Biological Research Internships

Intertidal Ecology Internship

Project overview: Intertidal Ecology Interns collect biodiversity data in intertidal transects permanently established around Appledore Island as part of a long-term monitoring program using National Park Service protocols. These transects are critical to evaluate the effects of climate change and introduced species in the Gulf of Maine, as well as to document shifts in species distribution and abundance. Interns identify all species in their transects, analyze transect data, and design future studies. The internship provides expertise in New England intertidal organisms, data analysis, and excellent training for employment in marine biodiversity surveys. Appropriate coursework in marine invertebrates and phycology is strongly recommended. Previous experience in a Shoals Marine Laboratory course is preferred, but not required (relevant SML courses: Field Marine Invertebrate Biology, Ecology & the Marine Environment).

Mentors: Dr. Chris Siddon (Alaska Fish & Game)

Dates: July 31-August 14, 2017 (2 weeks)

Stipend: $150/week

Four interns will be selected. Two of four spots reserved for current Cornell & UNH students.

View past internship posters here: 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.

Marine Mammal Internship

Project overview: Marine Mammal Interns study the large colony of harbor and gray seals on Duck Island and surrounding ledges. Specific questions include numbers of each species estimated through photographic mark-recapture studies, incidence of entanglement and injuries, and distributional and behavioral interactions of the two species. Interns conduct weekly boat-based surveys of the seal colony by photographing all seals in the colony, then analyze and catalog the digital photos in the laboratory. Database management skills are essential. Previous experience in a Shoals Marine Laboratory course is preferred, but not required (relevant SML courses: Marine Mammal Biology, Anatomy & Function of Marine Vertebrates).

Mentors: Dr. Nadine Lysiak (UMass Boston), Dr. Andrea Bogomolni (WHOI), Lisa Sette (Center for Coastal Studies)

Dates: May 29-August 8, 2017 (10 weeks)

Stipend: $150/week

Two interns will be selected. Open to current Cornell & UNH students only.

Internships with SML Partner Institutions:

Gull Population Biology Internship - filled for 2017
  • Conduct Herring Gull nest monitoring in coordination with Field Ornithology Interns.

  • Monitor two sub-colonies of Great Black-backed Gulls throughout the summer.

  • 10 weeks on Appledore Island.

  • Contact Dr. Julie Ellis (Tufts University) for more info.

Project Puffin Field Internship Opportunities
Interested in applying? Things you should know:

Application deadline: March 1, 2017.


  • College freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors in all majors may apply. Cornell and UNH students receive preference for internships.
  • Priority is given to students who have previously taken a course at SML.
  • Internships may fill if qualified applicants are chosen before the March 1st deadline.
  • Applicants should be prepared to upload (as separate files): cover letter, resume/CV, and unofficial transcripts.
  • Two letters of reference should be sent directly to Dr. Liz Craig,