MARINE MAMMAL CONSERVATION INTERNSHIP (TEMPORARY, FULL-TIME, PAID)
Applications are due November 30th, 2022.
Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s North American office is offering a 12-week, entry-level Marine Mammal Conservation Internship to candidates with little to no prior experience. This opportunity will help to build skills relevant to the field of marine conservation while providing interns with insight into the inner workings of a non-profit as well as job skills transferable to any field.
This position is designed for those who do not yet have experience in marine mammal conservation and outreach. We will prioritize candidates who do not have practical experience (internship, significant volunteering, employment) in this field outside of a classroom setting. Applicants should be eager to dive into new experiences and enjoy having a variety of tasks to work on. This position will help to assist staff in three key program areas: Marine Animal Rescue and Response, Education, and Boater Outreach. Occasional opportunities to see whales at sea may also be possible, though no part of this position requires being in the water.
Successful candidates will gain transferable skills in effective communication and public speaking, project management, developing and delivering presentations and other interpretive resources, working on a close-knit team, and record keeping.
We have three open positions in 2023 for this temporary, full-time, paid internship. We are seeking to fill one position each for the spring, summer, and fall – as early as March and as late as November. Each of the three successful candidates will be assigned to a priority program (Marine Animal Rescue and Response, Education, or Boater Outreach) on which they will focus; they will support other programs as needed. We will do our best to take into consideration each candidate’s primary interests, however priority programs will be determined by the review committee.
Candidates must be able to demonstrate that they are legally eligible to work in the U.S. by the proposed starting date. Successful candidates will need to make their own arrangements, as needed, for housing and transportation to and from the WDC office in Plymouth, MA, USA. Please note that the cost of living for the Plymouth area is above the national average when considering this role. Successful candidates are expected to work 40 hours a week (including occasional evening and/or weekend work) for the 12-week period of the program; they will be compensated at a rate of $15/hour.
Applicants must be 18 years or older by the internship start date and fluent in English. WDC will assist interested students in obtaining credits for the program through their college or university. Candidates should be advised that WDC’s office is dog-friendly; up to three dogs may be in the office on any given day.
Diverse candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position. Whale and Dolphin Conservation embraces diversity and equal opportunity. We recognize that the field of marine mammal research and conservation lacks diversity, including within our own organization. WDC is dedicated to creating inclusive opportunities which represent diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills.
Important Notes Regarding COVID-19:
As a condition of employment, internship candidates must be (and remain) fully up-to-date with vaccinations against COVID-19 as per the CDC guidelines (unless the employee qualifies for exception under applicable law relating to disability or sincerely held religious belief).
Some of the goals outlined below are subject to change if deemed unsafe due to COVID-19 related impacts - in particular, the ability to carry out public outreach events and in-person networking opportunities.
Applicants who are offered an internship position must adhere to all state, federal, and WDC COVID-19 protocols throughout the duration of the internship.
Candidates in this internship will:
- Have effective verbal and/or written communications skills
- Work well with diverse audiences and teams
- Have an interest in education/outreach initiatives
- Act effectively as a member of a close-knit team
- Be able to problem solve in unanticipated situations
- Have an attention to detail and follow policies and procedures
- Possess a valid driver’s license and be willing to drive a large pick-up truck
- Be able to pass a background check
- Be able to lift or move heavy objects and work outside in adverse weather conditions
- Be comfortable working with deceased/decomposing animals
- Have health insurance coverage and be free of (or able to manage) medical issues aggravated by exposure to animals including their fur and bodily fluids, which could contain transmissible diseases
- Be legally able to work in the United States
- Be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the start of the internship
Internship responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Researching and exploring potential outreach and education partnership opportunities
- Writing blogs, creating social media content, and managing program websites
- Relationship building with boating industry members
- Developing outreach materials and grade school lesson plans connected to science standards
- Delivering educational programs to K-12 students as well as adults/families at community events
- Responding to stranded live and dead marine mammals in the field, including assisting with health assessments and examinations to determine cause of death
- Answering WDC’s rescue hotline and handling reports from callers
- Ensuring marine animal response preparedness by inventorying and restocking equipment, cleaning gear, fueling vehicles, etc.
Check out internship FAQs below!
*Applications for spring, summer, and fall internships are all due on November 30th.
The three programs this internship supports are as follows:
Marine Animal Rescue and Response
WDC’s Marine Animal Rescue and Response Program (MARR) is responsible for responding to stranded marine mammals along about 200 miles of Massachusetts coastline.
