MPA Watch Internship (Seasonal, Unpaid)

Heal the Bay is an environmental non-profit dedicated to making the coastal waters and watersheds of Greater LA safe, healthy and clean. To fulfill our mission, we use science, education, community action, and advocacy.

Internship Description:

Heal the Bay is looking for an organized and highly self-motivated individual to work closely with the Coastal and Marine Scientist and Community Outreach Coordinator on our MPA Watch program. Candidates would ideally be interested in marine protected areas (MPAs), coastal conservation, fieldwork, have a science background, and be willing to commit to at least 20 hours/week for the summer, and 10 hours/week during the school year. Responsibilities would include but are not limited to: performing beach surveys for our MPA Watch program, organizing MPA Watch program data, assisting with development of program materials, assisting in volunteer trainings and events, and conducting an individual research project.

Heal the Bay’s community science program, MPA Watch, is part of a statewide network and involves conducting beach surveys of ocean uses inside and outside protected areas. This program is a great way to combine your love of the beach and ocean while collecting valuable scientific data. Interns and volunteers are trained to observe and collect unbiased data on coastal and marine resource use, which will provide important information to understand how people are using the newly established MPAs and to help inform MPA management. This internship is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable science and work experience in the non-profit environmental field.


Responsibilities Include

  • Collection and organization of MPA Watch field data
  • Organizing and managing informational databases
  • Assisting with development of program materials
  • Assisting in development and implementation of program trainings
  • Assisting in volunteer events and coordination
  • Creation of an independent research project to include a presentation or report upon completion of the internship
  • Attendance at additional Heal the Bay trainings and events, when applicable


  • Undergraduate or graduate student, with major in Environmental Studies, Marine Science, Geography, Biology or related field
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Professional and enthusiastic
  • Be able and willing to spend 4-5 hours outside per day during internship hours with some moderate hiking in occasional adverse weather conditions (wind, rain, heat, cold)
  • Detail-oriented; ability to complete projects promptly and completely
  • Ability to work independently as well as with a team
  • Ability to commit to an internship for at least 10 weeks
  • Access to reliable transportation to get to field sites in Malibu and Palos Verdes
  • Passion for the ocean


This is an unpaid internship that requires a time commitment of at least 10-20 daytime hours a week, flexible scheduling. This internship may be eligible for course credit.

Please submit your resume and cover letter to Emily Parker, Coastal and Marine Scientist. Please indicate if you are applying for the school year or summer internship. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Heal the Bay is an equal opportunity employer and actively recruits to promote diversity in our workforce.