Science Communications Internship

Smithsonian Bicoastal Science Communications Internship

Stipend: $500/week

Time: 18 weeks (April-August or May-September 2017)

Start Date: Flexible, between April 1 and May 15

Location: Edgewater, Md. and Tiburon, Calif.

Application Deadline: February 15, 2017, 11:59 p.m. PST


Gain hands-on experience with environmental communication on both sides of America! The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center is seeking an intern to work for 18 weeks, from April through August, covering the work of SERC researchers in Maryland and California. The intern will start at SERC’s Chesapeake Bay headquarters in the spring, getting training in SERC science communications. In the summer, the intern will travel to San Francisco Bay to cover the work of SERC marine biologists in California for the remaining 10 weeks. Travel funds from Maryland to California are included.

*         The intern will learn multiple facets of SERC communications, gaining experience in science writing, social media and Web design.

*         The intern will learn to interview scientists, shadowing them in the field and translating complex research into smart, exciting articles.

*         The intern will summarize her/his accomplishments in a public seminar at the end of the project period under the supervision of the communications coordinator.

*         The intern will gain professional development by attending monthly meetings on the National Mall with the other Smithsonian public information officers.

Spring (Part I): Chesapeake Bay

The intern will spend the first eight weeks at SERC’s headquarters in Edgewater, Md. There, the intern will interview SERC scientists in the field and the lab and write about their work. This first part of the internship will introduce the intern to the main features of SERC science communications: writing articles for the SERC Shorelines blog<>, preparing posts for SERC’s social media and assisting in the production of SERC’s quarterly newsletter On The Edge, under the mentorship of SERC science writer Kristen Minogue.

Summer (Part II): San Francisco Bay

For the final 10 weeks, the intern will work in California, with the Tiburon section of SERC’s Marine Invasions Research Lab<>. SERC’s Tiburon branch is hosted at the Romberg Tiburon Center<>, a marine field station of San Francisco State University. SERC marine biologists in Tiburon work in San Francisco Bay and traverse the Pacific Coast studying invasive species, oyster restoration and other critical conservation issues. There, the intern will cover the work of SERC’s West Coast scientists while exploring and developing communication strategies within the Pacific market. During the California part of the internship, the intern will work under the onsite supervision of research ecologist Andrew Chang and correspond with Kristen Minogue via Skype.


Strong scientific background (natural sciences coursework; not required to be a science major) and skill writing about science for a nonscientific audience. Ability to use Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint) required; familiarity with photo editing software, WordPress and HTML a plus.

To apply:

Send a cover letter, resume with references (name, title and contact information) and unofficial transcript to<> by 11:59 PST February 15, 2017. One to three published or unpublished writing samples explaining science for general readers are also essential to include for the application to be considered. For more information visit