Internship Program

WHAT WILL YOU DISCOVER?

Nature Coast Biological Station is partnering with federal and state agencies with UF students to work on research in the Nature Coast region this summer. The list below includes the intern and their partnered host affiliate, as well as the project title. To see more information on our previous Interns and their experiences, look at our blog.

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NCBS INTERNSHIPS

“This summer internship was truly an adventure. Fieldwork was exciting, exhilarating, and eye opening. To see and assess the variety of sites along the Big Bend was truly a rewarding and educational experience. Thank you again to the DEP, UF, and NCBS for the adventure of a lifetime.”
– Lisa DeFillips
“I would like to thank everyone involved with the Demopoulos lab, the USGS Wetland and Aquatic Research Center and the Nature Coast Biological Station. I am forever grateful for the experiences I had this summer and how they will connect with my future career in the sphere of marine ecology.”
– Meredith Anderson, 2021 Intern
“I want to thank Dr. Carrie Adams, Stephanie Verhulst, and NCBS for providing a one-of-a-kind internship that allows students to gain practical research experience that is useful for a career in the natural sciences!”
– Kassidy King, 2021 Intern
“I would like to especially thank SRWMD staff for providing such fantastic mentoring, a welcoming environment, and endless learning opportunities. I am also deeply grateful to UF/IFAS and the Nature Coast Biological Station for making this internship possible and for their logistical support.”
– Alex Janelle, 2021 Intern

Past Interns

NameSupervisorHost DepartmentProject Title
Walker MarechalMike Allen and Caleb PurtlebaughNCBS & FWCFisheries-Independent Monitoring and Assessment Using Stratified-Random Sampling
Aliyah FormontTimothy Jones, Trisha Green, and Kate SuchaneeBBSAPBig Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve – Coastal Monitoring Internship
Grace HejmanowskiDr. Mark Clark and Travis ThomasUF IFAS SWS & UF IFAS NCBSSturgeon and Terrapin Ecology in the Suwannee River
Megan SanfordMarc C. Minno and Stephanie ArmstrongSRWMDWater Quality Monitoring and Data Collection in the Suwannee River Water Management District
Kyle WilliamsDr. Charlie Martin
UF IFAS NCBS
Estuarine Ecology
Jessie MosesSavanna Barry
UF IFAS NCBS
Marine and Coastal Science Communication
Aadil RahmanJoyce Kleen and Monica ScrogginFWS & CRNWRManaging public use/communications and outreach for the Three Sisters Springs Unit of Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge
Chloe SchwabDr. Mark Clark
UF IFAS SWS
Operation Spatfall: Investigating strategies for the restoration of oyster habitat along Florida’s Nature Coast
Kaitlyn TuckerDr. Laura Reynolds
UF IFAS SWS
Seagrass Ecology
NameSupervisorHost DepartmentProject Title
Kassidy KingDr. Carrie AdamsUF IFAS HortLoss of Cabbage Palms in Coastal Forests
Chloe SpenglerDr. Laura ReynoldsUF IFAS SWSSeagrass Ecology
Grace HejmanowskiDr. Mark ClarkUF IFAS SWSOyster Substrate to Improve Water Quality
Emilee StumpDr. Julie MeyerUF IFAS SWSBacteria associated with seagrass roosts/lucinid clams
Chloe ArbogastDr. Marcus LashleyUF IFAS WECCommunicating Conservation
Meredith AndersonDr. Jill BourqueUSGSMangrove Restoration
Katie EverettDr. Charlie MartinUF IFAS NCBSSnook Expansion
Samantha MormileJoyce Kleen and Monica ScrogginFWS & CRNWRManaging public use/communications and outreach at Three Sisters Springs
Nicolle MonteroAndrew GudeLSNWRLSNWR Summer Forestry Assistant
Ashlyn PoseyDr. Meg LamontUSGSSturgeon and Terrapin Ecology
Erik Van DykeCaleb PurtlebaughFWCFWC Fisheries Independent Monitoring – Marine Research
Lisa DeFilipsTim JonesDEPBig Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve - Coastal Monitoring Internship
Annabel SchreiberDr. AJ ReisingerUF IFAS SWSBiogeochemical dynamics of stormwater ponds
Alexender JanelleDarlene Velez SRWMDWater Quality in Suwannee River Basin
NameSupervisorHost DepartmentProject Title
Anthony MessinaDr. Charlie MartinUF IFAS NCBSEstuarine Ecology
William WareTim Jones and Jamie LetendreDEPSeagrass Monitoring & Assessment - Big Bend Seagrass Aquatic Preserve
Juliana NavarroDarlene VelezSRWMDWater Quality and Springs Monitoring
Eric BoveeDr. Mike Allen and Samara NehemiahUF IFAS NCBSSpotted Seatrout Age and Growth
Camila Leon Robert McCleeryUF IFAS WECFinding the Cedar Key Salt March Vole
Sarah TevlinStephanie Verhulst and Carrie AdamsUF IFAS HorticultureSea-level rise mediated Phragmites australis invasion in Juncus roemerianus dominated saltmarsh of the Gulf of Mexico, FL
Shea HusbandCaleb Purtlebaugh and Taj KnappFWCFisheries Independent Monitoring - Marine Research
Samantha Hoskins Peter FrederickUF IFAS WECOyster Research
Jasmine SchwadronDr. Charlie MartinUF IFAS NCBSEstuarine Ecology
Caroline BarnettPeter Frederick and Leslie SturmerUF IFAS ShellfishShellfish Restoration and Extension
Alexandra Reyes-Ramos Joyce KleenUSFWSCrystal River National Wildlife Refuge Manatee Monitoring
Connor MiltonJoyce KleenUSFWSCrystal River National Wildlife Refuge Manatee Monitoring
NameSupervisorHost DepartmentProject Title
Samara NehemiahDr. Mike Allen and Steve GeigerUF IFAS NCBSBay Scallop Population and Recreational Fishery Monitoring
Emma JablonskiDr. Mike Allen UF IFAS NCBSNature Coast Biological Station Intern
Rebecca RashJoyce KleenUSFWSCRNWR Manatee Monitoring
Margaret LongJoyce KleenUSFWSCRNWR Manatee Monitoring
Vita RepinaDr. Mark ClarkUF IFAS SWSInvestigating Strategies, Benefits and Stakeholder Preference of “Living Shorelines” to Stabilize and Ecologically Enhance the Coastline around Daughtry Bayou
Cher NicolsonJosh Patterson and Dr. Savanna BarryUF IFAS NCBSCentipede Bay Oyster and Marsh Habitat Enhancement Project
Sawyer DowneyDr. Charlie MartinUF IFAS NCBSEstuarine Ecology
Brian WhalenDr. Mike Allen and Andrew GudeUF IFAS NCBSImproving Recreational Fishing Catch and Release Methods
Tyler FogtCaleb Purtlebaugh, Johnny Polasik, & Taj KnappFWCFisheries Independent Monitoring - Marine Research
Amy OxtonSteve Geiger & Jennifer GrannemanFWCBay Scallop Population and Recreational Fishery Monitoring
Victoria SteinneckerMark Hinz & Tom MirtiSRWMDWater Quality and Springs Monitoring
Anna SwigrisTim Jones and Jamie LentendreDEPSeagrass Monitoring and Assessment-Big Bend Seagrass Aquatic Preserve

