Three times a year, REEF accepts four individuals to intern at REEF Headquarters in Key Largo, Florida. Interns learn a variety of skills including non-profit management and operations, public speaking, conservation fieldwork, marine science education and teaching experience, and data management. During the four-month internship, interns will have opportunities to dive and volunteer with partner organizations in the Florida Keys and South Florida. REEF interns build relationships with leaders in marine science and conservation, and leave the internship well rounded, experienced, and ready to begin careers in the marine conservation or non-profit field.
- Must have completed at least two years of college - National and international individuals accepted - Experience with Microsoft Office Suite - Strong verbal and written communication skills - Excellent people skills – we work with the general public daily - Detail oriented, ability to take direction and follow through with projects - Enthusiasm to teach and instill a connection to the marine environment with the public - Students from disciplines outside marine science are encouraged to apply - Although not required, basic Open Water SCUBA certification preferred
Interns can expect to be exposed to a wide range of activities that vary from season to season. While each internship is unique, typical activities include:
- Performing fish identification surveys while SCUBA diving - Assisting with invasive lionfish fieldwork, capture, and dissection of lionfish - Assisting with invasive lionfish education, outreach, and control programs - Presenting seminars for school groups and dive clubs - Planning and implementing special events like REEF Fest and Lionfish Derbies - Assisting with Ocean Explorers Summer Camp and creating Camp Content (Summer Internship Only) - Writing articles for websites, newsletters, and social media - Helping members of the public that visit the REEF Interpretive Center and office - Creating flyers and other promotional materials - Responding to phone calls and emails from REEF members
In addition, interns are encouraged to implement independent projects related to their areas of interest. For example, a graphic design major could create new infographic posters or an education major could create fish identification lesson plans for grade school classrooms. Other past intern projects have related to biological assessment fieldwork and data analysis, language translations of REEF materials, writing, artwork, web design, and GIS mapping.
The internship program is a full-time position that is typically 4-6 months in length. Interns will work 40 hours per week. Interns assist in the REEF office and Interpretive Center Monday through Friday during business hours, and weekend work is occasionally required in conjunction with special events like lionfish derbies and community outreach. It is an un-paid opportunity.
Interns are also allowed time out of the office to dive and volunteer in the community during the work week. Each week, interns can participate in REEF’s Volunteer Fish Survey Project and dive for a half-day (2 dives) at no cost with one of REEF’s Conservation Partners. Interns are also encouraged to volunteer with local environmental organizations for a full or half day each week.