Fall Internships

Fall 2023 Community-Based Internship and Volunteer Opportunities for Students attending Semester by the Bay

Several Federal, State, and non-profit organizations in the Homer area offer internship and volunteer opportunities for students participating in Semester by the Bay.

Internships must be applied for and taken for 3 credits of Biology A495A Internship in the Biological Sciences.  Internship placement is not guaranteed! The quality of your application materials is important. Advisors are happy to look over your application materials and/or help you prepare for interviews. Contact Ken Goldman for assistance.

**Internship placement is prioritized for Fall Semester students admitted to the Marine Mammal Biology Occupational Endorsement Certificate.

***Students placed in internships are not covered by host agencies' Workers' Compensation or General Liability insurance.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game HIDDEN

Division of Sport Fish

Open: Fisheries Intern

(1-2 Positions available)

15 hours per week. Internship start date: September 1 preferred.

The intern(s) will work as one of the primary counters enumerating coho salmon and steelhead passage through a video weir on the Anchor River. The intern will gain fish identification knowledge, data entry and proofing skills in Microsoft Access and Excel, and will be responsible for producing daily counts and assisting with keeping a weir operational during fall weather. The intern(s) may also have the opportunity to collect water data (temperature and discharge), collect bathymetry measurements, participate in a razor clam abundance survey, prepare salmon scales and razor clam shells for aging in the lab, and arrange field data for reports. 

Housing will be provided.

Filled: Wildlife Biology Intern

1 position

The Candidate will work 15-20 hours a week assisting biologists collecting data from harvested animals.  Each fall hunters bring required samples from harvested animals to Fish and Game offices for sealing and sampling.  Staff collects samples for genetic analysis, isotope analysis, antler growth, disease screening, and more.  The candidate would work with staff collecting samples, interviewing hunters, inputting data, and more.  Additional opportunity exists to help with fisheries projects such as razor clam sampling and salmon monitoring.

The Homer Fish and Game Office is located approximately 1 mile from the Kachemak Bay campus at 3298 Douglas Place just off of Ocean Drive on the way to the Homer Spit.  The busiest sampling period is September 1 to September 30 with the majority of sampling occurring Mondays, Tuesdays, and the first working day following a holiday weekend.  Housing can be provided at the KBNERR office approximately 1.3 miles from the ADF&G office towards the Homer Spit.



Alaska Department of Fish & Game - Fisheries

1 position available

Fisheries Intern

These internships will offer students the opportunity to gain exposure to the importance of sport fisheries and aquatic resources in Alaska, particularly on the Kenai Peninsula. These interns will work with a variety of fisheries technicians, biologists, and managers that are monitoring Homer area salmon, groundfish, and shellfish resources that support Alaska Department of Fish and Game in managing of some of the largest sport fisheries in Alaska. Interns will gain hands-on fisheries experience within field, laboratory, and office settings with a large variety of assignments throughout the internship that will lead to a well-rounded understanding of fisheries management in Alaska. These internships will be 15-20 hours a week from January through May but have the possibility of extending into the summer. Some of the primary experiences these internships will accrue during the spring semester will include a combination of field, laboratory, and data processing. Field work will be primarily with razor clam abundance surveys and the laboratory and data experience can be tailored towards the intern’s interests.




Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, Islands and Oceans Visitor Center

1 position available

Environmental Education + Visitor Outreach Internship

Description and duties: serve 20 hours/week presenting K-12 educational and interpretive programs, serving as a greeter at the visitor center and providing information about the area, and contributing to the Refuge’s communication platforms. In addition to these primary duties, the intern will also have the opportunity to create original educational activities, develop educational bulletin boards, assist in bookstore operations, and assist with special events. By the end of the semester, the student will be able to: present interpretive programs, rooted in conservation biology, in an engaging manner and appropriate to the audience; communicate high level of conservation literacy utilizing a variety of media; compose engaging, public facing, conservation education related media content; adapt written and verbal communication appropriately for a variety of target audiences; explain the biological significance of the Refuge’s history and resources, within a local, national, and global context; assist audiences towards high-level concepts including resource protection, stewardship, and global issues. Free government bunkhouse housing provided. Approximately 1 mile from campus. Requires 20 hours/week volunteer internship service.

Free government bunkhouse housing provided. Approximately 1 mile from campus. Requires 20 hours/week volunteer internship service.


Alaska Wildlife Alliance

1 position available

Voices for Wildlife - Education and Citizen Science - Conservation Coalition Intern.

