Right Whale Internship

Intern to assist with right whale research in northeast Florida during the winter.

The FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) is looking for an intern to assist with research and monitoring activities for the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale in northeast Florida. The project focuses on vessel-strike mitigation and data collection for federal assessment of the status and recovery of the North Atlantic right whale population.

FWRI staff conducts aerial surveys and vessel-based research in the winter (December-March). Intern responsibilities will be based on the applicant’s previous experience and may include:

  • vessel-based surveys;
  • photo-identification,
  • data entry and archival tasks;
  • outreach events;
  • documenting and verifying public sighting reports of whales; and
  • general operational tasks.

Intern may also participate in whale necropsies and receive training on large whale disentanglement and aerial survey protocols and methods. Field work is weather-dependent, and weekly work schedules vary as a result. Applicants should be available at least five days per week (Monday-Sunday) from late November through March, and must be willing to work weekends, holidays and evenings as needed.

One intern position is available each winter. There is no compensation for this internship, and applicants will be responsible for their own transportation. Housing may be provided but is contingent on funding and available space. The position is open until filled and contingent on funding for the project.


Applicants must possess a valid U.S. Class E driver’s license. College juniors and seniors and recent graduates are eligible. Applicants should have some research experience and be:

  • able to work in a close team environment and get along well with others;
  • able to work well in adverse field conditions and in a lab/office environment;
  • able to collect data in a detail-oriented manner;
  • proficient with computers;
  • proficient with SLR digital cameras, filters and lenses (preferred);
  • able to drive a full-sized pickup truck;
  • able to lift 50 pounds of equipment;
  • able to swim; and
  • comfortable speaking to the public.

If you are interested in applying for an internship with the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, the following information is required:

  • A cover letter describing the internship you are applying for; area(s) of academic/research interest; and the dates, days and hours of availability.
  • A résumé describing training and experience.
  • Names and contact information for three references.
  • An unofficial copy of your academic transcript.

Please send these items as e-mail attachments toInterns@MyFWC.com

If electronic submission is not possible, hard copies can be mailed to:

Robin Allen
Internship Coordinator
Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
100 Eighth Avenue SE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701-5020

For more information, please visit the FWRI Internships section.  Applicants may contact Katie Jackson (Katie.Jackson@MyFWC.com) with questions regarding the internship.

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