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Fisheries Internships and Student Help

Fisheries Internships and Student Help (FISH) Project

Recognizing that student help is a win-win situation for the Council and the student, the Council’s Fisheries Internship and Student Help (F.I.S.H.) project is designed to provide interested high school, college students, and new professionals in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, and the CNMI with practical experience in coral reef ecosystem, bottomfish, and/or pelagic fisheries management. A primary aim of the program is to increase local fisheries management capacity over time. Secondary aims include introducing young professionals to the Council process so that they can participate more fully in the bottom-up management to fisheries and increasing available data by facilitating Undergraduate, Graduate, and Ph.D. research in regional fisheries issues.

Project Goals and Objectives:
The project has three primary goals:

1. Build local capacity in fisheries science and management.

  • Develop a pool of qualified individuals in the islands that can work in local resource agency offices in fisheries science and management;
  • Measurably reduce reliance on off-island contract staff (especially in the case of the territories) who are hired to work for local agencies and at federal program sites;

2. Increase local understanding of, and familiarity with, the fishery management council system process in up and coming marine and coastal resource professionals.

  • Increase the cooperation between jurisdictional and federal fishery and marine managers through placement of student interns and helpers;
  • Provide opportunities for education on fisheries to the community through building well-informed students as ambassadors for the Council;

3.  Increase the productivity of the Council.

  • Provide additional manpower to the staff for meeting the mandates of the MSA;
  • Develop the necessary information for Council decisions through increased data gathering and analysis;

FISH Project Components:

The FISH Project is comprised of opportunities available to high school, undergraduate, graduate, and new professional development.  Participants may be placed in the Council Office or in other agencies within the region, as available.  In 2015, as a pilot project for FISH, undergraduate summer internships at the Council Office in Honolulu will be the only internships available.  This is to provide an example for how the project will be conducted in the coming years, at which time internships may be available year-round.

Undergraduate Opportunities

  • 2016 Undergraduate Summer Internships (see below)

Applications for the  2016 Undergraduate Summer Internships will be accepted beginning February 8, 2015 with a closing date of March 31, 2016.  Interns will be selected and notified by April 15, 2016.    A minimum of two (2) paid internship positions will be available at the Council Office in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Relocation and housing expenses will not be covered.  Each internship will be for approximately 8-10 weeks (depending on schedule and availability) and be project-based, with a presentation to the Council staff upon completion.  Interns will be matched with a dedicated and knowledgeable Council staff mentor and matched with a projects that deal with such topics as: data analysis, community management planning, fishery habitat reviews, fishery monitoring, and other duties that provide assistance to the Council this summer.  A list of potential internship project descriptions can be found HERE.

2016 Summer Undergraduate Internship Components:

  • Schedule and Project Plan Development to establish goals and timelines for the intern’s work assignments (established in meetings between participant and mentor)
  • Periodic meetings between intern and mentor to check on progress
  • Inclusion of Intern in Council staff activities (including Council Meetings, outreach events and other activities as scheduled)
  • End of Internship: Interns (with their mentors) will provide a final report to the Council staff including a presentation on their project and their internship experience; Interns and mentors will also provide evaluations and provide feedback on the program and project to improve the FISH Project and summer internship experience.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate student and be majoring in a fisheries science or management field OR be majoring in another field with a distinct interest in fisheries science and management;
  • Applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Applicants must have housing in Honolulu, Hawaii

Application Procedure

Applicants must fill-out the online application and provide attachments for writing samples and resume as requested in the application.  Applicants must also provide a preliminary choice of project as indicated in the application.  The application period is now closed.

For more information or questions, please contact Joshua DeMello at (808) 522-7493 or by email Joshua.DeMello@wpcouncil.org

Graduate Opportunities

  • Hawaii Pacific University Marine Biology Master’s Degree

For more information, contact Dr. Samuel Kahng, Assistant Professor of Oceanography, at (808) 259-3112 or skahng@hpu.edu

High School Opportunities 

  • High School Summer Courses

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (Council) sponsors high school summer courses on fisheries and marine science in American Samoa, Guam, CNMI and Hawaii every summer.  Courses includes fishing events, guest lectures, class activities and field trips.  For more information on these courses, please contact Mark Mitsuyasu at (808) 522-8220 or Mark.Mitsuyasu@wpcouncil.org

Professional Development Opportunities *Coming Soon*

Project Benefits to Participants:

Participants are expected to benefit by:

  • Gaining employment and research experience and skills;
  • Working with a host mentor on a specific project related to management of natural resources with real-world application;
  • Understanding how their internship experience and studies relate to local needs and identifying potential careers;
  • Developing strong and long-lasting networks of professional contacts for future career searches, through university mentors, agency partners and fellow cohort members;
  • In some cases, earning academic credit for their internship experience and final report

For more information, contact FISH Project Coordinator, Joshua DeMello, at (808) 522-7493 or by email: Joshua.DeMello@wpcouncil.org