Internship opportunities are available with the Alaska Wildlife Alliance (AWA) to assist with projects under our “Voices for Wildlife”, “Education and Citizen Science”, or “Conservation Coalitions” programs. The intern will assist our nonprofit with wildlife conservation projects that may include: supporting citizen science programs; reviewing wildlife policies or biological findings and developing comments; educating the public about wildlife, habitat and ecosystems; and building new relationships with like-minded organizations for short-term or long-term partnerships. The specific project will be dependent upon the wildlife needs at the time of the internship, and the student’s area(s) of interest. AWA is an Alaska-based nonprofit protecting Alaska’s wildlife through citizen mobilization, advocacy, and education.




 Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies (CACS)

Housing for CACS interns is available 1 Sept., possibly sooner, at a significantly reduced rate ($1200/semester + $100 cleaning fee) with 10-20 hours/week internship service.  Located less than ½ mile from campus. See Housing for details. 

Environmental Education

2 positions available

Internship activities with CACS will include co-leading, assisting with, or developing program activity ideas for science and outdoor learning after school programs for early and upper elementary students. Additional activities may include assisting with marine debris education and school field trips to participate in clean ups and/or assisting with internship, after school, or enrichment programs for high school teens. Some opportunities for assisting with overnight Alaska Coastal Ecology field trips at the semi-remote Peterson Bay Field Station may be available, depending on intern schedule. Exact responsibilities within the internship will be based on the intern's interests, skillsets, and availability and the needs of CACS.

Marine Debris Intern

2 positions available

Work 10-20 hours/week in a variety of contexts associated with marine debris and coastal clean-ups. Activities include assisting outreach and education efforts for youth groups, volunteers, and community groups, as well as potentially assisting with school-base lessons and activities. Interns may assist with marine debris art compilations and there is lots of need for data entry! Intern will also have the opportunity to be involved with leading or assisting marine debris clean ups at semi-remote beach locations in Kachemak Bay. During this semester Marine Debris interns may also be assisting with an ongoing school composting and mycelium cooler project. Exact responsibilities within the internship will be based on the intern's interests, skillsets, and availability and the needs of CACS.

Marine Mammal Skeletal Articulation Intern

2 positions available

Work 10-15 hours/week cleaning and preparing marine mammal bones collected from strandings for use in mounted skeletal displays and classroom education; conduct necropsies, when necessary; restore damaged specimens, including fabrication of missing bones or pieces thereof.

See BONEMAN.COM and University of Alaska Articulation Class  for more details.



City of Homer, Public Works

Climate Action & Sustainability Champion

1 position available

The Climate Action & Sustainability Champion intern will help the City of Homer's Public Works Department, in collaboration with the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, make continued progress on its Climate Action Plan and other environmental sustainability measures related to City operations. During the course of the semester the intern will: Collect/compile data related to carbon emissions and energy conservation Research and prepare informational materials about ways to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy conservation Develop and participate in public outreach and education related to climate change issues and possibly issues concerning responsible storm water management and water quality.


Homer Soil & Water Conservation District

Invasive Species Communications Intern

1 position available

Tasks will include but are not limited to: Compiling and drafting content for the KP-CISMA website; contributing to social media posts; writing blog posts; and assisting with other invasive species communication and outreach needs as they arise. Depending on the intern’s interests and HSWCD’s needs at the time, there may be the opportunity to assist with classroom programs and/or the creation of printed outreach materials (e.g., flyers and brochures).


Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve 

Free bunkhouse housing provided. Approximately 2 miles from campus. Requires 20 hours/week volunteer internship service.

Education Intern

1  position available

As the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Education Intern, you will help plan, coordinate, and implement various youth and adult programming activities throughout the Fall. This may include preparing for in-school activities, field trips to remote study sites, and assisting with community monitoring programs, such as plankton and water quality monitoring. Most work will be with middle or high school aged youth.

Qualifications/Requirements: Interest in education and learning. Desire to work with children of various ages. Flexible with change and adjusting schedules.

Harbor Porpoise Intern

2 positions available

Interns will assist with and gain experience in marine mammal boat-based surveys and processing data generated during each research cruise. This will include: scouting with binoculars; collecting survey data, including GPS tracklines, pins and map creation; using KBC digital cameras and GoPros to take high-quality images and videos; sort, edit and process images and videos of harbor porpoises for photo-identification, new catalog additions and mark-recapture (resightings); water quality assessments (e.g., temperature, pH, turbidity). Data, images and videos will need be entered and processed regularly each week.  Potential experience with grant writing process, if student interest and time permits. Interns will also assist with educational programs and creation of outreach materials.

Students need to be comfortable working on boats and in inclement weather, and carrying heavy gear (up to 50 lbs) on to and off boats, and up and down dock ramps.



