Sustainable Lobster Bait Internship

This 2024 Internship application is closed.

Project Overview

American lobster is one of the most valuable commercial fisheries in the U.S., and is an important part of the Atlantic coast’s economy and heritage. However, the wild baitfish stocks used by this industry (e.g. herring, mackerel) have been heavily impacted and now face steep quota reductions, leaving the lobster fishery in need of more environmentally and economically sustainable baits.

The SURG Sustainable Lobster Bait intern will help develop and test two alternative bait formats; 1) bait cakes made from locally caught and processed fish carcasses and 2) invasive silver carp. Fish carcasses gathered from fishing ports that are co-located with lobster fleets will be processed into bait cakes to extend shelf life, and are aimed at fully exploiting local marine fisheries while reducing the carbon footprint and cost of importing bait from overseas. Using invasive carp could simultaneously mitigate the detrimental effects of these fish on watersheds while creating a commercial harvest opportunity for local fishers.

The intern will work closely with Cornell/Shoals faculty, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and industry partners to develop the baits and perform controlled lab and field tests to assess the efficacy and economic viability of these products.


Appropriate coursework in marine ecology, fisheries science and/or marine resource management. For SML alums, directly relevant SML Courses include: Sustainable Fisheries, Marine Ecosystem Research and Management, Shark Biology and Conservation, and the Shoals Research Apprenticeship. The most competitive applicants will be those that have an interest in both marine science and data analysis. A substantial component of the project will be in experimental design and conducting data analyses.

Project Mentors

Dr. Eugene Won (Shoals, Cornell)

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Dates:  June 5 - August 14, 2024 

SML Research Symposium: DATE

Stipend: $2100

Includes room & board for 10 weeks, and round-trip vessel transportation from Portsmouth, NH to Appledore Island. Interns are responsible for their own transportation to/from Portsmouth, NH at the beginning and end of the program.

1 researcher will be selected.


To Apply

  • Application Deadline: closed
  • Applicants should be prepared to upload (as separate files): cover letter, resume/CV, and unofficial transcripts.
  • Request two letters of recommendation. At least one letter must be from a professor/faculty member. The second can be from a graduate student TA or employer.
  • Undergraduates in all majors may apply.
  • Prior relevant field/lab experience preferred but not required.

Note for international students: International students studying in the United States under an F-1 visa are eligible to work as a research intern at SML. Before applying, we encourage students to confirm with their academic institution about their eligibility for off-campus employment through a Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or other comparable program. Students not currently studying in the United States can also apply for a research internship but will be required to secure their own J-1 visa. Information on third-party assistance for J-1 applications can be found at the following website: