Teachers-in-Residence Program

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Marine Mammal Stranding Internship - Fall 2021

+1 202 536 1900

The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) is currently accepting applications for Fall Session 2021 Marine Mammal Stranding Internships.

Program Background

IFAW is an international non-profit organization. This internship is based out of our International Operations Center in Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, USA. IFAW’s Marine Mammal Rescue and Research program is a federally authorized program dedicated to marine mammal stranding response on Cape Cod and southeastern Massachusetts. Our program strives to promote the conservation of marine mammal species and their habitat by improving the rescue and humane care of stranded marine mammals, advancing stranding science, and increasing public awareness through education. Cape Cod is a marine mammal stranding “hot spot,” with an average of over 261 strandings occurring each year. These strandings include live and dead seals, whales, porpoises, and dolphins.

Stranding Intern Duties

  • Stranding hotline coverage: answer calls, document reports, educate callers, dispatch volunteers, complete associated paperwork and enter data.
  • Marine mammal stranding response and necropsy: assist staff with all aspects of marine mammal stranding response, including live animal health assessment and supportive care, biological data collection, post-mortem examinations and sampling in both field and laboratory settings.
  • Stranding / necropsy readiness: cleaning, organizing and maintaining stranding response and necropsy gear, equipment and facilities, restocking kits and supplies.
  • Data entry / sample processing: assist in entry of stranding data. Assist in organizing, cataloging, disseminating and archiving of photos, videos, datasheets, samples, etc.
  • Outreach: assist staff with training and outreach material preparation and organization, participate in opportunistic outreach at stranding sites, participate in community events.

Stranding Internship Information

In addition to the operational duties the stranding interns will hold, they are also paired with staff members as supervisors and may be given individual tasks and projects to complete under their supervisors guidance. All interns will be cross-trained in stranding response and necropsy and every effort will be made for interns to gain a wide range of experiences.


    • Must be at least 18 years old.
    • Must possess a valid driver’s license and secure reliable transportation.
    • Be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, or have graduated within 2 years.
    • Must be of good physical fitness, able to lift/carry 40lbs, walk long distances in difficult terrain, be comfortable on small boats in nearshore waters, able to swim, and work in harsh weather conditions.
    • Able to follow written and oral staff directions and protocols effectively and able to work in teams and individually.
    • Working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Must be able to commit to a minimum 3 days a week, including 1 weekend day for the duration of the internship session.

Preferred candidates

  • Undergraduate or graduate study of biology, zoology, ecology, conservation or related field.
  • Previous marine mammal stranding response/research experience.
  • Previous necropsy experience (marine mammal or other taxa).
  • Experience caring for or handling animals.
  • Experience driving large trucks.
  • Experience in photo-ID. At least one intern per session may assist in seal photo-ID work.
  • Flexible daily schedules (Stranding events are unpredictable. Our days may start early or end later than scheduled).

Important Information

    • This internship is unpaid and housing and transportation are the responsibility of the intern. If accepted, we will try to provide interns with resources to help find housing.
    • Interns may be required to work some holidays.
    • Interns should be prepared to perform in a variety of settings on any given day, including office, beach, on-water, and laboratory. Specialized gear such as dry suits, boots and life jackets will be provided.
    • Stranding work is unpredictable and changes seasonally. We cannot guarantee the type and number of strandings and experiences you will receive during your internship. We will do our best when possible to give interns a varied experience.
    • International applicants are responsible for their own VISA arrangements, etc.
    • Interns intending to receive academic credit are responsible for making all arrangements with their educational institution.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications are due May 15th, 2021.

  • If you are submitting from an external posting site, be sure to check the original position post on the IFAW careers website to ensure you are fulfilling all application requirements.

Required application materials (you must provide all 3):

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume or C.V.
  • Provide names, emails, and phone numbers of two references, either professional or academic.

To apply: https://recruiting.ultipro.com...

Please, no inquiries regarding the status of your application. Updates will be sent out as they are available.

Fall intern orientation will be held September 1st – 3rd, 2021. All accepted interns are required to attend all 3 consecutive days of training.