*Internship Program Postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns in Florida.*
UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station Summer Internship Program
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 2020 program are found below. These internships are open to current undergraduates and recent graduates (within the past year) from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Florida. To see more information on our previous Interns and their experiences, go see our blog.
2020 Internship Important Dates
Candidates will be Notified:
Intern Orientation for Selected Candidates:
Intern Wrap-Up Workshop:
Please send a cover letter, CV, your top three internship choices, and contact information for three references in a single PDF file to Emily Colson at firstname.lastname@example.org. The CV should include GPA and transcript as well as details of experience and skills relevant to the position. Multiple files from applicants will not be reviewed, and applications will be reviewed by a committee of UF faculty and hosts.
You must also include your top three internship choices. (See list below)
2020 Internship Projects
Host: Charles Martin, Research Assistant Professor, UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station
Start Date: June 1, but flexible.
Responsibilities: We seek an intern(s) 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(s) will work with a variety of lab personnel including the technicians and graduate students. Field work 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, inclement weather, and working under water in turbid conditions. The position is located at the Nature Coast Biological Station and, while no transportation costs are covered, carpooling opportunities may be available. Applicants with snorkeling experience and gear (mask, fins, snorkel) are desired. Depending on funding availability, we anticipate hiring 1-3 candidates for this internship.
Qualifications: The applicant must have reliable transportation and 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 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 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. This position is based at the UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station in Cedar Key, FL.
Project Supervisor: Huiping Yang, PhD, Assistant Professor
Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Program, SFRC, IFAS/UF
Starting Date: May 6, 2020 (flexible)
Project Description and Intern Duties:
This is a consortia project with researchers from five states. The goal of this project is to address several aspects of production and technical challenges to oyster farming in the Gulf of Mexico region through genetic selective breeding. The research goal in Dr. Yang’s laboratory is to develop germplasm cryopreservation technology to preserve the oyster germplasm (e.g., sperm and larvae) to assist the breeding program and conservation of natural oyster resources.
The intern will work together with the graduate students, staff, and principal investigator on oyster breeding and germplasm cryopreservation. The activities will include:
- Participate oyster culture, spawning and germplasm cryopreservation
- Work together with graduate students and biologists for experiments
- Visit local industry farmers for sampling
1) Good GPA to show capability of learning new knowledge
2) Creative thinking and good work ethic
3) Knowledge of CAD software for the 3-D printer (or willing to learn)
Besides the research activities described above, the intern will have the opportunity to participate in other ongoing research in the laboratory and attend weekly laboratory meetings for project discussion. This intern will gain experimental skills in areas of cryopreservation, flow cytometry analysis, gamete quality, and genetic analysis. The intern will also be exposed to hands-on experiences including oyster anatomy, spawning, larval culture, and commercial shellfish aquaculture.
The laboratory is in Gainesville, FL, but the intern will have chance to travel to Cedar Key and other locations for sampling.
Daniel Barrand, Forestry; Andrew Gude, Roads.
We are entirely flexible.
General Duties and Responsibilities for the Intern:
Forestry: standard forestry field work - forest inventory and timber cruising for future timber sales, forestry restoration projects, or stand thinning conducted at St. Marks and Lower Suwannee NWRs.
Roads: Cruise the entire network of refuge roads and catalogue them for various factors related to flooding, drive-ability, tree encroachment, surface, degree of maintenance required, etc. The data collected will prepare for a hydrologic restoration project that will foreseeably breach the road network and allow greater overland sheet flow.
Both projects require an independent-minded and self-sufficient individual that can work alone on the refuge. Housing will be in the Refuge bunkhouse, a self-sufficient dwelling; a vehicle and equipment will be provided. The candidate will also have the privilege of working with the wonderful Lower Suwannee staff!
Enrolled in or recently graduated from a UF/IFAS undergraduate program.
Based at Lower Suwannee, but may travel on overnight stays to St. Marks NWR in their bunkhouse. Student will have a vehicle to use and possibly per diem expenses when on overnight stays. Any gear needed for the project will be provided, but a personal cell phone is a must.
Marc C. Minno, Ph. D., Water Resource Coordinator
Flexible, but May 6, 2020 is fine.
