Marine Science Internships

Capstone Experience

Students in the marine science program at Kutztown University are required to carry out undergraduate research under the supervision of a faculty advisor or to participate in a discipline-related internship.

KU students have undertaken internships with diverse organizations, including: New York Aquarium; Adventure Aquarium, Camden, NJ; Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons, MD; Oceans Research, South Africa; Australian Institute of Marine Science in Perth, Australia; MERR Institute; MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education); NOAA; Mote Marine Lab; National Aquarium, Baltimore, MD; Limestone Springs Preserve; Institute of Marine Mammal Studies, Gulf Port, MS; Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve; VA Dept of Game & Inland Fisheries, Forest, VA; Caribbean Reef Buddy, Carriacou, Grenada, Lehigh Valley Zoo; Chincoteague Bay Field Station; Edenton National Fish Hatchery.

Nick Mathews: Marine Technician Internship Aboard Scientific Research Vessels

Mathews participated in a 6-month MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) internship funded by the National Science Foundation. He worked aboard several ships in the scientific fleet, cruising the North Atlantic and both sides of the Pacific. This internship has lead him to his current position, Ocean Technical Services Manager at BIOS-Bermuda Institute of Ocean Scienceswhere, he now supervises his own MATE interns! 

Maggie Rushmore: Whale sharks of the Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

I did an internship at the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Perth, Western Australia.  I assisted in the mark-recapture study that they are performing on the whale shark population found at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia.  My duties consisted of assisting with field work and then analyzing the data that was collected from the trip as well as previous trip years.

Curran Howland: Reef Protection and Preservation in the Caribbean

Caribbean Reef Buddy, Carriacou, Grenada 

As a Caribbean Reef Buddy Marine Conservation volunteer in Grenada, Curran received advanced SCUBA training (completing more than 35 dives) while working to restore and conserve critical reef habitats. 

Photo credit: Caribbean Reef Buddy 

Melissa Bernhard: Sea Turtle Conservation and Research in Florida

I spent my summer as an intern with the Mote Marine Laboratory Sea Turtle Conservation and Research Program in Florida. We were in charge of patrolling the beaches for sea turtle nesting activities. For the first part of the summer, we would identify, verify, and mark off new nests. Once the nests began hatching, hatched nests were excavated and their contents (number of eggs: hatched, unhatched, damaged, etc.) recorded. It was a fantastic experience; I learned a lot and met a lot of great people!

Andrea Dempsey- Shark Research and Conservation in South Africa

Dempsey worked with Oceans Research, a South African based research institute dedicated to the conservation and management of South Africa’s wildlife. While there, Dempsey took the tools she learned at KU and implemented them as she worked alongside PhD students and marine biologists on many fascinating, hands-on research projects. She helped conduct both intertidal and cetacean surveys, where she observed and recorded the diversity of rocky intertidal zones between tides, and helped to track the movement of dolphins and whales throughout the bay in order to calculate pod sizes and their space utilization. She also worked with pyjama and leopard cat sharks, helping to study their diet, collect blood samples, and observe shark stress physiology. The “highlight” of her internship took place when she helped examine great white shark population dynamics—where she was able to see and work up-close with great whites, which can’t be kept in captivity. “They were beautiful and working with them was literally life-changing.”

Alexandra Garnand- Marine Paleontology at Calvert Marine Museum

Throughout this past summer, I gained an immense amount of knowledge in the field of marine paleontology. I learned to identify local fauna and some flora from the Miocene age, specifically shark’s teeth and whale and dolphin bones that are 8-12 million years old. With this knowledge, I was able to identify bones out in the field and collect them for preservation at the museum.

Nick deploying the CTD off the side of a ship

Nick Mathews helps to deploy the CTD water quality sensor.

Student tagging a whale shark underwater

Maggie Rushmore gently tagging a whale shark.

Male student in scuba gear underwater with coral fragments.

Curran Howland displays fragments of elkhorn coral at a restoration site on the Caribbean reef.

Melissa looking at a turtle nest

Melissa Bernhard examining a sea turtle chamber.

Andrea measuring a large ray off the side of a boat

Andrea Dempsey in South Africa taking measurements and sample from a spearnose ray before release.

Alex on the beach with a fossil

Alex Garnand collecting fossils along the Calvert Cliffs formation.