Fall 2018 Community-Based Internship and Volunteer Opportunities* while you are in Homer for Kachemak Bay Campus' Semester by the Bay (SBB) program

Various Federal, State and non-profit organizations in the Homer area offer internship and volunteer opportunities and may include students enrolled at KBC for the fall semester. Participation in an internship or volunteer activity sponsored by another organization is optional. To assist the sponsoring agencies, please contact the individuals listed below and submit a 1-2 page cover letter to each outlining your interest, any relevant experience, and future goals. You may also submit a CV or resumé. Please send materials to each of your chosen agencies, and notify Dr. Deborah Tobin, KBC Professor of Biology and SBB Academic Advisor,  of your top 3-4 choices, by Friday March 9, 2018 so that agency internship mentors may review them in a timely manner, and perhaps request a telephone interview. It is recommended that you apply to more than one agency. This list will change as internships are filled and new ones become available. Contact Dr. Tobin for more details.


Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, US Fish & Wildlife Service

Agency Website: Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge

Filled! Sea Otter Stranding Response:

Contact:  Robert "Josh" Lynn

4 positions available;  work 20 hours/week responding to dead and live sea otter stranding events: salvage and collect data from carcasses; support rescue and protection of live animals; conduct beach surveys to assess mortality rates of otters through strandings; other duties and data analysis dependent upon agency needs and student availability. For more details see the position description.

Housing:  requires 20 hours/week; free government bunkhouse housing provided, however, space is in flux until Oct. 1st. Students need to provide their own housing until this time, or possibly sooner, depending on bunkhouse availability. For more details see

Education & Interpretation

Contact: Kara Zwickey

2 positions available; work 20 hours/week presenting educational and interpretive programs, staffing the visitor center and providing information about the area, and contributing to the Refuge’s social media page. In addition to these primary duties, the intern will also have the opportunity to update displays and 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.

Housing: Free government bunkhouse housing provided upon arrival, roughly August 20th. Requires 20 hours/week.


Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies (CACS)

Agency Website: Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies
Contact: Beth Trowbridge, Director

Housing for CACS interns is available 1 Sept., possibly sooner, at a significantly reduced rate ($1000/semester) for approximately 10-20 hours/week internship service.  Located less than ½ mile from campus.

Bone Box Educational Intern:

1-2 positions available; work 10-20 hours/week constructing educational bone boxes and keys/manuals for educational, community-sharing purposes.
Environmental Educator Intern: 1-2 positions available; work 10-20 hours/week in a variety of environmental, ecological education outreach capacities.

Marine Debris Intern:

up to 3 positions available; work 10-20 hours/week in a variety of contexts associated with marine debris/coastal clean-ups including educational outreach, marine debris art compilations, data entry, among others.

Marine Mammal Skeletal Articulation Intern:

2 positions available; contact Lee Post at  and/or Beth Trowbridge.
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.


Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies (CACS) & Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

Agency:  Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies and
Department of Fish and Wildlife. 
Contact: Beth Trowbridge, CACS Director

Marine Mammal Skeleton Education Program Intern:

Work 10- 20 hours a week with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies to support a marine mammal skeleton articulation/education program. Work could include cleaning and preparing bones, helping to create skeleton articulation kits and educational materials, creating storage and transportation containers.

Housing:  requires 20 hours/week; Government bunkhouse housing provided for intern(s), at no cost starting Oct. 1.    Students need to provide their own housing until this date, or possibly sooner, depending on bunkhouse availability. Located approximately 1 mile from campus. Based on space availability, housing my alternatively be offered through the Center for Alaska Coastal Studies. ($900/semester plus one-time $100 cleaning fee).  Located less than ½ mile from campus.

Cook Inlet Keeper

Agency Website: Cook Inlet Keeper
Contact: Bob Shavelson

Field Assistant:

Support scientific staff in field research geared toward understanding effects of rising temperatures on wild salmon systems.

Policy Analysis:

Intern will work with staff to identify and develop a topic for research and analysis on issues involving pollution, habitat protection, and/or climate change.


Eye of the Whale

Agency Website: Eye of the Whale Research
Contact: Olga von Ziegesar

Cetacean Identification Data Entry/Catalog Interns

1-2 positions available; work 10-20 hours/week learning how to identify and categorize humpback whales into regionally recognized groups; assist area scientist(s) with data entry, sorting, and matching of humpback whale photographs from Southcentral Alaska in restructuring current whale identification catalogs; update and expand postings in Kachemak Bay Whales webpage; work with the Homer community to gather photographs from individuals, charter boat companies, and commercial fisherman to use in updating catalogs and webpages; may require Excel data entry and/or website modification; photographic field work possible when whales are present in Kachemak Bay and/or possibly during a trip to Prince William Sound.

Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, University of Alaska Anchorage Natural Heritage Program/NOAA

Agency Website: Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and NOAA - NERR

Housing: provided free of charge in a communal bunkhouse adjacent to KBNERR offices. Located approximately 2.3 miles from campus.

Filled! Harmful Species Program:

Contact: Rosie Robinson

1 position available; work 15-20 hours/week with the Harmful Algal Bloom program preparing and analyzing phytoplankton slides and shucking shellfish meat to send away for chemical toxin testing. Ideally this individual would have the maturity and responsibility to work rather independently on the sample preparation part of our program. This could include: gathering blue mussels from cages from the Homer Harbor and maybe across Kachemak Bay on a weekly basis, shucking the mussels or clams to extract the meat and preparing those sample to be frozen and then shipped to the lab via Fed Ex; taking phytoplankton tows, learning phytoplankton identification and ultimately reading slides using microscopes and filling in data sheets on phytoplankton. Other duties / opportunities to pitch in and help may include: field work in the KBRR boat collecting water quality data or samples or instruments from our stations across the bay, some data entry, helping other researchers in our organization with field work in creeks and estuaries, intertidal surveys for marine invasive species, etc.

Environmental Education Intern

Contact: Dana Nelson

All candidates will need to provide a cover letter, resume, and at least three references. Requirements: 21 or older, US citizen, at least two years college experience and 10-15 hours a week dedicated to internship. Internship Start Date: August 20, 2018 (one week before classes start) preferred but flexible. Position Description: Intern will work with the education department of the Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (KBNERR) in Homer, AK assisting with education programs for grades Pre-k to 6th and the public. The internship includes developing and presenting a program appropriate for the public or Pre-k-6 settings. Your classes schedule might interfere with assisting in K-6th programs. KBNERR will work with you and know that in advance. Throughout the internship the intern will have the opportunity to assist researchers with their field work. This field work includes monitoring juvenile salmon, phytoplankton tows, and water quality monitoring. These will be explained in more detail during the internship.


North Gulf Oceanic Society

Agency Website: North Gulf Oceanic Society
Contact: Dan Olsen

Cetacean Data/Catalog Entry and Identification:

2 positions available; work 10-15 hr/week assisting area scientists with data cleanup and entry, sorting and matching of killer whale (KW) individuals from Southcentral Alaska into known pods using digital photography; update annual photo summary spread sheets; separate resident, transient and offshore KW photo-data for all years; review and rectify matriline charts; input basic field log and encounter data for field work; update transient KW data and registry; may require Excel or GIS data entry; photographic field work possible, if whales are present in Kachemak Bay; potential to work on other related research and projects as agreed upon by both intern and internship mentor. Enrollment in QGIS workshop strongly recommended. Potential for additional dedicated volunteers on specified days throughout the semester.

Biology Internship Credits

Internships may be completed for 3 college credits (BIOL A495A) with sponsoring agencies and Dr. Tobin; requires 1-2  meetings per month, e-Portfolio creation, and a final presentation. Preference for many internships is given to those registering for the BIOL A495A course. 

Please notify Dr. Tobin and each internship agency personnel of your intent to register for the KBC Internship Course, or not, by including a brief explanatory statement in your cover letter. 

Additional internship and/or volunteer opportunities may exist with:

  • Homer Marine Mammal Stranding Network (via the Alaska SeaLife
  • Center)Alaska Dept of Fish & Game
  • Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • Islands and Ocean Visitors Center (providing interpretive services at a public contact desk)

To Apply:

  • To Apply:

    Send application materials to the agency contact listed with each internship. Include:

A 1-2 page cover letter, include:

  • Your interests
  • Relevant experience
  • Future goals
  • Courses you will be taking
  • CV or resumé, (recommended).
  • Send an email with a bulleted list of your top 3-4 choices to Dr. Deborah Tobin, KBC Professor of Biology and SBB Academic Advisor.  

  • Some agencies will request a telephone interview, so make sure your contact information is included and your voice mailboxes set up.

  • Interview Tip: Consider what questions might be asked and how you might answer them.

    * KBC-KPC is not the sponsor of the internship and/or volunteer opportunities.