Stranding Investigations Internship

The Stranding Investigations Program provides response to reports of marine mammal and sea turtle strandings 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Our response area is within the coastal waters of central southwest Florida. The program offers logistical support and assistance to state biologists in the verification, rescue and recovery of sick, injured or dead manatees. Live and dead cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and sea turtles are rescued and/or recovered and transported to Mote for rehabilitation or detailed post-mortem examination.

Interns will assist in responding to stranding calls, documenting stranding events and collecting samples and data. Interns will also assist researchers and program staff with other projects, such as sample processing, assisting in the Ruth DeLynn Cetacean Osteological Collection and general maintenance of stranding equipment. This position will involve both laboratory and field work assisting in the recovery and examination live and dead stranded animals. The majority of stranded animals reported are dead, beach-cast animals. Stranding response often occurs after hours and weekends, so interns should be prepared to work outside of normal business hours. Basic skills required are the ability to work independently, lift 50 pounds comfortably, follow procedural instructions and collect and record detailed information. Field and laboratory work will involve strenuous working conditions, including working in close proximity to and assisting with the sampling of large dead animals.

A valid Florida Class E driver’s license or equivalent is required. While all levels are welcome to apply, upper-level college students with a strong biology background and field experience will be given preference.

In office 5 days per week (including at least one weekend day), 8 hours per day (with occasional longer hours).