2018 Summer Internship: Whale Museum Soundwatch Boater Education Program (Friday Harbor, WA)

Note that this is a time-intensive (essentially 12 weeks, full-time work) and unpaid, but a fabulous opportunity for students interested in marine mammals and environmental outreach/education. See below for details:

The Whale Museum’s Soundwatch Boater Education Program: 2018 Summer Internships Available!

Soundwatch is a successful and internationally acclaimed education and monitoring program working to reduce vessel disturbance to orcas and other marine wildlife in the Salish Sea region of Washington State (USA) and British Columbia (Canada). Soundwatch needs interns to help conduct seasonal vessel patrols, educate boaters on regional/federal guidelines and regulations, and collect data while monitoring vessel activities around whales. Data from this critical program characterizes vessel activity trends around endangered orcas and other marine wildlife. The data is used to promote better boater compliance and to inform marine mammal management strategies such as state and federal vessel laws and guidelines. The Soundwatch program is operated by The Whale Museum (TWM), a not-for-profit organization located in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island in Washington state.

Interns Must:

  • Commit to at least 12 weeks between May and September (with possible extension)
  • Be able to work approximately 35-40 hours per week, Mon-Sun
  • Perform a variety of tasks both in the field on the boat and in an office setting
  • Have a strong sense of responsibility, work ethic and attention to detail
  • Produce high quality research efforts and exhibit strong interpersonal skills
  • Field days: Interns must be able to spend many hours on the water sometimes in extreme seasonal conditions. Field days typically exceed eight hours and occur at least three or four times a week.

Internship is located in Friday Harbor, Washington.  Interns are responsible for finding their own housing and having a mode of transportation. Once accepted, TWM staff will be able to assist Interns in suggesting suitable housing options and locations.

Applicant requirements: At least 18 years of age, physically fit (able to lift 40 lbs), must be able to swim, not easily susceptible to seasickness, and familiar with database spreadsheets. Preference will be given to undergraduates or recent graduates in the marine or wildlife sciences. Interns will need a valid US passport or an enhanced driver’s license, CPR/First Aid certification. A state boater license/or equivalent safe boating card, not required, but is encouraged.


Please send a letter of interest, a resume, and contact information for three references. Be sure to include what dates you can start/end.

 Applications accepted until March 20, 2017.
Decisions will be made by April 14, 2017.


Soundwatch Coordinator
P.O. Box 945
Friday Harbor, Washington 98250
Or email (preferred) to: soundwatch@whalemuseum.org

Please visit The Whale Museum’s Web site for more information on Soundwatch:  http://www.whalemuseum.org/programs/soundwatch/soundwatch.html