A Typical Day of a REEF Marine Conservation Intern


Conducting REEF Fish Surveys: Each week REEF Interns have the opportunity to go scuba diving with a local dive shop and conduct fish surveys. Interns act as REEF ambassadors on the dive boats, encouraging other divers to become REEF members and get involved with the Volunteer Fish Survey Project. (Photo by Paul Humann)


 Working at REEF Headquarters Office: A significant portion of the internship consists of working in the REEF HQ office in Key Largo. Tasks range from answering phone calls and shipping out store orders to scientific data entry and event planning. There's never a dull day in the office! 

Diving and Data Collection: Interns are critical to REEF's ongoing lionfish monitoring research projects in the Upper Florida Keys. Duties include lionfish surveys, fish population surveys, lionfish collection and removal, and lionfish dissections. 

Educational Outreach at Community Events: Interns represent REEF and increase the public's awareness about marine conservation and ocean ecosystems at community events. REEF Interns set up interactive displays and talk with the public at events such as seafood festivals, art shows, fishing tournaments, science nights, and boat shows throughout the Florida Keys and South Florida.


Teaching Workshops and Seminars: Interns have the opportunity to engage with the public by giving presentations on fish identification, marine ecology, and invasive lionfish. Audiences include adults, grade schoolers, high schoolers, and college students. REEF Interns build confidence and gain public speaking skills throughout the semester.

Volunteering: Interns are encouraged to spend time each week volunteering with non-proft, governmental, educational, or environmental organizations. These volunteer projects are a great opportunity for interns to expand their skill sets and network with other professionals in the field.

Assisting with Lionfish Derbies: Interns help organize and implement REEF's Summer Lionfish Derby Series in Key Largo and South Florida. There are a wide array of jobs to do at these events including registering teams, measuring lionfish, filleting lionfish, and educating the public. 

Dissecting Lionfish: REEF dissects lionfish specimens for various research projects being conducted around the invaded region. Interns learn how to dissect lionfish and help contribute to the data being collected for these projects.

Design by Joanne Kidd, development by Ben Weintraub