Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s (WDC) North American office is excited to offer a 12-week Marine Animal Rescue and Response Internship to entry-level candidates interested in marine mammal stranding response and community outreach. This opportunity will provide interns with transferable job skills and insight to the inner workings of a non-profit focused on the conservation of marine mammals.

WDC is the newest member of NOAA’s Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, joining the Greater Atlantic Region in 2021. WDC’s Marine Animal Rescue and Response Program (MARR) is responsible for responding to stranded marine mammals along 100 miles of Massachusetts coastline. This position is best suited for those who may not yet have practical experience in this field. Applicants should be eager to dive into new experiences and be able to problem solve independently. Interns will learn the skills needed to respond to pinnipeds (seals) and cetaceans (whales, porpoises, and dolphins) native to Massachusetts. However, stranding events are unpredictable and hands-on experience and species encountered will vary by internship session. Occasional opportunities to observe whales at sea may also be possible during the internship.

Upon completion of the internship, candidates will gain experience in:

  • Hands-on skills necessary for marine mammal rescue and response
  • Standard data collection and data input (Level A and human interaction evaluations)
  • Managing supply inventory and ordering materials
  • Volunteer management and training
  • Covering an emergency hotline
  • Creating outreach materials and engaging with the general public through community outreach and stranding events
  • Using a variety of digital platforms including Canva, WordPress, Salesforce, and Filemaker


We have three open positions in 2022 for this temporary, full-time internship. Successful candidates are expected to work 40 hours per week for one of the 12-week internship sessions (see below for dates). The schedule will include weekend and holiday coverage, and interns will share after-hours hotline responsibilities with staff once adequately trained.

Spring session: early March – late May

Summer session: late May – mid-August

Candidates must be able to demonstrate that they are legally eligible to work in the U.S. by the proposed starting date. Successful candidates will need to make their own arrangements for housing and transportation to and from the WDC office in Plymouth, MA, USA. Candidates will be compensated at a rate of $15/hour and a sum not to exceed $7,200 over the course of the 12 weeks.

Applicants must be 18 years or older and fluent in English. Applicants must also have a valid driver’s license as well as valid health insurance throughout the internship session. WDC will assist interested students in obtaining credits for the program through their college or university.

Diverse candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position. Whale and Dolphin Conservation embraces diversity and equal opportunity. We recognize that the field of marine mammal research and conservation lacks diversity, including within our own organization. WDC is dedicated to creating inclusive opportunities which represent diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills.

The deadline to apply is February 7th, 2022.

Candidates in this internship will:

  • Possess a valid driver’s license and be comfortable driving a pick-up truck
  • Be physically fit, able to lift up to 50 lbs and walk up to 5 miles on the beach in adverse weather conditions
  • Be able to swim; while there is no intended in-water work, interns will be working around water such as on beaches, boats, or docks, etc.
  • Have effective verbal and/or written communications skills
  • Be open to speaking with diverse groups of people
  • Have an interest in outreach initiatives
  • Act effectively as a member of a close-knit team
  • Have an attention to detail
  • Be able to problem solve in unanticipated situations
  • Be free of (or able to manage) medical issues aggravated by exposure to animals including hair, fur and bodily fluids

Potential internship responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Responding to stranded live and dead marine mammals in the field, including assisting with health assessments.
  • Participating in post-mortem examinations, including cutting and sampling, data collection, photography, carcass removal, and cleaning.
  • Entering data associated with stranding events into an internal database.
  • Ensuring response preparedness by inventorying and restocking equipment, cleaning gear, fueling vehicles, etc.
  • Training volunteers on stranding protocols.
  • Creating outreach materials and participating in community outreach events (virtual and/or in-person)
  • Writing blogs, managing program websites, and creating social media content
  • Coordinating stranding events with partnering agencies and organizations

Important Notes Regarding COVID-19:

As a condition of employment, internship candidates must be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 (unless the employee qualifies for exception under applicable law relating to disability or sincerely held religious belief).

Some of the goals outlined above are subject to change if deemed unsafe due to COVID-19 related impacts – in particular, the ability to carry out public outreach events and in-person networking opportunities.

Applicants who are offered an in-person internship experience must adhere to all state, federal, and WDC COVID-19 protocols throughout the duration of the internship.

The deadline to apply is February 7th, 2022

WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, is the leading international charity dedicated solely to the worldwide conservation and welfare of all whales, dolphins, and porpoises. WDC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin.

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