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GMRI 2014 Internships

February 7, 2014


GMRI 2014 Internships

Gulf of Maine Research Institute – University of Maine

2014 Summer Internship Program, Portland, Maine

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) catalyzes solutions to the complex challenges of ocean stewardship and economic growth in the Gulf of Maine bioregion. Our dynamic fusion of science, education, and community gives us range to effect change from multiple directions, while our objectivity and commitment to collaboration make us the go-to organization for marine communities grappling with contentious issues, management transitions, and new business systems. The Gulf of Maine Research Institute has established a formal, competitive summer internship program for undergraduate students to support our staff on a portfolio of projects focused on fishery ecosystem research, community, and education programs. Internships at GMRI provide an opportunity to gain valuable work experiences at sea and in our lab.

Descriptions of Intern positions follow as well as instructions to apply. Various funding options are noted below and are also indicated with each position.

 Funded: GMRI has secured funding for the position.

 Funds Pending: GMRI has sought outside funding for this position. If the funding is not received, the position may not be available.

 Unpaid: This position is an unpaid internship. Selected applicants are strongly encouraged to seek summer research fellowships or other financial resources that may be available through their own academic institution.

Descriptions of Internships: The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) is seeking interns for the summer of 2014. These are 10-week summer internships that usually run from the first week of June through mid-August. The Gulf of Maine Research Institute is located on the waterfront in Portland, Maine. GMRI has a strong partnership with the University of Maine, School of Marine Sciences, and some of these positions may be supported and advised by UMaine personnel based at GMRI. The following internships are available:

Fishery Resource Economics

This intern position will work under the supervision of the senior marine resource economist at GMRI, and will be sponsored by the National Science Foundation project “Coastal SEES (Track 2), Collaborative Research: Resilience and Adaptation of a Coastal Ecological-Economic System in Response to Increasing Temperature”, which will focus on both groundfish and lobster fisheries in New England and how their landings and price relate to ocean water temperature.

GMRI 2014 Internships

This Summer Intern will:

 Provide support services for evaluating the viability and profitability of the fishing industry in response to the impact of warming on fisheries ecosystems;

 Explore spatial and seasonal time-series models which best demonstrate market driven fishing practices and the stochastic frontier production function for lobster production in New England, which defines the productivity and production inefficiency;

 Communicate via email and phone with fishermen

Qualifications include: Data/regression analysis and modeling knowledge; proficiency with statistics and experience working with SAS®, EView®, OxMatrix®, STATA® or other similar software environment required.

Two Fishery Resource Economic positions are available – one is funded; one is unpaid.

Fish Distribution Modeling

As the Gulf of Maine warms, we expect southerly species to move into the region. However, because the pace of warming is not steady, some species will respond more rapidly than others. We are interested in exploring how different species and life history stages shift their distributions in response to environmental change. This intern will work under the supervision of the Ecosystem Modeling Research Scientist.

Qualifications include: A high-degree of technical skills including familiarity with a programming environment such as R or Matlab and with species distribution modeling techniques such as MaxEnt or GAMS.

The Fish Distribution Modeling position is funded.

Regional Climate Research

There are many research efforts underway to investigate the effects of climate change on fish populations and fisheries in the Northeast United States. This Summer Intern will compile information about recent and ongoing scientific research projects and will help synthesize key findings relevant to climate-fishery interactions in the region. Part of this work will be conducted through a review of the academic literature, but this position also requires interacting by phone, e-mail and in person with scientists, fishery managers, and fishermen and maintaining a high level of professionalism in those interactions. This intern will work under the supervision of an associate research scientist.

Through this work, the intern will develop a broad understanding of how climate change is affecting the Northeast Shelf marine ecosystem and fisheries in the region and insights into how this scientific information is used in management.

Qualifications include: Microsoft Excel, Access, and/or Endnote used to organize data; experience with these programs or with creating relational databases is beneficial.

Funds for the Regional Climate Research position are pending.

GMRI 2014 Internships

Comparison of Climate Adaptation Initiatives

Rising water temperatures in the Gulf of Maine are affecting fish populations and ecological communities. For example, we are seeing more species that are normally found in the mid-Atlantic (e.g., black sea bass), declines in cold water species (e.g., cod, northern shrimp), and shifts in seasonal distributions (e.g., lobsters). These changes are challenging for fishermen and fishery managers, and the importance of identifying strategies for adapting to climate change is increasingly recognized. While climate adaptation efforts are underway in other economic sectors (e.g., coastal management, agriculture, and forestry) and in fisheries in other regions, interest in climate adaptation has just recently emerged in most U. S. marine fisheries.

