The MLML Vertebrate Ecology Lab does not have a formal internship program, but provides volunteer opportunities for a few prospective students or other interested persons who are willing to relocate to the Monterey Bay area. We ask interns to commit to a minimum internship period of two months, with a minimum weekly time commitment of 18-20 hours. Typically there is enough to do to keep interns busy full-time. Internship positions are generally available during all times of the year. We usually have opportunities for at most two persons at a time.

MLML provides no financial support or housing for interns, but we can often help them find local housing and employment (it should be noted that housing in the area tends to be rather expensive). Due to the field-oriented nature of internship work, and the scarcity of housing in the town of Moss Landing, a personal car is a necessity (cars cannot be provided by MLML).

Interns are encouraged to participate in all of the Vertebrate Ecology Labs ongoing activities. Interns who need particular research projects can also be accommodated. In addition to their internship duties, interns are welcome to attend and participate in any lab functions that occur while they’re with us, such as monthly lab meetings (during the academic year) and the annual MLML Open House.

Persons interested in interning with the MLML Vertebrate Ecology Lab may call, visit, or write to Dr. McDonald at the address below. To assist the selection process, please send a letter describing your interests, copies of your grades, a résumé, and any other information that will assist in selecting interns. Dr. McDonald will try to make decisions regarding summer interns by February of each year.

Dr. Birgitte I. McDonald
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
8272 Moss Landing Rd.
Moss Landing, CA 95039-9647

Phone No.: 831-771-4417

Interns participate in research projects (generally conducted by Vertebrate Ecology Lab graduate students or Dr. McDonald) and assist in the lab’s marine mammal and sea turtle stranding program. Field work is usually supplemented with in-lab activities such as entering data or references into computers, organizing materials in the lab, and gathering references from the library.

The types of projects available for internship participation vary, depending upon the time of year and the research being conducted by lab members. A review of the thesis projects of current graduate students will provide an idea of some of the studies in which interns might become involved.

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