Coast-to-Coast Science Writing Internship

Posted On: January 14, 2019

Media-Related Internship

Media Organization: Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Company Description

Nearly 70 percent of the world's people live in the coastal zone. Coasts are some of the richest and most productive ecosystems on Earth, but they're also among the most threatened - from climate change, invasive species, sea level rise and overdevelopment. At the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), ecologists are seeking to understand the coasts and how to best preserve them so they can continue to sustain both people and nature. SERC scientists work from the center's Chesapeake Bay headquarters in Edgewater, Md., and do additional field work in coasts around the world.

Job Description

Deadline: Feb 15, 2019
Desired Start Date: Between May 6 and June 10
Duration: 18 weeks (May/June through September/October 2019)

Gain hands-on experience with environmental communication on both sides of the United States! The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) is seeking an 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 Edgewater, Md., 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 current undergraduate and master's students, and recent graduates up to one year after graduation.

Part I: Chesapeake Bay (SERC-East)
The intern will spend the first six weeks at SERC’s headquarters in Edgewater, Md. Here, the intern will interview SERC scientists and other sources 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 Tiburon, Calif., with the West Coast section of SERC’s Marine Invasions Research Lab. SERC’s West Coast 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 along the Pacific Coast studying invasive species, oyster restoration and other critical conservation issues. The intern will write and do outreach about SERC’s West Coast scientists. While in California, the intern will work under the onsite supervision of ecologist Andrew Chang and correspond regularly with Kristen Minogue via video conferencing.

To Apply

Send a cover letter, resume with references (name, title and contact information) and unofficial transcript(s) to Kristen Minogue at by 11:59 Pacific Time February 15, 2019. One to three published or unpublished writing samples explaining science for general readers are also essential for the application to be considered. Length of all writing samples should not be more than 10 pages.

Questions? Contact Kristen Minogue at