Interns will learn the skills needed to respond to pinnipeds (seals) and cetaceans (whales, porpoises, and dolphins), including standard data collection and data input (Level A and human interaction evaluations) and managing supply inventory and ordering materials. It's important to note that stranding events are unpredictable and hands-on experience and species encountered will vary.
WDC’s formal and informal educational efforts include creating lesson plans, facilitating inquiry-based activities, making presentations, managing outreach events, and more.
Interns supporting this program will build a strong set of skills related to educational design and philosophy, public speaking and outreach, communications and marketing strategies (including social media), and contribute new ideas and plans on how to grow WDC’s educational programming.
WDC works with partner groups to implement three boater outreach programs (See A Spout, Whale SENSE, Sharing the Seas). Interns supporting this program will build a strong set of skills working on components of these programs related to public outreach, including social media strategies, highlighting best practices, and communicating with stakeholders and project partners, while helping to track program budgets and fund allocations.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need hands-on experience with marine mammals to apply for this position? Expand
Nope! In fact, this position is designed for those who do not yet have experience in marine mammal conservation and outreach. We will prioritize candidates who do not have practical experience (internship, significant volunteering, employment) in this field outside of a classroom setting.
Can I apply to this position if I live outside the U.S? Expand
International candidates must be able to demonstrate that they are legally eligible to work in the U.S. (in accordance with the USCIS Form I-9) by the proposed starting date. You may find helpful information on this website to confirm whether you are eligible. Unfortunately WDC is unable to provide assistance in obtaining visas.
When will I find out if I got the position? Expand
Applications will not be reviewed prior to the closing date (November 30, 2022). The timeline will depend on the number of applications received and unexpected staff schedule changes, I.e.unpredictable stranding events. We are tentatively planning to conduct interviews at the beginning of January 2023 with candidates being selected by mid/end of January. WDC will notify all candidates via email whether or not they are selected for the position. If you need to withdraw your application from consideration at any time, please email [emailprotected]
Our new selection process is more time-intensive than traditional methods, but we believe it results in the selection of the best candidates. After completing a training on eliminating unconscious biases during recruitment, all members of the 3-person review committee independently score the open-ended responses, without seeing any identifying information. The scores prioritize candidates who show a clear interest in this position, can tell us how the skillset we provide them will be useful in their career, and do not yet have practical experience in the marine mammal conservation field. The review committee then discusses their results and narrows down the list to top-scoring candidates, who are then offered an interview.
Can I receive academic credit for this position? Expand
WDC will assist interested students in obtaining credits for the program through their college or university, within reason. Candidates interested in pursuing this position for credit will be required to provide WDC with a written description of the organization’s responsibilities at the time of interview.
Is the pay rate negotiable? Expand
No, the pay rate of $15/hour is a set rate based on grants received to fund the internship.
Is housing provided? Expand
Successful candidates will need to make their own arrangements for housing and transportation to and from the WDC office in Plymouth, MA, USA. WDC can provide insight during your housing search but assumes no liability. Please note that the cost of living for the Plymouth area is above the national average when considering this role.
Can I work remotely? Expand
Internships are currently offered in-person only since the position includes delivering in-person education programs, community outreach, and rapid deployment from the office in the event of a marine animal response. In accordance with our COVID protocols, we may opt for remote work in the event of widespread community outbreak.
Will WDC offer this internship next year? Expand
We hope to offer internships each year, however, we have made a commitment to only offer paid internships in the future, therefore, opportunities are entirely dependent upon grant funding. If internship positions are not posted on our website, we likely do not have additional information to provide to interested candidates. Please continue to monitor our website for future opportunities.
Where can I learn more about the programs I’ll be helping with during this internship? Expand
Marine Animal Rescue and Response
Education Nation and Delilah, our inflatable North Atlantic right whale
Is there anything else I can submit to support my application? Expand
Please do not send WDC supplementary information (resumes, cover letters, etc.). Our review process is very specific and is designed to minimize bias in our hiring practices. Supporting documents or information will not be reviewed.
Where should I have my references send letters of recommendation? Expand
References should not send letters of recommendation to WDC. Additionally, we ask that references do not contact WDC on behalf of candidates. Our review process is very specific and is designed to minimize bias in our hiring practices. Candidates will be asked to provide references to WDC at the time of interview; WDC will contact references for final candidates towards the end of the selection process.
WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, is the leading international charity dedicated solely to the worldwide conservation and welfare of all whales, dolphins, and porpoises. WDC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin.
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