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Diving to discover mysteries of the deep blue, swimming among technicolor schools of fish, aquatic creatures, and living on sun-soaked beaches — these are just a few things you’ll enjoy with marine conservation internships.

Unsurprisingly, most don’t need much convincing on the topic of why consider marine conservation internships. However, beyond the excitement of it all, there are several reasons that marine conservation internships are truly important, for the intern, the projects they serve, and our oceans.

In this blog, we’ll unpack the topic of why consider marine conservation internships. We’ll answer questions like what is marine conservation, why is marine conservation important, how to help marine conservation, and how to get involved with marine conservation through internship programs.

What is Marine Conservation?

Marine Conservation is a branch of conservation dedicated to the species and ecosystems found within our seas. This involves both the protection and restoration of marine life through scientific research, policy development, and community engagement, addressing threats such as pollution, overfishing, habitat destruction, and climate change.

Why do we need to conserve marine life? Life in our oceans is interlinked with life on land. The ocean makes up a significant part of the planet’s climate and the changes in marine ecosystems can vastly affect anything from populations of animals to water temperature. Which isn’t only devastating to the ecosystem themselves, they have knock-on effects throughout the natural world. This is not to mention the huge swathes of the global population that rely on the ocean for their livelihoods.

There are endless reasons why marine conservation is important. These are all good reasons to consider marine conservation internships too.

Career-wise, marine conservation takes many forms and projects that require diverse teams of skilled professionals. For anyone considering the field, there are a range of exciting careers to be found in marine conservation. However, marine conservation is also a desirable field of work, meaning these roles are usually highly competitive.

Why You Should Consider Marine Conservation Internships

So, now we’ve answered ‘What is marine conservation?’, and ‘Why is marine conservation important?’, it’s time you know how to get involved with marine conservation— that is marine conservation internships.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in marine conservation, the best thing you can do is seek out a marine conservation internship suited to your skills and experience. There are several reasons why internships are essential in marine conservation. So, let’s get into it.

1. Practical Experience

This is the first and biggest reason to consider marine conservation internships if you want to build a career as a marine conservationist. Marine conservation is one of those fields where practical experience is pivotal and a degree isn’t always enough.

Even the highest-achieving marine biology grad can struggle to find work if they have never seen what a marine conservation project looks like. Internships let you participate in fieldwork, such as coral reef surveys, marine wildlife monitoring, and habitat restoration projects, gaining crucial exposure and insight into real-world marine conservation scenarios.

2. Technical Skill Building

This is another reason that marine biology students shouldn’t rest on their laurels and rely on their degrees alone for employment. For many job listings, things like a PADI qualification or laboratory experience are required skills. Technical skills are a big part of the importance of internships.

To meaningfully contribute to any marine conservation project requires an array of highly technical skills like laboratory research, an understanding of legal procedures, or even the ability to scuba dive. Developing these skills demands first-hand exposure to real-world scenarios.

3. Specialist Knowledge

In marine conservation, specialists are often in high demand. This means specialist knowledge can make you highly desirable in this field. Whether you are mapping habitats, monitoring wildlife populations, or developing sustainable tourism practices, the depth of knowledge gained from an internship can set you apart in the job market.

Internships provide an opportunity to gain specialized knowledge in specific areas of marine conservation and develop a deep understanding of specific ecological processes, species interactions, and conservation techniques. Many marine conservation internships include educational components, such as workshops, lectures, and certifications too.

This insight and knowledge can be instrumental when building a career in marine conservation.

4. Networking Opportunities

Marine conservation is also a field where who you know can be as important as what you know. The right career contact could be your foot in the door to a valuable opportunity.

Marine conservation organizations are often well-connected with one another. This means a contact can get you a long way in this field. It also means, that when organizations have such a big pool of potential talent, it can be hard to get noticed if you don’t have someone to vouch for you.

Working alongside experienced professionals provides an excellent networking platform. Interns have the chance to connect with marine biologists, conservationists, policymakers, and other key players in the field. These connections can lead to future job opportunities and collaborations.