Kachemak Heritage Land Trust

1 position available

Development & Communications Intern

KHLT Development & Communications Intern – 10 hours a week Kachemak Heritage Land Trust is a 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Homer. KHLT has been protecting open land for 33 years. Our mission is to conserve the natural heritage of the Kenai Peninsula for future generations. This internship will provide an opportunity to see how nonprofits communicate science to the general public, how we connect with the community, and how we keep the organization financially sustainable. Your primary role will be supporting our Development and Communications (fundraising and outreach) effort in the following areas:

  • Development:
    • Event marketing and logistics
    • Fundraising recording keeping
    • Mailing operations
    • Grant management support
    • Raffle logistics
    • Annual Magazine content creation, editing, and distribution
  • Communication:
    • Educational event marketing and logistics
    • Content creation for posts, ads, and press releases
    • Assisting with the completion of grant requirements
  • Attending meetings with partner organizations, potential donors, existing donors, KHLT Staff and Board of Directors
  • Occasional stewardship monitoring



(1 position)

Oceanography Intern

Work 10-15 hr/week mostly remotely assisting NOAA scientists looking at oceanographic changes (data analysis and visualization) and how they relate to recent biological changes in Kachemak Bay/Cook Inlet. Knowledge of Matlab and/or R software helpful, but not required. Opportunity to participate in boat-based field work for oceanographic surveys (day trips or multi-day trip) may exist during the semester. Note: Weekly time commitment varies throughout semester, depending on student schedule, with field work opportunities available


North Gulf Oceanic Society

3 positions available

Filled: Cetacean Data/Catalog Entry and Identification Intern

Work 10-15 hr/week assisting area scientists with data cleanup and entry, update annual photo summary spreadsheets; separate resident, transient and offshore killer whale photo data for all years; review and rectify matriline charts; input basic field log and encounter data for current year field work; may require Excel and GIS data entry; sorting and matching of killer whale individuals from Southcentral Alaska into known pods from contributed photos; photographic field work possible, if whales are present in Kachemak Bay; work on other related research and projects as agreed upon by both intern and internship mentor.

Filled: Cetacean Acoustics Intern(s)

Description and duties:  Work 10-15 hr/week assisting area scientists with verification of killer whale calls from remote hydrophones in South-central Alaska; learn basics of PAMGUARD and Audacity; learn basic dialect structure for local ‘resident’ killer whale pods; Excel data entry for verification of calls, by pod if known; photographic field work possible, if whales are present in Kachemak Bay; work on other related research and projects as agreed upon by both intern and internship mentor.


USFWS Marine Mammals Management

2 positions available

Sea Otter Stranding Response Intern

Conduct stranding response efforts for live and dead stranded sea otters in the Kachemak Bay region on an “on call” basis. Intern is expected to work an average of 20 hours per week. Duties will include responding to stranding calls, conducting beach surveys for stranded sea otters, collecting data (Level A assessments) and biological samples from carcasses as needed, providing assistance in carcass removal and proper disposal (must be able to lift 50+ lbs), assisting in shipping fresh dead otters and other sea otter cases of interest for necropsy, maintaining/inventorying any biological samples or specimens collected or entrusted, maintaining/inventorying field gear, cooperating and maintaining communication with Alaska SeaLife Center (ASLC) volunteers and other Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) volunteers, supporting live otter response and providing live otter observations as needed in coordination with ASLC, participating in public outreach and communication, creating outreach products, checking for errors in data collection and entry, and assuring completion and organization of all level A data and sea otter photos.

This position may require the safe operation of and/or riding in FWS vehicles and thus proof of valid driver’s license.

Due to the physical demands (heavy lifting, bending, kneeling), outdoor and/or remote work environment, and potential for exposure to zoonoses in this position, the intern is expected to follow safety guidelines and use appropriate personal protective gear (gloves, protective clothing, closed-toed shoes, sunscreen, etc.)

The intern is also expected to abide by COVID-19 related health mandates and guidance put forth by the FWS, local and state governments, and the CDC. Working with federal agencies and in federal buildings requires full vaccination against COVID-19. This internship potentially includes housing.



Winged Whale Research

Cetacean Identification Data Entry/Catalog Interns

2 positions available

Help match, catalog and document whale sightings and individual identifications and movements. Work in Kachemak Bay, Prince William Sound and North Gulf Coast will be included.


Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Alaska Center for Conservation Science & NOAA

1 position available

Filled: Harmful Species Program Intern

Description and duties:  Work 15-20 hours/week with the Harmful Species program. Ideally this individual would have the maturity and responsibility to work independently on tasks. This could include: analyzing survey video and annotating any species of concern, participation in  marine invasive species surveys and outreach, taking phytoplankton tows, learning phytoplankton identification and ultimately reading slides using microscopes, and collecting invertebrate samples as needed. Other opportunities may include: field work in the KBNERR boat collecting water quality data, samples or instruments from our stations across the bay, data entry, helping other researchers in our organization with field work in creeks and estuaries, etc.

Internship provides free housing in KBNERR bunkhouse located 2.3 mi. from campus.