Allied Whale Intern/Research Assistant Positions

Allied Whale, the marine mammal research lab of College of the Atlantic located in Bar Harbor, Maine, seeks 4 interns/research assistants for the 2017 field season. These are entry-level research positions designed to offer experience for individuals seeking to develop their professional careers in marine mammal research. Two summer positions (mid May through August) and two full season positions (mid May through October) are available.

Overview of position: This is a unique internship program in that the selected individuals will have the opportunity to participate and receive training in a wide range of marine mammal research activities while receiving a small income. Allied Whale currently supports field projects in the behavioral ecology and distributions of humpback and fin whales, the ongoing housing and maintenance of the North Atlantic humpback and fin whale photo ID catalogs, an active stranding response program, and a continued relationship with the local whale watch company. In addition, Allied Whale maintains the facilities on and conducts research from Mount Desert Rock, a remote offshore island. The interns play a critical role in the success of the field season and serve as support to all aspects of summer activities within Allied Whale.

Description of duties: All four interns will receive training in May by Allied Whale and the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company. Once the season is in swing, interns will rotate through time on land in Bar Harbor and offshore at our island field station at Mount Desert Rock.

Bar Harbor: While in Bar Harbor, interns will take shifts either working as a Research Assistant (RA)/Deckhand for the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co., being on call for cetacean surveys on our 26=92 research vessel, or assisting our strandings coordinator. Research responsibilities on the whale watch trips include searching for whales, photo-identification of whales and data collection/entry. Deckhand responsibilities include line handling, vessel cleaning, helping seasick passengers and passenger safety. RAs are also responsible for assisting the naturalist in promoting education and conservation programs on each trip.

While on board our research vessel, interns will be responsible to participate in cetacean surveys along transect lines, computer data entry, and photo identification of whales. Additional research opportunities may arise depending on funding for this upcoming season.

When not scheduled on a boat, interns may freely structure their time to complete office work, develop independent projects, assist with stranding activities……or explore Acadia National Park!

Mount Desert Rock: Interns will have multiple shifts (each at least a week in length) at our offshore research station Mount Desert Rock. While on the island, interns will participate in land-based whale monitoring from the lighthouse tower (with use of a theodolite), plankton tows, oceanography data collection, seal counts, gull counts, and maintenance/construction projects at the station.

Pay/Housing: Those accepted to the program are able to earn income by their work on the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company. Deckhands are paid $50 a trip (at the height of summer, there are 3 trips running a day) plus considerable tips. Interns also receive free First Aid Certification. Housing in Bar Harbor is provided and mandatory for a fee. Rent will be approximately $375-500 a month. While at Mount Desert Rock, food is provided for free.

Qualifications: Applicants should have a college background in biology, ecology, and/or marine sciences. Previous experience in a research setting and knowledge of marine mammals are great advantages. Prior experience offshore or skills in photography are also assets. Unfortunately, because of employment through the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company, all interns must also be U.S. citizens. Most importantly, applicants must be positive in attitude, flexible to quickly changing schedules, able to work independently, and comfortable working on boats. Because of the community living situation both in Bar Harbor and on Mount Desert Rock, applicants must get along well with others and be able to handle working in a team setting.

These positions begin ~May 15th and applicants must be able to work through with no other commitments (excluding COA students). Please specify which position you are interested in (summer or full-season). Deadline of application is February 15th.

To apply: Please send a cover letter detailing your reasons for applying, a resume, and two letters of recommendation to: Tanya Lubansky ( with subject title =93AW Interns 2017=94