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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 2024 Summer Internships below.

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Content Development for Oregon Coast Aquarium -- Environmental Interpretation and Marketing

Location: Newport, OR

Undergraduate student will work with the Aquarium’s Education and Marketing departments to develop content for their volunteer training, website, and social media in support of their new Connected Coasts and Jellies galleries opening in Fall 2024.  The Aquarium is remodeling all of its indoor galleries, which will include changing the theme of two galleries to include tropical animals and interpreting the connection of all Pacific ecosystems via currents. The intern will conduct research, compile information, and write content in templates for each medium. Additionally, as time allows, the intern may be involved in evaluating the content with our guests, which would include approaching guests and asking them to complete surveys. Strong writing skills needed.



Coastal Bird Stewardship and Outreach 

-- Community Engagement and Environmental Education 

Location:  Newport to Florence, OR

The intern will assist with the Coastal Bird Stewardship Outreach Project along the central coast (Newport to Florence) by cultivating visitor stewardship of coastal seabirds and shorebirds, e.g., marbled murrelet. This involves increasing visitor understanding of their role in sensitive seabird and shorebird conservation at Siuslaw National Forest and Oregon State Park areas on the Oregon Central Coast. Activities include developing, producing and delivering interpretive messages at recreation areas (e.g., campground programs, nature hikes) via social media, and collaborating with state and federal interpretive and field rangers to develop and deliver program content.


Cutting-edge Environmental Monitoring:  Scientific Technology Development and Testing

Location:  Newport, OR

This internship offers the opportunity to explore how academia and industry can work together to advance the understanding and monitoring of the ocean. Specifically, the intern will work with Sea-Bird Scientific (a leader in oceanographic instrumentation) on a project related to the design, testing, calibration, and/or validation of bio-optical oceanographic instrumentation used to sense ocean biogeochemical variables such as surface ocean light fields (irradiance, radiance), chlorophyll fluorescence, oxygen, pH, nutrients, particulate organic carbon, and/or dissolved organic matter. The intern will focus on one or more of the following activities: deployment and maintenance of instruments in nearby coastal waters, data collection and analysis, laboratory validation of instruments using water samples or reference standards, and/or implementation of oceanographic instrumentation project kits for educational workshops.



Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve Interpretation and Science Communication

-- Marine Research and Conservation

Location:  Port Orford, OR
The Marine Reserve Interpretation Intern is a combination of field scientist, science communicator, and marine reserve interpreter. The intern will communicate the story of the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve, and the importance of collaboration with the fishing community to visitors to Port Orford. In 2024, the Redfish Rocks Team will acknowledge more than a decade of marine stewardship at the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve and Marine Protected Area through its outreach and education program, and the intern will work with the Redfish Rocks Team to support these efforts.  The intern will be responsible for an independent research project, to be developed with the mentor, will collect data, compile these data into a report, and present results at the annual State of the Coast Conference. The intern will also recruit volunteers for community science programs with partner agencies such as Coast Watch, COASST, and the Marine Mammal Stranding Network, and will be part of the team sampling juvenile fishes as part of an OSU/ODFW long term monitoring collaboration at Redfish Rocks. There will be additional opportunities to participate in field research and monitoring activities. Scuba diving experience is preferred.


Environmental Interpretation at Yakona Nature Preserve & Learning Center

Location: Newport and Cascade Head, OR

The Yakona Nature Preserve & Learning Center is a living laboratory on a peninsula in Yaquina Bay that serves to protect, preserve, and enhance the natural ecosystems and cultural history of Oregon’s central coast spruce habitat and its wildlife through the arts, education, and stewardship. The intern will research and create professional brochure(s) featuring Yakona's animals, plants, etc., making them child-friendly while appealing to families and other community members. Intern will create a minimum of 3 different brochures. One of these brochures will compare two locations on the coast:  Yakona Nature Preserve & Learning Center and the Cascade Head Biosphere. To accomplish this the student will travel for at least one overnight trip to Cascade Head to tour the area and refine content.

Climate Change from Forests to Sea at Cascade Head

Location: Newport and Cascade Head, OR

Working in the internationally recognized UNESCO Biosphere Reserve at Cascade Head, the intern will work with a team studying climate-change impacts from forest to sea in this amazing natural environment. The intern will engage in a variety of activities including learning about ongoing monitoring of change, interpreting measurements of changing temperatures and ecosystem response, and finding ways to engage the public, especially youth. The intern will work together with the intern from the Yakona Nature Preserve & Learning Center to compare these two locations on the coast within the larger central Oregon coast and ocean ecosystem.


Port of Newport Internship Options

Location: Newport, OR

The Port of Newport stewards ~59 sq miles of the central Oregon coast--north to south from Otter Rock to Seal Rock, and east to west from 6 miles inland to the Pacific Ocean. The Port offers a wide variety of services to develop, promote, and sustain the economic base of the area, including commercial and sport fishing, fish processing, shipping, tourism, recreation, and lumber and wood processing.

NOTE:  Only 2 of the following 4 internships will run. Which 2 internships will depend on the number and qualifications of applicants.


