Dive in!

The Marine Studies Initiative (MSI) office is pleased to offer a variety of summer internships every year, focusing on interdisciplinary topics of the ocean and coasts. View our 2019 Summer Internships below. Click HERE for current internships.

Education Policy Communication

An undergraduate student will have the opportunity to work with an ODFW Shellfish Biologist with the Marine Resources Program to conduct research, monitor and manage commercial and recreational shellfisheries, and communicate with stakeholders. This year, an intern will engage in developing outreach products, assessing public knowledge, and interfacing with Oregonians and visitors on important conservation management messages.


We are looking for a motivated, outgoing OSU undergraduate student with mechanical skills and interests to assist with improving the operation and efficiencies of sampling devices and equipment used in field research. A team of researchers is conducting field research on the ecology population dynamics of deep burrowing shrimp that occur in Oregon estuaries. The intern will work with this team and the research will primarily be conduction at the Hatfield Marine Science Center campus. 


An OSU graduate student from the arts will be based at the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC). Studio space is available for the intern to utilize. This internship will be an opportunity to develop your artwork, contribute to the HMSC community, and visit other parts of Oregon. A mentor will be matched according to the candidate’s background and art medium.

Whale Research

An undergraduate student will be part of a team conducting research to understand the foraging ecology of gray whales in Port Orford, Oregon. We are looking for a motivated, interested, and outgoing OSU undergraduate student to be a part of the Geospatial Ecology of Marine Megafauna (GEMM) Lab Team. During the summer in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, the GEMM Lab has conducted research on gray whales at Port Orford to tack the question "how and where do whales find food?"

This internship position will join a team lead by an OSU/GEMM Lab graduate students, and two high school interns, to conduct research on whales and their prey. The intern will undergo training in Newport, Oregon for four weeks, before the whole whale research team undertakes training together in Port Orford for a two-three week period. The team will then collect data over a four-week field season.

Duties include helping with all aspects of data collection and management, field logistics, and leadership and teaching of high school interns. The intern will learn scientific methodology, sampling and data collection protocols, ecological principles, leadership and teamwork skills, quantitative data analysis methods, and science communication skills. 

Required qualifications:
  • Positive attitude towards early morning work (5:30-6AM), which would include data collection and a long work day
  • Must be comfortable working in a kayak
  • Must be comfortable working at heights at the cliff site


An undergraduate student will have the opportunity to participate in the new Guide Recognition and Training Program (GORP) with the Oregon Sea Grant and OSU Extension Tourism Program in Coos Bay and Bandon, Oregon. Duties will include conducting an applied research project relating to whale watching, salmon fishing charters, kayaking, and other guided activities. This applied research is part of a long-term project that is a model for other coastal regions. The intern will have the opportunity to publish blog articles, meet with professional guides, experience professionally guided activities, and produce short, educational videos. Lodging is provided at the Southwestern Oregon Community College Apartments on a lake, and have access to offices on campus as well as the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. 

Science Filmmaking

An undergraduate student will create a short documentary on a specific marine-related research project being conducted at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. This could be on research that looks at economics and coastal resilience or the impact of ocean acidification has on oyster larvae. The intern will work closely with a science filmmaker from Oregon State Productions to develop the scope of the film and conduct all activities associated with production. 

The short film will be screened at the end of the internship period. 

Preference for an intern with some video production experience, especially camera-work, but is not required. 

Eligibility & Applications

Eligibility - This paid internship is a full-time commitment. Interns will receive compensation as an hourly student worker. Interns are expected to perform academic work to fulfill the scholarly expectation. If you are enrolled in summer classes, to qualify for this internship, you cannot be enrolled in more than 5 credits to fulfill the 40-hour week paid internship requirement.

Students of any major can apply. These internships are open to all qualified/eligible OSU students and Oregon Community College students (OSU dual enrollment program or degree partnership program preferred). All job offers are contingent upon Human Resources' final approval. 

Dates - June 10 - August 23, 2019 *Start & end dates may vary according to internship

Locations - Newport, Oregon / Port Orford, Oregon / Tillamook, Oregon

Housing - Group housing may be included, check specific internship for housing information

Compensation - Salary not to exceed $6,240 over a 10-week period. Some funds are available to support field travel and supplies.

All interns are expected to write a proposal, create a final poster and present their project at a public meeting or conference at the end or after the internship (e.g., State of the Coast conference), all under the guidance of their mentor. Interns will also be required to participate in group field trips and seminars.

For more information - Email Academic Advisor, Cynthia Leonard

Application Requirements -

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Two letters of recommendation (details in the application)
  • Unofficial Transcripts will be requested from top candidates


For all except Coastal Tourism Internship

  • Priority application deadline: February 22, 2019
  • All applications due: midnight on March 1, 2019
  • Interns selected early April


  • Committee review
  • Top applicant contacted by the review committee
  • If the applicant accepts the position, they will be hired as an OSU hourly student worker *final acceptance of internship is contingent upon OSU approval

Accommodations for disabilities may be made by contacting 541-737-2780 or [email protected]