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Laguna Ocean Foundation's Summer Internship Program was launched in June 2009. The objective of the program is to provide college level students with work experience in various fields of marine science relating to education, conservation, and research. Interns are trained to become Tidepool Educators at Heisler Park and Treasure Island; collect data relating to local water quality, intertidal biodiversity, and Marine Protected Area infractions; participate in current research projects such as intertidal human use surveys and the Laguna Beach shorebird diversity surveys; collaborate with local entities such as the Laguna Beach Lifeguards and the City’s Marine Protection Officer; record collected data in Excel spreadsheets; and interpret data in creative ways for publication.

The program generally runs from mid-June through mid-September, but start and stop dates are flexible based on the students needs. Students are required to work roughly 10-15 hours per week, where half of these hours are devoted to working as Tidepool Educators at Heisler Park and Treasure Island. All hours worked as Educators and a portion of the research hours worked are paid, while the remaining hours are unpaid.

College students who are interested in participating in Laguna Ocean Foundation's Summer Internship Program can email their résumés to LagunaOceanFoundation@gmail.com. Please include a one-page cover letter explaining why you are interested in this internship and include any relevant personal or work experiences. Résumés are due March 15th and qualified candidates will be interviewed and selected by April 15th.

VOLUNTEER EDUcation & RESEARCH INTERNSHIP (High-School/College-level)
This is an introductory program designed for both high school and college level students hoping to gain experience in the tidepools as educators and researchers. While the Summer Internship Program caters to students with some previous work or school experience in the field, this program caters to students who might not have any formal experience yet. The program start and stop dates are flexible and based on the students needs. Most often, the program will start at the beginning of summer, when students have time off. However, this program can also run during the school year for those students looking to build experience on the weekends and during holiday breaks. The program will be slightly modified depending on whether the student chooses to complete the program during the summer months or during the school year.

Interns will be trained to be LOF TideWater Docents. Interns must complete either 4 docent shifts per month during summer or 2 docent shifts per month during the school year at any of the following locations: Crescent Bay, Shaws Cove, Heisler Park, Woods Cove, Goff Island, or Treasure Island. Interns are responsible for providing onsite education to the general public by informing visitors of the flora and fauna, ecology, and protected status of these rocky intertidal areas; and promoting conservation efforts by increasing public awareness of the rules within Marine Protected Areas in order to reduce the number of visitor-induced impacts and MPA violations. Docent shifts are usually 3 hours long and workdays are flexible based on the interns schedule.

Interns are also able to gain research experience by participating in LOF’s research projects. Our main projects include tidepool visitation surveys at various sites and times throughout the year and shorebird identification surveys along the entire Laguna coastline that run 4 times per year.

Students who complete the Volunteer Education and Research Internship Program will gain excellent experience in the field and will be strong candidates should they choose to apply for the Summer Internship Program.