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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 2020 Summer Internships below. Click HERE for current internships.

Aquatic Microbiology 

An undergraduate student will participate in several ongoing projects with Dr. Carla Schubiger of the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine before selecting a small main project of their own. Dr. Schubiger’s current projects focus on aquatic animal disease agents, functional feeds, and seafood safety. The Hatfield Marine Science Center-based internship will involve data collection and analysis, and possibly some fieldwork on oysters, shrimp, marine finfish, and sea stars. Microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry, biology knowledge and laboratory skills are preferred, but more important is the ability to work independently, work ethic, motivation and enthusiasm. Housing at Hatfield Marine Science Center is provided. Some support funds are available for field travel and supplies

Ocean Acidification Awareness

Based at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, an undergraduate student will work with the Education and Exhibits departments to conduct research on visitor awareness about ocean acidification. Guided by a social marketing framework, the student will create research tools to gather data on visitors’ knowledge, values, and behaviors related to ocean acidification. If time permits, the student will work with Education and Exhibits staff to test ocean acidification messaging as well as shadow and conduct various programming. The student must be comfortable and confident in approaching guests to request participation in the research and collect verbal data.

Water Quality Monitoring

The Tillamook Estuaries Partnership (TEP) is currently conducting water quality monitoring efforts for bacteria contamination and ocean acidification and hypoxia (OAH) in Tillamook Bay.  An undergraduate has an opportunity to be involved in fieldwork, data analysis, and community outreach related to the TEP’s long-term bacteria monitoring effort, Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program (VWQMP) and Tillamook Bay OAH Monitoring Project.

The position is located in Newport, OR, and will require the student to drive to Tillamook Bay to perform fieldwork.

Marine Reserve Interpretation 

Based at the OSU Port Orford Field Station, an undergraduate student will provide interpretive services at the nearby Port Orford Visitor Center. The intern will assist in recruiting and coordinating community volunteers for the Redfish Rangers program of the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve Community Team. Visitor data will be collected, compiled and presented at a local or regional venue, such as the end-of-summer Port Orford Science Symposium or the October State of the Coast Conference. We are looking for a motivated and outgoing student to communicate the story to Port Orford visitors of the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve, and the importance of collaboration with the fishing community. The intern will help recruit volunteers for community science programs with partner agencies such as CoastWatch, COASST, and the Marine Mammal Stranding Network. In addition to gaining confidence in public speaking skills, the intern will gain experience in data collection and analysis, science communication, and ecological and cultural aspects of the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve.

Coastal Tourism- Siuslaw National Forest

Where “The Forest meets the Sea” on the Hebo Ranger District, an undergraduate student will choose between two potential coastal tourism-themed projects.  The Hebo Ranger District provides diverse coastal recreation opportunities that invites regional and international tourism (such as Sandlake Recreational Area with sand dunes for Off-Highway Vehicles) with an estuary for fishing and kayaking, plus beautiful coastline hiking trails within Cascade Head Scenic Research Area and the Oregon Coast Trail.  Projects offer experiences in Forest Service Oregon Coast Trail recreation facilities design, installation and campfire interpretation program at the Sandlake Recreation Area; or assisting with various types of marketing for dynamic coastal events in collaboration with Tillamook County tourism-centric groups.  Both projects will have opportunities for presenting to coastal collaborative groups.

Science Communication

The ODFW Marine Reserves Program seeks an undergraduate to create content in connection with research happening in marine reserve sites this summer and evaluate several different science communication approaches. This opportunity combines fieldwork with creative science communication skills, and will be based at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. The student will participate in five types of research activities across the five marine reserves this summer and be responsible for generating one science communication contribution (i.e. photo essay, video, blog post, social media post) per week about each type of research.

Science Filmmaking

An undergraduate will complete a short documentary about a specific marine-related research project being conducted at Hatfield Marine Science Center--whether it’s an economic look at coastal resilience or the impact of ocean acidification on oyster larvae. The student 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 will be given to a student pursuing a degree in the natural sciences, with some camera experience.

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 15 - August 22, 2020 *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 23, 2020
  • All applications due: midnight on March 1, 2020
  • Interns selected early April

Coastal Tourism Internship

  • Application due: midnight on April 12, 2020
  • Intern selected late 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]


The health and well-being of everyone involved in the OSU MSI summer internship program is our top priority. Currently there are no directives from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to avoid domestic travel, but this could potentially change at any point prior to, or during, the OSU MSI summer internship program. The COVID-19 outbreak and responses in the U.S. have varied depending on local situations, including on college campuses, and our program will be following any guidance established by OSU and the CDC. This could include modification to a remote program, developed with your mentor. We will keep you informed if there are any changes to this internship program.