Internships that will advance your career beyond the coast!

Whether you are a current undergraduate or graduate student looking for research support, or a soon to be graduate looking for exciting opportunities that will set the course for your career; Virginia Sea Grant offers a range of internships aimed at helping you achieve your goals while giving you the professional skills to be a leader in your field.

No opportunities are currently available. Please check back soon!


Virginia Sea Grant Internships for Undergraduate Students

Up to four (4) positions will be filled for this opportunity (see eligibility requirements for more information)
This is a paid internship - each intern will receive a $7,000 stipend for participating in the program

Application Deadline: April 26, 2024

Virginia Sea Grant is offering the following paid opportunities for Undergraduate Students interested in working on projects with our Virginia Sea Grant affiliated Graduate Students. Students must be willing and able to work at the specified location and understand that this opportunity does not provide housing or additional funding to support housing.

Up to four fellowships, each with a $7,000 stipend will be offered to enable selected students to conduct research under the guidance of a Graduate Fellow mentor.

Deadline & How to Apply: Interested students should submit a resume (2 page maximum, 12 pt font), cover letter (1 page maximum) and completed online form on the Virginia Sea Grant applications website at by April 26th 2024.

Funding: Interns will be paid a stipend of $7,000. Students will work full-time (40 hours/week) for nine weeks during the summer (May-August depending on the selected project).

Eligibility: Applicants must be:

  1. Enrolled undergraduate students at an accredited 2- or 4-year college or university located in Virginia.
  2. Have completed at least one year of study towards a bachelor’s or associate degree.

Evaluation Criteria: Applications will be evaluated by a panel of Sea Grant staff members and project mentors on the basis of the student candidate’s application materials and other programmatic factors.

Expectations: Interns funded by Virginia Sea Grant are expected to collect information regarding their experiences and research to share at a VASG conference in the fall, or at an alternative VASG event. Each student will be responsible for a different deliverable as outlines in the project description. Students will take part in professional development activities offered by VASG throughout the course of the internship. The interns will also work with the Virginia Sea Grant communications team to share stories about their work.

Inclusivity statement: People of color, indigenous people, US Veterans, members of the LGBTQ community, and individuals with disabilities, underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, and/or individuals from economically or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds are encouraged to apply for these opportunities.

These positions are contingent on available funding. There is no guarantee that sufficient funds will be available to fill all project positions. The number of positions filled will depend on the number and quality of eligible applications, the amount of funding available, and other programmatic needs.

Questions about these opportunities can be directed to Lisa Eddy, VASG’s Competitive Research and Education Coordinator, at


March 22: Call for applications
April 26: Application Deadline
Late April: Applicant Interviews
Mid-May: Internship selections announced
Late May/Early June: Internship Begins
Late August: Internship Ends

Available Internship Projects

Project #1

Coastal Ecosystem Change and Shorebird Population Dynamics Intern

Location: Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia

Duration: 9 weeks – 40/hrs per week
Graduate Student Mentor: Mikayla Call
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Sarah Karpanty

Description: The selected intern will work with a Virginia Sea Grant Graduate Fellow on further integrating the shorebird monitoring efforts on the Virginia barrier islands into wildlife conservation, natural resource management, coastal resilience planning, and education outreach efforts in Virginia. Students will work on a project that explores how shorebird population dynamics change in response to, and are the outcome of, ecosystem state change on the Virginia barrier islands. Students will work to quantify patterns of American oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) habitats on barrier islands. During the internship, students will learn how to use ArcGIS Pro for habitat spatial analysis. No previous experience with ArcGIS is required. (This position will be office-based, mostly working with the program ArcGIS. Additionally, students may have the opportunity to join for related fieldwork, depending on project availability).

Deliverable: The selected intern will produce a research poster sharing their findings using infographics. The student will have the opportunity to present their poster at a VASG event in the fall.