This Summer Intern will review adaptation initiatives in other sectors or in fisheries in other regions/countries to understand the types of activities that are underway, their structure, and lessons that may be valuable for adaptation efforts in marine fisheries. This work will be conducted largely through a literature review and web searches, and there is flexibility to design the focus of the work to fit with the mutual interests of the intern and project leaders. This intern will work under the supervision of an associate research scientist.

This internship provides an opportunity to gain scientific research experience that will be directly relevant to an important emerging topic within many areas of environmental management—how can resource users and managers effectively plan for and respond to the impacts of climate change?

The Comparison of Climate Adaptation Initiatives is an unpaid internship.

Biological Fish Samplings and Analysis

GMRI is looking for an outstanding student majoring in biology, ecology or marine sciences to fill this intern position. The successful candidate will work under the supervision of a project manager and be part of a diverse scientific team. Job duties will include assisting the project manager and lab technician with biological sampling of different fish species, data entry and management, sample preparation and analysis. This includes age estimation from otoliths (the ear bones of fish) and assessing body condition through morphometric data. Candidates should be able to lift 30 pounds and have a basic knowledge of fish biology and anatomy, as well as be able to:

 Collect biological samples from highly migratory species (otoliths, gonads, muscle, dorsal spines)

 Prepare and process samples (otoliths)

 Data entry and basic data summary statistics

 Represent the lab at fishing tournaments and engaged fishermen to collect samples

 Present findings at lab and staff meetings

Qualifications include:

 Enrolled in a degree program for fisheries biology, marine science, biology or related field

 Experience with Microsoft Excel, Word, ability to input data, perform basics statistical analysis and create figures

GMRI 2014 Internships

 Good communication skills and the ability to communicate the goals of the program to stake holders including fishermen

 Ability to lift 30 pounds, use power tools and perform fish dissections

 Independent self-motivated worker able to perform tasks alone

 Must possess a valid driver’s license and travel to pick up samples at various locations along the southern Maine coast

The Biological Fish Samplings and Analysis position is an unpaid internship.

Biological Analysis of Striped Bass

This Summer Intern will work under the direction of our Fish Ecology Research Scientist, assisting with the collection and analysis of striped bass data collected through the Snap-a-Striper program. The Snap-A-Striper program is a collaboration of data collection between researchers at GMRI, the Coastal Conservation Association of Maine and local anglers. The program is aimed at collecting photos and the inner ear bones (otoliths) from striped bass throughout the fishing season. This data will be used to determine the origin (local vs. migrant) of our fish, information that can improve management of the striped bass resource. Further responsibilities will include data entry, statistical analysis of data, and synthesis of a report.

The Summer Intern will assume the following tasks with the assistance and supervision of the Research Scientist:

 Examine otolith shape and body morphometrics of striped bass

 Use image analysis equipment and software

 Data entry

 Statistical analysis of otolith and body morphometrics data

 Review literature

 Assist in report writing and presentation preparation

 Communicate and share results with other research scientists

Qualifications include: enrollment in a Bachelor’s degree program in a scientific field related to marine research; strong quantitative and computer skills; detail oriented, self-starter with strong organizational and writing skills, and a proven ability to work well independently. Knowledge of image analysis equipment and software, as well as familiarity with fish otoliths is preferred.


 Data entry skills, including ability to use Microsoft Excel software

 Basic skills in statistical analysis

 Experience preparing scientific reports

The Biological Analysis of Striped Bass position is an unpaid internship.

GMRI 2014 Internships

Casco Bay Ecosystem Monitoring

GMRI is seeking candidates to fill three intern positions for the summer of 2014 in the area of marine and fisheries ecology under the supervision of the Demersal Fisheries Ecologist. Pending a final funding decision, GMRI scientists will be launching a long-term sentinel monitoring program to monitor ecological conditions in Casco Bay and surrounding areas (including the Presumpscot River and up to 3 miles offshore). This ecosystem monitoring “corridor” will be instrumental in helping to keep track of long-term trends in a variety of ecological indicators including temperature, water quality, fish and invertebrate community composition, trophic interactions and fish health as these may respond to changes in land use practices and climate change.