JOIN THE UF/IFAS NCBS SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM

Application Details

This internship program is intended to give undergraduate students at UF an opportunity for real-world experience in research and/or extension activities. Selected students will work alongside practicing researchers and natural resource managers. These internships are 240 paid work hours, from early May to mid-August (scheduled depending on host needs, some full time for six weeks, some part-time for a longer period), and interns are paid $12.00 per hour for up to 40 hours a week. The hosts include UF/IFAS faculty as well as state and federal agency partners. Interns will participate in an orientation meeting with NCBS staff and hosts, as well as a summer wrap-up workshop where interns will summarize their experiences. This is a great opportunity for students to enhance their skill sets and explore career options in natural resource fields. Application materials and host information for the 2021 program are found below. These internships are open to current undergraduates and recent graduates (within the past year) from the University of Florida. To see more information on our previous Interns and their experiences, go see our blog.

Diversity & Inclusion

The UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station will be a diverse, equitable, and inclusive institution for the benefit of UF members, our partners, and the communities we serve. We strive to (1) develop and maintain faculty, staff, and students that value and include people with diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and life experiences, (2) promote equitable opportunities through the work we conduct, and (3) make continuous efforts to review, self-critique, adapt, and improve.

The success of the UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station’s academic and research programs is sustained through genuine dialogue among faculty, staff, and students with diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and identities. We strive to create an open, inclusive, and equitable environment for all employees, partners, and volunteers.