5. Demonstrating Commitment

Ask most people if they’d like to protect our oceans or if they’d like to spend their days scuba diving off the coast of some tropical paradise, and they’d probably answer yes to both. So, employers need a way of discerning who’s serious about marine conservation. Here lies another reason why considering marine conservation internships is important.

Marine internships play an important role in demonstrating your commitment to marine conservation to potential employers. Having internship experience on your CV signifies drive, dedication, and self-belief in your ability to make a difference for our oceans.

6. Career Path Exploration

As mentioned, marine conservation takes many forms. You might be surprised by the number of roles available in this field and the many different ways of gaining experience in marine conservation.

Many think the only way to help is by working on the frontline as a marine conservationist. Really, there are a wide range of career paths available in this field. You could be an environmental consultant for marine tourism, a marine policy analyst, an educator, or a fisheries manager. The list goes on.

This is why we recommend investigating marine conservation internship programs even before you start studying at college. You may discover a periphery role in marine conservation that appeals to you more and this could inform your choice of degree.

7. Global Perspective

Why consider marine conservation internships in another country? Not only do marine conservation internships abroad offer interns a fantastic chance to travel, but they come with many benefits for professional development too.

First and foremost, marine conservationists, especially those working on scientific research, have to go where the action is. The coral reefs of the Bazaruto Archipelago in Mozambique, compared to those of Bulak in the Philippines, offer unique scientific research possibilities. As such, travel is part of a marine conservationist’s job.

Internships offer a chance to develop vital cross-cultural collaboration skills and gain insight into how marine conservation works around the world. It introduces the different pressures and limitations presented at an international level and builds your resilience against them.

8. Personal Growth

Beyond all of this, Marine conservation internships, like any other internships, are tremendously beneficial for personal growth. Our interns often tell us this is one of the greatest impacts of Roots Internships.

Taking on marine conservation internships abroad lets you travel to a new country, collaborate with people from all around the world, and overcome new challenges and obstacles. Living and working in diverse, often remote environments fosters independence and resilience. Interns develop problem-solving skills, adaptability, and a greater appreciation for nature. The challenges faced during an internship can lead to significant personal and professional development.

Top Marine Internships to Consider

Marine Conservation Internship In Zanzibar, Tanzania

Travel to Spice Island, Zanzibar, for one of our more versatile marine conservation internships, offering opportunities to get involved with reef restoration projects, turtle hatcheries, coastal pollution surveys, and community-focused environmental education programs at local schools.

You’ll gain insight into the day-to-day running of a marine conservation nonprofit along with practical experience in marine conservation and marine science research.

Conservation Research Internship in Costa Rica

This program is even more versatile than the last, letting you focus on either Marine conservation or land conservation in Costa Rica, the country leading the planet in the climate-focused UN SDGs.

You’ll work with an organization that runs multiple projects, throughout the year, tasks you engage in will vary greatly depending on what season it is when you visit. Your internship could be spent on sea turtle nesting, research, agroforestry, or community outreach and education.

Research Assistant And Divemaster Internship In The Philippines

Travel to the Philippines and gain practical experience as a divemaster by leading underwater surveys to monitor the marine ecosystems of the Coral Triangle, the area with the highest marine biodiversity on the planet.

You’ll join an organization hosting a few of our best marine internships for 2024. Their work is primarily dedicated to publishing independent research on issues of coral bleaching and pollution. As an intern, you’ll assist in conducting underwater research dives, processing and analyzing data, and writing reports of your findings.

How to Help Marine Conservation with Roots

Why consider marine conservation internships? Marine conservation internships offer a unique blend of education, hands-on experience, and personal growth, providing invaluable opportunities for aspiring marine conservationists. By participating in these programs, you can gain specialized knowledge, develop essential skills, and make meaningful contributions to protecting our oceans.

If you’re passionate about marine conservation, take the next step and explore the diverse range of internship opportunities available through Roots today.

Browse All Our Available Marine Conservation Internships

This blog was written by Tom Rusbridge