The Summer Interns will assume the following tasks with the assistance and supervision of GMRI research scientists and associates:

 Water quality monitoring (temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, secchi depth)

 Fish and invertebrate trapping

 Fish seining and angling

 Setting up video systems to monitor fish in situ and analyzing video footage

 Fish diet analysis and ageing (using otoliths and image analysis software)

 Plankton and fish egg/larvae analysis (from plankton nets)

 Data entry and some analysis

 Communicate and share results with GMRI staff

Qualifications include: enrollment in a Bachelor’s degree program (or recently graduated) in a scientific field related to marine research, with strong quantitative and computer skills; detail oriented, self-starter with strong organizational and writing skills; proven ability to work well independently and in teams. Familiarity with fish and invertebrate sampling techniques and fish ageing is preferred.


 Data entry skills, including ability to use Microsoft Excel software

 Basic skills in statistical analysis

 Comfortable on boats and outside in sometimes inclement conditions

Funds for three Casco Bay Ecosystem Monitoring positions are pending.

Sustainable Seafood Program

The Sustainable Seafood program at GMRI manages a regional brand called Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested®. The brand differentiates seafood that was harvested from the Gulf of Maine region and meets important criteria around responsible harvest. In addition, licensed dealers of Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested seafood commit to continuously improving the sustainability of their business practices.

GMRI conducts a verification process to ensure the seafood included in this program is responsibly harvested. Because shellfish management and harvest are unique compared with other seafood from the Gulf of Maine region, the program has not been able to demonstrate that it meets the criteria in the branding program’s standard.

GMRI 2014 Internships

The Sustainable Seafood program is seeking a summer intern to investigate shellfish research, management, and harvest in the Gulf of Maine region, and provide a summary and justification regarding whether GMRI should include shellfish as verified responsibly harvested as part of our regional branding program.

The Sustainable Seafood Program position is an unpaid internship.

Fisheries Technical Assistance Program (FTAP)

The Fisheries Technical Assistance Program at GMRI provides a range of technical, convening, and outreach services to New England’s commercial fishing industry.

Fish (and fisheries) are responding to climate change in several ways, including range shifts, and changes in their spatial/temporal movements. Regional fishery management councils designed existing fisheries regulations around historic fisheries in each region. As fish emerge in new regions, it is unclear what impact existing regulations may have on catch and landings of these species. Over time, the center of population of several species, like butterfish and black sea bass, have trended north. As the range of these fish species further overlaps with cod and haddock and other species, it is unclear whether or not existing regulations for cod and haddock are suited for other fish like black sea bass or butterfish. A key step in understanding this governance challenge is to describe current characteristics of existing fisheries.

This intern position will collaborate with the Fisheries Technical Assistance Program Team on a project focusing on climate adaptation and fisheries. The successful candidate will review fishery regulations, analyze existing data sets, and compile relevant peer-reviewed literature on climate adaptation and fisheries. This work will culminate in a final report outlining opportunities and challenges for emerging fisheries based on existing regulations, and build other work at GMRI.

Qualifications include:

 Basic understanding of fisheries management

 Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite

 Strong writing and communications skills

The Fisheries Technical Assistance Program position is an unpaid internship.

For all of our Summer Intern positions, successful candidates will have additional skills and attributes that are core to our organization:

 Passion to learn combined with a strong desire to protect marine resources

 Desire to support the viability of the fishing industry and community

GMRI 2014 Internships

 Eagerness to learn about the Gulf of Maine ecosystem

 Interest to work independently and collaboratively

 Flexibility and willingness to work where needed during the internship experience

 Excellent problem-solving skills and strong attention to detail

 Solid research and analytical skills

 Desire to have a challenging experience

 Applicants must have a track record of student success and potential as demonstrated by GPA, research portfolio, prior work experiences and/or the recommendation of a professor.

To apply for any of the Summer Intern positions noted above, please CLICK HERE.

You will have the option of applying for more than one position if you so choose. Please note that you will be navigating away from the GMRI website to complete your application. We are proud to be an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer. Our employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran or military status or any other legally protected status. In order to comply with local, state and federal Affirmative Action and Equal Employment regulations we need to identify certain applicant data which will only be used for reporting to government agencies. You are not required by law to provide this data. The data you provide on this form will be kept confidential, used solely for statistical purposes and maintained separately from your employment application. This data will not be used to make a decision about your employment.

GMRI will begin reviewing applications on February 12, 2014. Applications received after this time will be reviewed only if internship positions have not already been filled. Questions should be emailed to Please note that we will not accept resumes sent to this address.

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