Jobs & Internships


Massachusetts MES Undergraduate Shellfish Aquaculture Internships

Town of Falmouth, Massachusetts Marine and Environmental Services

Are you obsessed with marine life? Are you a hands-on person exploring career options in marine biology? Are you searching for a dynamic, educational and fun-filled summer? Want to make a difference in how we run our amazing Falmouth shellfish program? If yes, keep on reading!

Based at the Falmouth Town Marina, the Town of Falmouth’s Marine & Environmental Services department runs the largest municipal shellfish program in the country. We’re loved by the Falmouth community – go ahead, check us out – and we’re on a mission to make our community more sustainable and healthier one oyster at a time! The Shellfish Division of MES is responsible for the propagation and management of the town’s recreational and commercial shellfisheries. Falmouth MES is changing the face of municipal aquaculture and continues to develop innovative community-based fisheries models and tools. We operate the Falmouth Inner Harbor Propagation Center, as well as remote growing upwellers in Green Pond and West Falmouth Harbor. We have a large-scale municipal shellfish program here at Falmouth MES, and we are ever mindful that shellfishing occurs in our backyards. We strive to keep our gear organized and arranged in an aesthetically pleasing design, and to build and strengthen good relationships with the neighbors in our community. We have a fast-paced, fun work environment and seek hard-working staff who crave learning new skills and aren’t afraid to get wet and dirty. As an intern, you will get to work with a variety of our team members as well as the senior shellfish and natural resources staff, and you’ll work on projects designed to make our shellfish operations even better. Our ideal candidate is someone that is detailed-oriented, interested in learning about aquaculture operations or natural resource management, excited to spend his or her time working outside (even in inclement weather!), and is mature and highly self-motivated. The first big project on the list is to care for and monitor our new shellfish seed (the itty-bitty babies!) which arrive in June. You would work with our shellfish staff to maintain our upwellers (the shellfish nursery) and collect valuable weekly growth and water quality data. Our shellfish grow quickly, and before you know it they will be ready to be moved to our in-water floating bag system. You would assist our shellfish staff in this transition, and be incorporated into our team that inspects and maintains millions of oysters! You would also be responsible for giving tours of our upweller nursery system to visiting public, and for giving a presentation at the conclusion of the program to fellow students and staff.

The Falmouth MES Shellfish Aquaculture Internship program: • Provides an educational, working platform for students to experience an aquaculture facility and take a vested interest in a local natural resource. • Teaches students the importance of organization, scientific data recording, attention to detail, responsibility, and field biology in an aquaculture environment. • Expands public awareness of Falmouth’s municipal shellfish program through public access, tours, and presentations. • Increases the total supply of shellfish available for seeding into local shellfishing waters the optimal operation of the shellfish nursery system and the widespread distribution of the juvenile stock. Exposing students to an aquaculture facility, teaching them how it operates, and educating the public goes beyond just measuring growth rates, number of shellfish reared, percent survival and amount seeded. These students may not become professional aquaculturists, however they all become more environmentally aware and natural resource conscious as a result of the program. If this sounds interesting, we want to hear from you!

2020 Falmouth, MA MES Shellfish Aquaculture Undergraduate Internship Description: • The expected length of the college internship program is 10-12 weeks, with an anticipated start during the first week of June. • Students will take part in hands-on field activities spanning topic areas such as the history and role of shellfishing on Cape Cod, shellfish growing methodology, shellfish biology and ecology, and the benefits and challenges of shellfish aquaculture, shellfish husbandry, grow-out gear, shellfish growth monitoring, population census, and survivability studies. • Program will immerse college students in rapidly growing industry. • Students will work with seasonal shellfish technicians and the Fisheries Biologist. • Students will assist with work on the largest municipal shellfish propagation farm in the country. Requirements: • Must be 18 years of age by May 31, 2020. • Prospective students must be enrolled in or recently graduated from an undergraduate college or university program in order to participate. • College or university undergraduate major in marine biology/science, fisheries science, aquaculture, zoology, biology, chemistry, environmental science/studies, or related field. • Students must provide own transportation and lunch. • Students must commit to a minimum of 120 internship hours over 12 or fewer weeks. • If the student’s college or university offers credit for internships, it is the student’s responsibility to arrange for the credit. How to Apply: • Carefully review all internship requirements. • Complete the online Undergraduate Internship Application available at: • Supporting documents including two (2) letters of recommendation, unofficial transcripts, a resume/CV, and cover letter are required as part of the application packet. • Top candidates will be interviewed by the Fisheries Biologist and the Deputy Director of Marine & Environmental Services. • The deadline for applications is February 14, 2020. Applicants will be notified of decisions by the end of April. Late internship applications may be reviewed, but priority is given to applications submitted by the deadline. Falmouth MES does not/cannot provide financial compensation, housing, or medical insurance. Internship program is in accordance with M.G.L c. 151, § 2.