Smithsonian Bicoastal Science Communications Internship

Stipend: $550/week
18 weeks (May/June to September/October 2018)
Start Date: Flexible, between May 14 and June 11
Edgewater, Md. and Tiburon, Calif.
Gain hands-on experience with environmental communication on both sides of the United States! The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) is the Smithsonian’s headquarters for coastal research, with scientists who study climate change, invasive species, conservation and other environmental issues shaping the 21st century. SERC is seeking a communications intern to work for 18 weeks, from summer through mid-autumn, covering the work of SERC scientists in Maryland and California. The intern will start at SERC’s Chesapeake Bay headquarters in Maryland, receiving training in SERC science communications. After six weeks, the intern will travel to San Francisco Bay to cover the work of SERC marine biologists in California for the remaining 12 weeks. Travel funds from Maryland to California are included. This internship is open to undergraduate students, master’s students, and recent graduates up to one year after graduation.
Part I: Chesapeake Bay
The intern will spend the first six weeks at SERC’s headquarters in Edgewater, Md. Here, 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 with the production of SERC’s quarterly newsletter On The Edge, under the mentorship of SERC science writer Kristen Minogue.
Part II: San Francisco Bay (SERC-West)
For the final 12 weeks, the intern will work in California, with the Tiburon section of SERC’s Marine Invasions Research Lab.  SERC’s Tiburon branch (a.k.a. “SERC-West”) is hosted at the Estuary & Ocean Science Center, a marine field station at San Francisco State University’s Romberg Tiburon Campus. The marine biologists of SERC-West work in San Francisco Bay and traverse the Pacific Coast studying invasive species, oyster restoration and other critical conservation issues. While in California, 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 regularly with Kristen Minogue via video conferencing.
Desired Qualifications:
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 and video editing software, WordPress and HTML a plus.
To apply:
Send a cover letter, resume with references (name, title and contact information) and unofficial transcript(s) by 11:59 PST Monday, February 19, 2018. 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 Questions? Send an email to SERC Science Writer Kristen Minogue at