Project #2

Shellfish Aquaculture Research and Outreach Intern

Location: Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Gloucester Point, Virginia

Duration: 9 weeks – 40/hrs per week
Graduate Student Mentor: Julia Grenn
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Bill Walton

Description: The selected student will take part in a mix of field, laboratory, and computer work all related to shellfish aquaculture. The fieldwork will entail helping out with the VIMS oyster farm, traveling to commercial oyster farms, with the graduate student mentor, and helping with other field projects as they arrive. Laboratory work will include processing oysters. Computer work will be dedicated to creating outreach materials (videos, brochures, lesson plans, social media posts, etc.). The selected student must be comfortable with full days in the field. Applicants must be able to swim.

Deliverable: Various outreach materials as agreed upon with their mentor. The student will have the opportunity to present their findings at a VASG event in the fall.

Project #3

Living Shoreline Design Intern

Location: Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia/Partially Remote

Duration: 9 weeks – 40/hrs per week
Graduate Student Menor: Sierra Hildebrandt
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Taylor Sloey

Description: The selected student will be collecting plant and soil metrics on four living shorelines that were installed between May and August of 2023. The goal of the research and field work will test the effect that plant density and plant source have on plant survival and performance. The intern would install and maintain water level logger instruments and collect data. They would also be responsible for data entry and analysis related to their fieldwork.

Deliverable: The student will create a research poster sharing their findings using infographics. They will have the opportunity to present the poster at a VASG event in the fall.

Project #4

Salt Marsh Carbon Monitoring Internship

Location: Old Dominion University, Norfolk Virginia

Duration: 9 weeks – 40/hrs per week
Graduate Student Mentor: Zlatka Rebolledo Sanchez
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Erik Yando

Description: This internship offers a unique opportunity for the selected student to work closely with a VASG Graduate Fellow, tracking carbon through salt marshes. The student will gain hands-on experience by completing sediment, stem, and root analysis across four different salt marsh sites in coastal southeastern Virginia. Collecting samples, measuring elevation, and monitoring salinity. The selected student needs to be comfortable with full days of outdoor fieldwork, including some extended walking to locations. The student will also have the chance to work alongside the graduate student in the lab processing the collected materials. The student will also have the opportunity for additional research, professional development, and field-based experiences through a hands-on research experience in plant biology based at ODU and will be able to interact with other students and faculty in the program in professional and social activities. This position will be about 50% field work and 50% lab work.

Deliverable: The student’s work will have a tangible impact. They will have the opportunity to create a poster or prepare a presentation for a conference. If interested, the student can also engage in outreach activities to communicate and connect with diverse audiences. The student will also be able to present their findings at a VASG event in the fall, thereby contributing to the ongoing research and enhancing our understanding of salt marsh carbon monitoring.

Related Documents

Internship Announcement(PDF)

The Application Process

If you plan to apply, Virginia Sea Grant (VASG) strongly recommends registering for eSeaGrant at least two weeks in advance of the application deadline. Please review the 2022 Community Engaged Intern from a Virginia Tribe or Underrepresented Community announcement and refer to these instructions as a guide to submit your applications using eSeaGrant. VASG requires that applications be submitted by mail or through eSeaGrant by May 31, 2022 at 5:00 pm Eastern Time.

Your application package should include:

Full Name
Major/Degree program
College or university
Anticipated year of graduation
Tribal or under-represented community affiliation

Resume (1 page max.)
A one-page resume or list of past work, volunteer and community experience (position title, organization, employment start and end date, short description of responsibilities and accomplishments). 

Personal Statement (limit of 1,000 words)
Virginia Sea Grant is a multidisciplinary organization and values individuals from a wide range of academic disciplines and career paths. Please describe:

  • How this internship contributes to your broader career ambitions;
  • Your motivations for participating; and
  • Two professional skills you want to gain or refine as part of this program.

Engagement and Experience Statement (limit of 1,000 words)
Based on your experience or knowledge of past projects/partnerships you have seen, learned about, or contributed to directly:

  • What opportunities do you see for gathering input from historically marginalized communities concerning natural and cultural resource challenges or climate change impacts to inform community leadership and their local, state or federal partners?

Other Experience
Please include a list of up to four college or university courses, professional development trainings, and/or volunteer or professional experiences that you feel align with this opportunity.

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