Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
MBARI Summer Internship Program

Applications for 2016 are now being accepted (deadline is February 2, 2016). Complete application information for 2016 as well as proposed projects are now posted online.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's summer internship program provides an opportunity for talented college students (undergraduate and graduate) and educators to come to MBARI for a period of 10 weeks to work on a specific project under MBARI staff supervision.

Intern Wiley Wolfe

With state-of-the-art facilities and equipment that includes research vessels, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to explore the deep ocean, MBARI's Summer Internship Program offers teachers and students unique opportunities to be involved in advanced research and development projects.

The focus of the MBARI internship is on the intern's professional development—learning research techniques and improving communication and collaboration skills. Each intern will have an MBARI mentor who will supervise a specific project. Interns will also serve as peer-mentors to other interns.

Summer interns are selected following a rigorous application procedure and merit review. They are from around the world and represent a variety of different backgrounds, experience, and education. They all share a common desire to learn more about the marine environment and to work with the scientists and engineers at MBARI.

Applications must include a cover letter (stating your specific research interests, complete contact information, relevant coursework and grades received, and the project that you are interested in applying for), curriculum vitae, and three letters of recommendation. Applications that do not mention a project will not be considered. There is an additional online form that must also be completed - the link to that page will be on the 2016 project page.

The 2016 MBARI internship program will be from June 6th, 2016 - August 12th, 2016.


Intern Diane Wyse

Summer interns are responsible for developing a project (in conjunction with their sponsor) which can be completed in the 10-week period of the internship, and for carrying the project to completion. The primary purpose of the intern's project is for the specific educational benefit of the intern, and to make a contribution to the general good of the oceanographic community. If publications results from this collaboration, the authorship should be a joint authorship (including both the intern and the sponsor).

Potential project areas:

  • Ocean observation systems
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Software engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Sensor development
  • Physical oceanography
  • Chemical oceanography
  • Ocean-floor mapping
  • Geology
  • Microbiology
  • Deep-sea ecology
  • Web design
  • Video technology
  • Science writing


Intern Dongsik Chang

While the focus of the MBARI internship is on the intern's professional development—learning research techniques and improving communication and collaboration skills—interns also participate in a variety of activities which afford them the opportunity to explore California's central coast and to establish a sense of camaraderie with their fellow interns. These activities may include: assisting with MBARI's annual open house event; a "behind the scenes" tour of the Monterey Bay Aquarium; and a kayaking trip on Elkhorn Slough. Please visit the MBARI Interns 2010 blog for further insight into their experience.

Intern Papers

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Last updated: Nov. 22, 2015