Sea Turtle Nesting Intern
Job Details
Main Campus - Clearwater, FL

Sea Turtle Conservation Program Nesting Intern Description


POSITION TITLE: Sea Turtle Nesting Intern


REPORTS TO: Sea Turtle Conservation Program Staff


POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES: Interns for the Sea Turtle Conservation Program will support the completion of all activities as listed in the Marine Turtle Permit held under the Sea Turtle Conservation Program. The incumbent will adhere to all policies outlined in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Marine Turtle Conservation Handbook, CMA policies and all city, state and federal regulations in a collaborative effort to complete FWC-authorized activities during the sea turtle nesting season. The primary responsibility of this position will be to contribute to the completion and documentation of sea turtle nest surveys, including by not limited to, locating evidence of all nocturnal nesting activity, nest marking, monitoring and evaluations within the survey area, and for regulatory projects as they may apply during the nesting season (April October). The intern will also contribute to regular data entry and maintenance. They will be responsible for other tasks such as education with internal and external customers, participating in PR promotions, and the cleaning and maintenance of all equipment. These job functions require the intern to maintain flexible working hours, be amenable to shifting priorities and other changes, and be able to adjust accordingly.




  • Assist the CMA Sea Turtle Conservation Program to ensure daily completion of sea turtle nesting surveys within the survey area in compliance with FWC Marine Turtle Conservation Handbook, city, state and federal laws, in addition to CMA policies and SOPs
  • Work with authorized personnel to correctly identify and document all sea turtle nesting activities, to include, but not limited to:
    • sea turtle crawl tracks for each species
    • differentiating between a nest and a false crawl
    • marking a nest site
    • check each nest daily, identifying signs of predation, vandalism, and/or hatching
    • identifying disorientation events or obstructed nesting attempts
    • performing nest inventories
  • Professional communication to municipal entities once surveys are completed to allow for beach cleaning activities to commence
  • Accurate data collection, entry and maintenance
  • Educate the public about:
    • sea turtle nesting behavior
    • the impact of lighting, beach debris, habitat destruction, and marine pollution with regard to sea turtles
    • the mission, vision and values of CMA
  • Clean and stock nesting equipment daily
  • Safe operation of CMA vehicles, 4-wheel drive trucks or ATVs, on the beach and in roadways as applicable
  • Responsible for executing all vehicle cleaning, maintenance, service transport, and completion of vehicle inspections
  • Perform all other duties as needed




  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written, and ability to comfortably interact with the public on a regular basis
  • Able to maintain a positive working relationship with all internal and external entities including, but not limited to, staff, volunteers, interns, municipal employees, and members of the press at all times
  • Capable of working in a high stress environment with restrictive timelines
  • Strong problem solving and time management skills, with an ability to plan, organize and prioritize multiple tasks at once
  • Self-motivated, confident, and disciplined with excellent work ethics
  • Team oriented attitude
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a group setting
  • Familiarity with computers, including but not limited to MS office software (Word/Excel) and Adobe Acrobat Reader


PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: In good physical condition, with an 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.). Able to routinely perform physically demanding work. Able to ride on an ATV and drive vehicles in unexpected terrain for extended periods of time. Additional requirements include an ability to:

  • Lift up to 50lbs to waist level - Frequently
  • Lift up to 20lbs to shoulders and above head Occasionally
  • 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
  • Reach above the shoulders - Frequently
  • Push and pull larger equipment Frequently
  • Work outdoors in all weather conditions and adapt to changing weather Frequently
  • Work indoors, under cover without air conditioning or heat Frequently





  • Sea Turtle and Conservation Program Intern job responsibilities will require the intern to maintain flexible working hours, be amendable to shifting priorities and other changes, and be able to adjust accordingly
  • STCP Intern will make a commitment to working 5 days a week for morning patrol shifts throughout the internship (usually a 6-8 hour shift scheduled in advance)
  • Commit to one on-call shift a week at night to release hatchlings or check cages, if needed
  • Schedule during peak season will be approximately 40-45 hours a week
  • Attendance is mandatory during this internship.
  • 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

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