General duties and Responsibilities for the Intern:
This is a temporary, professional, scientific position requiring independently performed project coordination, research, analysis, and preparation of technical reports related to water quality, biodiversity, and aquatic ecology. The selected candidate will work closely with District staff. Occasional field work assisting staff in remote and undeveloped areas may sometimes be needed.
Work entails using flow meters and water quality sondes to assess flow and water quality of springs within the District boundaries as part of a larger monitoring network. As well as locating, documenting, and assessing freshwater mussel distribution within the Suwannee River Water Management District.
Candidates must have a strong interest in biodiversity and environmental science. Basic computer skills are required. Knowledge of GIS and analytical and statistical methods are preferred. Good written and oral communication skills and the ability to work within a team are necessary.
This position is located in Live Oak, Florida. Maximum work hours are 20 hours per week. District commuter van between Gainesville and Live Oak may be available at low cost. No specific equipment is needed.
Timothy Jones, Jamie Letendre, Trisha Green
May 18th, 2020
General duties and Responsibilities for the Intern:
Assist DEP staff with field work including but not limited to: monthly water quality monitoring, hardbottom habitat assessments, and annual seagrass monitoring.
1) Ability to swim (snorkel) comfortably in water up to 10 feet deep sometimes with limited visibility
2) Ability to work long hours in extreme weather conditions (heat, rain, etc)
3) Ability to work independently as well as part of a team
Position is based in Crystal River, Florida with work range from Keaton Beach south to Homosassa, Florida.
Required Equipment: Mask, Fins and Snorkel
Suggest Equipment: Rain gear, Hat, Polarized Sunglasses, UV Protective Clothing, Field Bag
Caleb Purtlebaugh – Research Administrator
Chelsea Conley – Intern Coordinator
Start Date: May 6th
Job Description: 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.
Responsibilities: This research position is located at FWC’s Senator George Kirkpatrick Marine Lab in Cedar Key, FL. The researcher will assist in all aspects of FIM program with emphasis on conducting statistically valid research experiments and surveys in estuarine habitats to evaluate relative fish stock abundance, age composition, movement, growth, and condition of fish populations. This will include primarily field work 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. Field work may be done under arduous conditions (e.g. inclement weather, rough seas, and shoreline wading). This position will require that large fish and sting rays 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 primarily during weekdays.
Other information: Personal transportation to the Senator George Kirkpatrick Marine Lab will be required, but not for travel related to field work. Housing is not provided.
Julie Meyer, Assistant Professor, Soil and Water Sciences
Start Date: 05/06/20, negotiable
General duties and Responsibilities for the Intern: Our lab is currently investigating the role of potentially beneficial bacteria in the health of common Florida seagrasses. Specific groups of bacteria live on the surface of seagrass roots and appear to play a role in the detoxification of sulfide in marine/estuarine sediments. To further study the capabilities of these bacterial groups, we want to bring them into culture in the lab. The intern will develop media for the selective isolation of sulfur-oxidizing and/or nitrogen-fixing bacteria from the roots/rhizomes of seagrass. Additional duties may include DNA extraction, PCR, and sequencing of phylogenetic markers to identify isolates.
Minimum Qualifications: Completion of an introductory microbiology course and knowledge of sterile techniques. Preferred skills include experience with DNA extraction and PCR.
Other information: This position will be based in Gainesville, FL. Occasional travel to Cedar Key to collect seagrass is optional, with transportation provided.
Dr. Marcus Lashley, Assistant Professor and Dr. Katie Sieving, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
Start Date: May 11, 2020
General Duties and Responsibilities for the Intern: The intern will be collecting field data on wildlife responses to tufted titmouse
vocalizations and other wildlife sounds to determine the degree to which
wildlife can communicate complex messages between species. The intern will
also be responsible for developing short informational video clips from data collected
to communicate science to the general public through social media platforms and
other outlets. This strategy is designed to leverage fascination of the general public in
complex wildlife behaviors to engage them in science communication with
a conservation message.
Working toward a B.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology or related Natural Resource discipline.
Other Information: The position is based in Gainesville but will require frequent travel to other field sites in Florida. Travel to and from field sites will be supported through other funds.
No additional gear needed.