REEF Marine Conservation Internship

Publish Date: Apr 11, 2016

Deadline: Jun 27, 2016

REEF’s Marine Conservation Internship provides an in-depth look into REEF's Volunteer Fish Survey Project and Invasive Lionfish Program. The internship provides an array of diverse experiences including scientific diving, outreach and education, data collection and management, non-profit operations, and public speaking. During the four-month long internship, you will have many opportunities to dive and volunteer with partner organizations in the Florida Keys and South Florida. Explore the links below to learn more and apply.


Three times a year REEF accepts four individuals to intern at REEF Headquarters in Key Largo, Florida. Interns learn a variety of skills that include non-profit management, public speaking, conservation fieldwork, data management, and marine biology laboratory techniques. REEF interns build relationships with leaders in marine science and conservation, and leave the internship well rounded, experienced, and ready to begin careers in marine conservation.


- Must have completed at least two years of college
- National and international individuals accepted
- Must have basic Open Water SCUBA certification
- Experience with ocean diving and boat diving is preferred
- Experience with Microsoft Office Suite 
- Strong verbal and written communication skills
- Excellent people skills – we work with the general public daily
- Detail oriented, ability to take direction and follow through with projects
- Enthusiasm to teach and instill a connection to the marine environment with the public
- Students from disciplines outside marine science are encouraged to apply



The internship program is a full-time position that is typically four months in length. Interns will work in the office, dive, or volunteer in the community around 40 hours per week. The office is staffed Monday through Friday during business hours, and weekend work is occasionally required in conjunction with special events like lionfish derbies and community outreach.

When not working at REEF Headquarters, interns are encouraged to dive and volunteer in the community. Each week interns can participate in REEF’s Volunteer Fish Survey Project and dive for a half-day (2 dives) at no cost with one of REEF’s partner Field Stations. Interns are also encouraged to volunteer with local environmental organizations for a full or half day each week.


Although the internship is unpaid, the benefits of interning at REEF are plentiful.

- Exposure to different non-profit educational and environmental organizations
- Experience in local Florida and Caribbean fish identification
- Opportunity to become a member of the Advanced Assessment Team
- Practical field experience in monitoring protocols, procedures, and data management
- Opportunities to teach others about the marine environment
- Treated as a valuable member of the REEF team
- Given diverse tasks and responsibility for important projects
- Networking with important figures in marine science, SCUBA diving, underwater photography, conservation
- Opportunities to dive in the Florida Keys
- College credit, if appropriate
- Letters of recommendation provided upon successful completion of the internship
- Dive training certifications from local dive shops and instructors, where applicable
- Making long lasting friendships with like-minded individuals
- Living in the beautiful, sunny Florida Keys, where the ocean is your backyard!


Start and end dates are flexible depending on University schedules and other school or work commitments. The three semesters follow the general schedule:

- Spring semester: January to May
- Summer semester: late May/early June to late August/September
- Fall semester: August to December


REEF provides a furnished, four-bedroom house during the internship and covers a portion of the cost. Each intern contributes $400 each month toward the cost of housing and utilities. All utilities and high speed internet are included in this price. Any additional costs vary from intern to intern based on expenditures.


Send the following materials to REEF Education Program Manager, Ellie Splain via email or mail.

- Completed Application Form which is available for download below in both PDF and Word Document form. If you are having trouble accessing either version of the application, email Depending on the browser you use to open the PDF link from the internship webpage, you may need to download the PDF, then save the file to your desktop as a new file using the “Save As” function. Before sending in your application, please confirm that the PDF or Word Document has saved your text correctly. 

- Resume and Cover Letter

- Letter of reference from at least one previous or current professor, supervisor, employer, or other non-related individual whom you have worked or studied with for a significant period of time. This person should be able to speak about previous experiences and personal characteristics that make you a strong candidate for the internship

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Marine Science

Eligible Countries


Host Countries

United States