Internships at Downeast Institute

Downeast Institute is a nonprofit marine research, education and shellfish production facility located on Great Wass Island in the town of Beals, Maine.  Our mission is public service through marine research, marine resource education, and innovations in wild and cultured fisheries.

We serve as the Marine Science Field Station of the University of Maine at Machias.  In this capacity, we provide and/or host summer undergraduate internships for students from the University of Maine at Machias, the University of Maine, and other college campuses in Maine and beyond.

Internships vary according to the lead researcher, the source of funds, and potentially the interests of the student.

For the upcoming 2021 summer season, we anticipate the following paid ($13.00/hr) internships:

Center for Shellfish Production & Research (CSPR) Internships

Job description (download as PDF)

Center for Shellfish Production and Research Intern (2-3)

Institutional Lead – Downeast Institute

Supervisor – Kyle Pepperman

CSPR interns learn essential shellfish husbandry techniques applicable to aquaculture and general shellfish biology.  They assist DEI’s CSPR team with every aspect of shellfish production including: microalgae production, broodstock conditioning, spawning broodstock, larval rearing, juvenile rearing, nursery care and grow-out.  This position offers the experience of growing soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria), blue mussels (Mytilus edulis), Atlantic surf clams (Spisula solidissima), quahogs (Mercenaria mercenaria), Arctic surf clams (Mactromeris polynyma), Eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) and European oysters (Ostrea edulis). Interns also will participate in a variety of applied marine research projects in the laboratory and field.  Interns will assist with duties related to our public education mission.

Previous experience working with shellfish is preferred but not necessary if a student exhibits interest and motivation. The ability to work independently with great attention to detail is essential.  Work in the hatchery and field requires the ability to lift at least 50 pounds and stand for long periods of time.  Fieldwork occurs primarily during low tide, and work hours will vary accordingly.

List of duties:

  • Maintain, condition, and spawn broodstock;
  • Rear larval and juvenile shellfish;
  • Monitor and grade juvenile seed in upwellers, and assist with moving seed to nursery trays;
  • Provide tours to visitors;
  • Process field and laboratory samples; and,
  • Maintain a large flow-through touch tank.

Interns will be expected to:

  • Clean and fill hatchery and algae tanks
  • Carry buckets of algae to tanks
  • Maintain a clean facility (i.e. clean floors and walls)

Click here to apply.

Ocean Acidification Research Intern

Job description (download as PDF)

Ocean Acidification Intern

Institutional Lead – Downeast Institute

Supervisor – Dr. Robert Holmberg

OA interns assist DEI researchers with data collection and analysis related to laboratory and field experiments focused on ocean acidification and its effect on commercially important shellfish and crustaceans.

Previous experience working with shellfish is preferred but not necessary if a student exhibits interest and motivation. The ability to work independently with great attention to detail is essential for this position.  The position will involve bench work and field work.  Fieldwork requires the ability to walk on mudflats.  Fieldwork occurs primarily during low tide, and work hours will vary accordingly.

Click here to apply.

Marine Ecology Research Intern

Job description (download as PDF)

Marine Ecology Research Intern

Institutional Lead – Downeast Institute

Supervisor – Dr. Brian Beal

Marine ecology interns assist DEI researchers with data collection and analysis in field and laboratory experiments related to population dynamics of intertidal invertebrates in both rocky and soft-bottom habitats.

Previous experience is preferred but not necessary if a student exhibits interest and motivation. The ability to work independently with great attention to detail is essential for this position.  The position will involve bench work and fieldwork.  Fieldwork requires the ability to maneuver and work on mudflats.  Fieldwork occurs primarily during low tide, and work hours will vary accordingly.

Click here to apply.

Internships are subject to funding availability and are seasonal hourly positions without benefits or paid time off.

Shared housing for interns is available at a modest rate.

Other Positions:

Students are also encouraged to contact us about work-study, temporary or volunteer positions based on their interests.  Previous positions have included facility maintenance, public outreach, data management and nonprofit administration.  Email inquiries to Dianne Tilton, Executive Director. dtilton@downeastinstitute.org.

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