IMPORTANT DATES

Applications Due: by midnight March 11th, 2022
Candidates will be notified: March 31st, 2022
Intern Orientation for Selected Candidates: April 29th, 2022 (Virtual, attendance required)
Intern Wrap-Up Workshop: August 12th, 2022 (Cedar Key, possibly virtual)

Host: UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station

Start Date: June 1

Supervisor: Dr. Charlie Martin

Responsibilities:We seek an intern to work in the Estuarine Ecology Lab at the Nature Coast Biological Station on a wide variety of projects related to coastal ecology in the nearshore environments of the Gulf of Mexico, particularly in the Nature Coast region. Projects and responsibilities will vary but include field sampling of fishes and invertebrates; quantitative assessments of environmental parameters and habitats such as seagrass, oyster, and mangroves; laboratory experiments on nekton ecology and behavior; and other day-to-day tasks including sample identification, sample processing, data entry, and assisting other staff as needed. The selected intern will work with a variety of lab personnel including technicians and graduate students. Fieldwork will be performed on small boats and interns will be required to participate heavily in field-based activities which are often characterized by long hours outdoors and potentially arduous conditions such as extreme heat in the Florida summer, biting insects, and inclement weather. The position is located at the Nature Coast Biological Station and carpooling opportunities may be available.

Qualifications: The applicant must have reliable transportation and a valid driver’s license as well as an interest in marine community ecology and the ability to work both collaboratively and independently. Job responsibilities will include possible night and weekend work and some moderate-heavily lifting. Basic computer skills and the ability to work full time with long field days are required. Good written and oral communication skills and the ability to work within a team are necessary.

Other Information: Preferred applicants will have some experience with the identification of invertebrates and fishes of Florida’s Big Bend or previous experience using dichotomous keys. Relevant coursework in ecology/marine biology and previous experience with small watercraft is preferred, but not required.

Host: Marc C. Minno, Ph.D., Water Resource Coordinator (SRWMD) and Stephanie Armstrong, Environmental Scientist III

Start Date: May 6 (Flexible)

Responsibilities: This is a scientific research internship involving the collection and review of water quality and quantity data and assistance with water resources projects. The selected candidate will work alongside District staff and receive hands-on experience calibrating and maintaining water quality equipment, collecting water quality and flow measurements, post-processing data, reviewing and quality control of data, and using ArcGIS to inventory physical features and visually display data in a meaningful way. Work entails using water quality instruments and flow meters to assess water resources within the District’s monitoring network. Upon arrival, staff will work with the intern to assess professional interests and choose from several potential projects to find the best fit for the intern’s deliverables.

Qualifications: Candidates must have a strong interest in environmental science. Basic computer skills are required. Knowledge of GIS and analytical and statistical methods is preferred. Good written and oral communication skills and the ability to work within a team are necessary.

Other Information: This position is located in Live Oak, Florida. Maximum work hours are 20 hours per week. No specific equipment is needed.

Host: Department of Environmental Protection, Big Bend Aquatic Seagrass Preserve

Start Date: May 15

Supervisors: Timothy Jones, Trisha Green, Kate Suchanee (BBSAP)

Responsibilities: Assist DEP staff with field work including but not limited to monthly water quality monitoring, seagrass monitoring, and hard bottom monitoring.

Qualifications:

  • Ability to swim (snorkel) comfortably in water up to 10 feet deep sometimes with limited visibility (snorkel gear NOT provided)
  • Ability to work in extreme weather conditions (heat, rain, etc)
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team
  • Flexible work schedule

Other Information: The position is based in Crystal River, Florida with work ranging from Keaton Beach south to Homosassa, Florida.

Required equipment: mask, fins, and snorkel

Host: FWC Fisheries Independent Monitoring

Start Date: May 6

Supervisor: Caleb Purtlebaugh – Research Administrator and Stephanie Winn – Intern Coordinator

Responsibilities: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s (FWRI) Fisheries-Independent Monitoring (FIM) program is a long-term program designed to monitor the relative abundance of fishery resources in Florida’s major estuarine, coastal, and reef systems. The program was developed to: 1) address the critical need for effective assessment techniques for an array of species and sizes of fishes and selected invertebrates; 2) provide timely information for use in management plans; and 3) monitor trends in the relative abundance of taxa in a variety of estuarine and marine systems throughout Florida. There will also be an opportunity to participate with other ongoing research projects such as offshore research, hook-n-line sampling, and snook research.

Qualifications: This will include primarily fieldwork deploying and retrieving gear, fish species identification, and data collection. The FIM program uses a multi-gear approach to collect data on various life-history stages of fishes and selected invertebrates. Gears used to collect estuarine fishes include: 21.3-m center bag seine; 6.1-m otter trawl; and a 183-m haul seine. Data collection may require long field days and strenuous physical activities. Fieldwork may be done under arduous conditions (e.g. inclement weather, rough seas, and shoreline wading). This position will require that large fish and stingrays be safely handled. Office work includes fish identification using microscopes and dichotomous keys, specimen work-up (otoliths, life history, diet, mercury samples) and data processing. Field and office work will be during weekdays.

Other Information: This research position is located at FWC’s Senator George Kirkpatrick Marine Lab in Cedar Key, FL. Personal transportation to the Senator George Kirkpatrick Marine Lab will be required, but not for travel related to fieldwork. Housing is not provided.

