Although some of these opportunities are open to non-COA students, most of them are restricted to current COA students.  For more information on any particular opportunity, there is contact information at the end of each entry.

Along with opportunities through individual faculty, Allied Whale, or on our field stations at Mount Desert Rock and Great Duck Island (see pages), we occasionally list outside marine related internships & opportunities. Summer interns for any given year tend to get locked up by the spring.  In the fall, science faculty put together a list of opportunities for students and publish it at the time of the fall Student Research Science Symposium, where students give quick overviews of their work over the summer.    If you would like an opportunity listed, please contact us at The latest list is for the summer of 2017, so for the summer of 2018, you should check again in November 2017 for the updated list.

Student Opportunities COA science faculty 2016-17

Student opportunities on Mount Desert Rock (MDR)


Gray and Harbor seals relax during low tide on Mount Desert Rock.

Mount Desert Rock, or “The Rock,” is a fantastic internship opportunity.  Students who go out to the Rock will spend 100% of their time out there, doing whatever they desire.  Students work on whale behavior, seal behavior, bird behavior, oceanography, plankton, bathymetry, art, and you could even go out their simply for some peace and write a novel.
This research assistant position is unpaid, but this means that anyone can apply.  Further, the Katona Chair, along with grants, pay for all of your expenses.  Further, you can apply to grants, such as the Maine Space Grant, to help pay for any research costs.  Students can use this opportunity for their senior projects, internship requirement, or simply just for the experience.  In 2016, both Katie Clark ’19 and Leah Rubin ’19 were on MDR, and for 2017  Emma Ober ’20, Patrianna Anderson ’20,  Teagan White ’18 and others are on MDR doing research.   If you are interested in going out to the rock over the summer, contact Sean Todd

Allied Whale

Allied Whale typically seeks 4 interns/research assistants every summer field season.   (Students can also work/volunteer for Allied Whale throughout the school year.)

The internship supports field projects in behavioral ecology and distributions of humpback and fin whales, the maintenance of the ongoing North Atlantic humpback and fin whale photo identification catalogs, a standing response team, and work with the local whale watch company.  Allied Whale also maintains the research station on Mount Desert Rock, and interns will spend approximately half of their time on the remote island.

Interns will take shifts as a research assistant and deckhand for the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. and being on call for boat-based cetacean surveys.  Intern duties include searching for whale, photo identification of whales, data collection and entry, assisting the whale watch naturalist in promoting education and conservation programs, and assisting passengers on the whale watch.  While on Mount Desert Rock, intern responsibilities include conducting cetacean surveys along transect lines, data entry, photo identification, land based whale monitoring from the lighthouse tower, plankton tows, seal contains, and general maintenance of the station.

Interns will earn income from the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company.  Deckhands are paid $45 a trip, with 3 trips per day during the height of the summer, plus tips.  Interns will also receive free First Aid Certification.  Housing is provided for a fee of $375 a month.  While at Mount Desert Rock, food is provided for free.

Deadline of application is typically February 1st.  Application typically includes a cover letter detailing your reasons for applying, a resume, and two letters of recommendation. For more information contact Tanya Lubansky ( with subject title “AW Interns”

Great Duck Island

Every year COA faculty member John Anderson typically has 3-5 undergraduates doing a variety of projects centered around seabird ecology on COA’s Alice Eno Research Station on Great Duck Island.  In 2016 this included Mikey Cornish ’19, Audra McTague ’19, Molly Finch ’19.  For more information contact John.

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