1. Environmental Planning for Sustainability

This Port of Newport intern will help plan the future of the working waterfront, Yaquina Bay and coastal habitats. This project provides opportunity to work with environmental consultants and agencies such as City of Newport and Army Corps of Engineers. Student(s) will also work with environmental data and imagery and learn about environmental assessments such as project feasibility studies. The intern’s focus will depend on their interests and expertise. Types of projects include: Site planning for a new major dock, dredged material planning, green energy and facility upgrade opportunities.



2. Community Development Policy for Public Access and Local Seafood

The intern will assist the Port of Newport with developing new public access rules and communications of the rules. Student will learn about recent legal rulings requiring new public access policies and community relations essential to public access. Types of work include reviewing and compiling relevant ordinances and helping to update Port of Newport communications materials. The intern will also have opportunity to contribute to new facility planning and licensing systems supporting the sale of fish/seafood directly from commercial fishing vessels.



3. Regional Economic Development in a Global Market (Business, Economics or Public Policy major)

The intern will help connect the Port of Newport with regional, national and international markets. Student will learn about raw material imports to the west coast of the US from foreign sources or domestic sources, port shipping and manufacturing operations, and local economies. Work will include researching raw materials and manufacturing processes that could be brought together in Newport to benefit both the Port and the regional economy. The intern may also have opportunity to focus on market analysis and strategies.



4. History Informing Future Development

Explore the evolution of waterfront properties and the industries that have occupied them through this internship designed to research the history of waterside and bayfront properties in Newport. Work with the Port of Newport to document how the local economy and job market arrived to present-day status and describe how the current industries in Yaquina Bay have evolved. This information will assist the Port to understand the socio-economic forces creating the current economy and informing future planning choices. Types of activities include compiling historical facts and analyzing historical records to determine how past events and decisions affected the evolution of the maritime industry in Yaquina Bay, what lessons can be learned, and best methodologies for the future.

MSI-MACO Summer 2024 Internships


The Marine Studies Initiative/Marine and Coastal Opportunities office is pleased to offer a variety of internships every year, focusing on interdisciplinary topics of the ocean and coasts. View our 2024 Internships above.

These are 10 weeks in length, starting June 17, 2022, and ending August 23, 2024. Start and end dates may slightly vary, depending on the internship.

Projects Include- 

  • Coastal Bird Stewardship and Outreach - Newport to Florence, OR
  • Community Development Policy for Public Access and Local Seafood – Newport, OR
  • Environmental Interpretation at Yakona Nature Preserve & Learning Center – Newport, OR and Cascade Head, OR
  • Environmental Planning for Sustainability – Newport, OR
  • Climate Change from Forests to Sea at Cascade Head – Cascade Head and Newport, OR
  • History Informing Future Development – Newport, OR
  • Marine Reserve Interpretation and Science Communication - Port Orford, OR
  • Regional Economic Development in a Global Market – Newport, OR
  • Content Development for Oregon Coast Aquarium – Newport, OR
  • Scientific Technology Development and Testing – Newport, OR


Application & More Information

Locations – Includes: Newport, OR / Port Orford, OR / Cascade Head, OR

Housing – Summer group housing is provided. In Newport, this group field housing is at Hatfield Marine Science Center. Group housing at Port Orford Field Station is located in a low populated, more secluded area--e.q., small town with minimal to no public transportation.

Hours – Summer Internships are full-time commitments, typically 40-hours per week. Within or in addition to this commitment, interns are expected to participate in program activities such as field trips plus perform work to fulfill scholarly expectations such as project plan writing, poster creation, and presentation prep and delivery.

Compensation -- Interns will receive compensation as an Oregon State University hourly student worker. Total salary depends on the internship. Typical salary range is $4,700 - $6,250 for a 10-week period internship commitment. Group housing is provided by the program in addition to the salary.

Eligibility - This internship is open to all currently enrolled OSU students and Oregon Community College students (OSU dual enrollment program or degree partnership program preferred). To be a student worker, in summer, you cannot be enrolled in more than 5 credits of summer classes to work 40 hours. Eligible students will need to be enrolled in 6+ credits in Spring and Fall terms 2024 to be eligible for summer term-off employment. International undergraduate students will need to be enrolled in 12+ credits in Spring and Fall terms of 2024.

All interns are expected to write a project plan/proposal, create a poster, and present their project (poster and oral presentation) at both the Coastal internship symposium and a public meeting or conference after the internship, all under the guidance of a mentor. Interns will also be required to participate in group check-ins, field trips, seminars, professional development and other group activities.

Some positions require driving a University, agency or personal vehicle, thus intern must possess and maintain a current valid driver’s license in their state of residence to be eligible for use of University vehicles. Additional requirements may apply, if incumbent chooses to use personal vehicle or a rented or leased vehicle.

All applications due:  Midnight on February 25, 2024 or until internship is filled.  Interns will be selected in late March. Application HERE

For more information:  Academic Advisor, Cynthia Leonard - [email protected]

OSU seeks diversity as a source of enrichment for our university community. We are an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer, and particularly encourage applications from members of historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ community members, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community.


2024 Internship Partners

Check out the MSI 2024 Internship Partners by clicking the links below. 


Oregon Coast Aquarium

Siuslaw National Forest

Yakona Nature Preserve & Learning Center

Port of Newport

Sea-Bird Scientific

Port Orford Field Station