Host:  USGS

Start Date: May 6

Supervisor: Dr. Margaret Lamont

Responsibilities: Assist USGS biologists with sturgeon captures and tagging, and maintenance of an acoustic array in and around the Suwannee River. Also assist with turtle (freshwater, marine, estuarine sps.) surveys in and around the Nature Coast Region.

Qualifications: Comfortable on small boats, handling large nets, and working in hot and buggy conditions. In addition, the ability to walk long distances in muddy, salt marsh habitat is necessary.

Other Information: The position is based in Cedar Key or Gainesville. Previous boating experience would be preferred.

Host: UF Soil and Water Sciences

Start Date: May 9

Supervisor: Dr. Mark Clark

Responsibilities: We seek an intern to assist with several projects pertaining to oyster ecology and restoration in the Cedar Key area. These studies include assessments of spatial and temporal larval settlement dynamics, identification of oyster wave energy and sedimentation tolerances, and large-scale restoration of oyster habitats using novel restoration materials. Internship responsibilities will vary but include: construction and deployment of restoration materials, monitoring of oyster recruitment, assisting with geospatial surveying, and design and execution of manipulative field experiments examining oyster survival and stress tolerance. Other responsibilities may include data entry, data quality assurance/quality control, and sample processing.

Qualifications: The applicant must have an interest in marine science and a strong desire to perform field research in coastal ecosystems. The applicant must have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation. Job responsibilities will include traveling as a passenger on small vessels, wading in waist-deep water, carrying heavy objects (~30 lbs), and walking on uneven surfaces (mud and oyster shell). Successful applicants will be those who work well both independently and collaboratively, have strong communication skills, are willing to work in sometimes inclement conditions (rain, summer heat, direct sun), and at unusual hours of the day (low tide often dictates schedule of fieldwork).

Other Information: Coursework in ecology and/or marine science is preferred but not required. Most of the field work will be based at the Nature Coast Biological Station in Cedar Key, FL. The intern should have field-appropriate attire and oyster-resistant footwear (dive booties, old sneakers etc).

Host: UF/IFAS NCBS

Start Date: Flexible, prefer a start in May and to finish by early July

Supervisor: Dr. Savanna Barry

Responsibilities: Lead the creation of media such as tours, signage, brochures, blog posts, virtual field trips, and similar resources that communicate science-based best practices in an approachable way. In this position, the intern will shadow research and extension faculty and staff during various tasks such as seagrass surveys, water quality sampling, and living shorelines monitoring. The intern will work to produce communications products based on their interests and these shadowing experiences. The intern will work with the NCBS supervisor and staff to ensure prioritization, dissemination, and tracking of the products created. Special focus will be placed on the creation of self-guided tours using the PocketSights App. Using this app, the intern will create experiences that visitors to the Nature Coast will use for years to come. The tours will encourage visitors to explore the natural environment while also learning about conservation practices. Priorities for tour development will be based on current projects as well as the interests and strengths of the intern. Possible topics include boating/seagrass protection, birding, habitat restoration, fishing/scalloping, sustainable seafood.

Qualifications: Strong verbal and written communication skills, general comfort with one or more communications tools (e.g., video production, photography, voice recording, creative writing, social media), willingness to learn new topics/skills, enthusiasm. Bonus/preferred qualifications: experience with science journalism or communications/media; high level of comfort or experience with media creation tools such as Adobe Suite, Final Cut, Canva/Figma, WordPress, or similar; experience with graphic design.

Other Information: Position is based in Gainesville (or surrounding area) with frequent travel to field locations between Pasco County and Taylor County for content gathering and researcher shadowing. Carpooling will often be available several other NCBS students and staff reside in Gainesville. If the successful applicant does not have access to a car, state vehicle use can be arranged with advance planning and a valid Florida driver’s license. A modest travel stipend is available to support reimbursement for travel in a personal vehicle. Camera equipment and software access are provided but student will need to be able to access a laptop or desktop computer (either a personal machine or through UF’s campus-based computer labs).

Host: Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, Three Sister Springs

Start Date: Flexible

Supervisor: Monica Scroggin – Visitor Services Specialist and Joyce Kleen – Refuge Biologist

Responsibilities:

  1. Monitor and record visitation data for Three Sisters Springs by water, including visitors by kayak, paddleboard, and swimming in.
  2. Assist with community outreach through Facebook and other outlets.
  3. GIS-aerial survey data entry and scanning documents.

Qualifications: Must be able to interact with and educate visitors. Must be able to tolerate the Florida summer heat. Must be comfortable kayaking and standing for extended periods of time.

Other Information: Located in Crystal River, Florida. Transportation and equipment will be provided. Housing and work vehicle will be provided. A background check might apply.