  Other responsibilities may be assigned as needed. 


  • Enrollment in relevant undergraduate or graduate program; 
  • Minimum of 18 years of age, 
  • Physically fit, able to work on-board a research vessel, and able to lift/carry 50 lbs, 
  • Personal laptop computer, 
  • Proficiency in the use of email, internet, and database software,
  • Previous experience with Microsoft Office and/or Google platforms,  
  • Valid driver’s license and own transport, 
  • Ability to follow instructions and protocols effectively and efficiently. 

If diving, additional requirements:

  • First Aid, CPR, AED training is required.  
  • A Letter of Reciprocity (LOR) from an AAUS organization will be required to be certified to dive for Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. 
  • A checkout dive and current O2 certification with the Unit Diving Supervisor will also be required.  

Background Preferences:  

  • Any GS student is encouraged to apply; however preference may be given to students with a background in Arc GIS, marine biology, biology, marine technology, or related field. Knowledge of the local marine environment and marine life are desired. Strong interest and enthusiasm for ocean conservation is desired. Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing. 

If diving, further preferences: 

  • Strong on-water background with diversity in experience and training. Prior boat experience and experience carrying out tasks under water that demonstrate abilities beyond those of basic Scuba diving. Interest and enthusiasm for ocean conservation and marine resource management is appreciated.

Time Commitment:  Time commitments can be negotiated with the intern, but the minimum commitment is no less than 240 hours dispersed over 12 weeks from May 18 to August 7, 2020. 

Course Credit: The intern will be required to enroll in 3 credit hours during Summer 2020 Long Term in the internship course that is appropriate for the student’s undergraduate major (e.g., GEOG 4790: Internship in Geography, BIOL 4730: Internship in Biology). The intern must satisfy all requirements for the course to receive full credit.   

Compensation and Accommodation:  Interns will receive a stipend from the Institute for Coastal Plain Science at GS at a rate of $8.50 per hour for a maximum of 15 hours per week for a maximum of 12 weeks. Interns are responsible for all personal expenses unless otherwise approved by the Superintendent of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary.

Work Location:  The Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary headquarters is located in Savannah, GA on Skidaway Island.  Interns must be able to travel to the Gray’s Reef office at 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, GA 31411, on a schedule mutually agreed upon by the intern and the GRNMS Research Coordinator.  


Interested candidates should submit the following materials by midnight, March 29, 2020:

  • An updated resume or curriculum vitae. 
  • A one page maximum, single-spaced essay outlining experience and career/research interests. 
  • A list of 3 references with contact information (Note: One of the three references must be a faculty member in the applicant’s major department).
  • Apply Now

Last updated: 3/4/2020