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Senior Sea Turtle Conservation Program Intern

Job Details

Main Campus - Clearwater, FL




POSITION TITLE: Senior Sea Turtle Conservation Program Intern


DEPARTMENT: Sea Turtle Conservation Program


REPORTS TO: Sea Turtle Conservation Program Intern Supervisor




The Senior Sea Turtle Conservation Program Intern will support the completion of all activities as listed in the Marine Turtle Permit held by Clearwater Marine Aquarium.  The incumbent will adhere to all policies outlined in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Marine Turtle Conservation Handbook, Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) Employee Handbook, CMA Sea Turtle Conservation Program Manual, and all city, state and federal regulations in a collaborative effort to complete FWC-authorized activities each sea turtle nesting season.  The primary responsibility of this position is to contribute to the completion and documentation of sea turtle nesting surveys, including, but not limited to, locating evidence of all nocturnal and daytime nesting activity, nest marking, monitoring and evaluations within the survey area, and for regulatory projects, as they may apply, during the seasonal nesting season (April-October).  The incumbent will also contribute to regular data entry and maintenance.  The incumbent will be responsible for maintenance and storage of equipment, maintaining supply inventories, and communicating needs to the Supervisor.  They will also be responsible for regular vehicle maintenance and cleanliness.  Regular tasks may also include educating internal and external customers, public speaking, and participating in PR promotions.  These job responsibilities will require the Intern to maintain flexible working hours, be amenable to shifting priorities and other changes, and be able to adjust accordingly.





  • Lead and assist with the daily completion of sea turtle nesting surveys within the survey area in compliance with FWC Marine Turtle Conservation Handbook, city, state and federal laws, and CMA policies (April-October)
  • Assist with intern projects, data entry and field work in coordination with the Intern Coordinator
  • Assist seasonal and full-time staff with daily tasks.
  • Assist with skill training of interns and volunteers.
  • Work with authorized personnel to complete all aspects of nesting surveys, including, but not limited to:
    • Identify and document all sea turtle nesting activities within the survey area
    • Mark all nest sites
    • Document all evidence of predation, human disturbance and nest hatching
    • Enter all data into Excel database
  • Once surveys are complete, communicate with municipal entities in a professional manner to allow mechanical beach cleaning to occur
  • Conduct nest evaluations
  • Assess and document all obstructed nesting attempts, and submit appropriate forms to FWC
  • Assess and document all disorientation events, and submit appropriate forms to FWC
  • Ensure the safe release of, or transport of hatchlings found within the survey area, as instructed by Supervisor, Senior Biologist and FWC
  • Assist with proper night monitoring of nests outfitted with restraining cages, silt screens, or any additional protection measures, as approved by FWC
  • Assisting with response to and documentation of sea turtle stranding events within the survey area
  • Assist with accurate data collection and database management
  • Assist with the completion of weekly escarpment surveys
  • Assist with the completion of all required reports by deadlines identified in the FWC Marine Turtle Permit, FWC Marine Turtle Conservation Handbook, and any contracts with Pinellas County or for regulatory projects
  • Assist with the training of volunteers and interns to locate, identify and document all sea turtle nesting activity within the survey area, to include pre-season and during-season training
  • Assist with the preparation of, and participate in, various educational outreach opportunities
  • Assist with the inventory and storage of all equipment and supplies needed for the Sea Turtle Conservation Program
  • Responsible for the safe operation of CMA vehicles while on the beach, and traveling to and from CMA
  • Assist with vehicle cleaning, maintenance, service transport and completion of vehicle inspections
  • Understand, enforce, and assist with the improvement of all standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the Sea Turtle Conservation Program
  • Assist with research projects as needed
  • Assist with the implementation of money generating programs involving the Sea Turtle Conservation Program
  • Assist various CMA departments by providing information for various media outlets, both in-house (CMA Facebook, blogposts, etc.) and for external outlets (TV, print, radio, etc.)
  • Must pass basic swim test annually
  • Perform other duties as needed




  • In the process of earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology, Marine Biology, Environmental Science, Zoology, related field or a recent graduate (within 1 year) of comparable degree
  • Experience with and an understanding of to find references within the FWC Marine Turtle Conservation Handbook
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license
  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written, and an ability to comfortably interact with the public on a regular basis
  • Be able to maintain positive working relationships with all internal and external entities, including, but not limited to, staff, volunteers, other interns, and municipal, county, state and federal employees at all times
  • Be adaptable in a fast-paced ever-changing environment
  • Open to accept and adapt to performance feedback. Proven ability to provide all types of performance feedback in a constructive manner
  • Be able to work independently, as well as in a group setting
  • Experience with data entry and maintenance
  • Basic knowledge of MS Office, including Word, Excel, Power point and Outlook
  • Ability to work flexible schedule, including nights, weekends and holidays
  • Experience with the safe operation of four-wheel drive vehicles and all-terrain vehicles
  • Strong time management skills, with an ability to plan, organize, and prioritize multiple tasks at once
  • Schedule requirements: 3 month internship - minimum 500 hours completed, 4 month internship - minimum 650 hours completed; 5 month internship - minimum 800 hours completed; 6 month internship - minimum 950 hours completed




  • Ability to work long hours in extreme weather conditions, including, but not limited to, heat, high humidity, direct sunlight, rain, wind and outdoor conditions (insects, sand, etc.) - Frequently
  • Ability to ride on an ATV and drive vehicles in unexpected terrain for extended periods of time - Frequently
  • Lift up to 50lbs to waist level - Frequently
  • Lift up to 20lbs to shoulders and above head – Moderate Frequency
  • Reach above the shoulders - Frequently
  • Walk/stand for long periods of time - Frequently
  • Maneuver safely on uneven terrain or in tight spaces - Frequently
  • Safely climb ladders when needed – Occasionally
  • Squat, bend, kneel, twist and reach - Frequently
  • Push and pull larger equipment – Frequently
  • Work indoors, under cover without air conditioning or heat – Frequently


The Clearwater Marine Aquarium reserves the right to revise job descriptions or work hours as required.


All job requirements are subject to change to reflect the evolving position requirements or to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities. Some requirements may exclude individuals who pose a threat or risk to the health and safety of themselves or other employees. This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to which will be required in this position. Employees will be required to follow other job-related duties as requested by their supervisor/manager (within guidelines and compliance with Federal and State Laws). Continued employment remains on an “at-will” basis.


Company is an equal opportunity employer, and does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.  Clearwater Marine Aquarium participates in E-Verify, please view the Notice of E-Verify Participation and the Notice of Right to Work.