Undergraduate Opportunities

Calling ocean-loving UM undergraduate students of all majors: Explore the possibilities with SRC for marine conservation internships and independent projects.

Creating Innovative Career Paths

College is the time to explore your passions and challenge yourself. Dip your toe into potential career paths, and refine your goals. SRC provides innovative internship and independent project experiences for dozens of undergraduate students each year, all with the common goal of marine conservation. Students graduate with real-world experience, diversified skill sets, and a sense of empowerment. Whether you are a marine biology student looking for research experience, an engineering student looking for an independent project, or even a visual journalism student looking for a meaningful internship, SRC has opportunities for you! Please explore the options below, and feel free to contact us with additional ideas.

Volunteer Internships

Shark Research Internship

Have you always dreamt of being a marine biologist? Do you have the yearning to immerse yourself in shark research? Are you an innate leader with a passion for education? If so, the Shark Research Internship could be your dream come true.

Click HERE to learn more about summer research opportunities!

Apply for a Shark Research Internship


At any one time, we have around 15 undergraduate and graduate students working as volunteer shark research interns. Most students intern for the maximum length of time — 3 semesters — growing into experienced field scientists and leaders in educational outreach. After 3 semesters, many students opt to begin an independent project with SRC, delving deeper into a research topic of their choice. The responsibilities as a Shark Research Intern are ever-evolving as our Program expands. Currently, the primary duties include:
  • Attend scheduled shark research/outreach trips and participate actively on the boat (trips usually run every other weekend Friday-Sunday out of Key Biscayne, most interns are scheduled for about 4 trips per semester)
  • Participate in all mandatory training sessions and lab meetings (usually about 2 sessions per semester)
  • Write between 1–3 research trip summaries for the SRC Blog
  • Write at least 1 Blog entry breaking down an ocean-related scientific publication for the general public (350 words)
  • Write at least 1 extended Blog entry about a marine conservation topic of choice (500–750 words)
  • Interns will also be evaluated according to a Performance Review Points System. This has been created to reward those who consistently go above and beyond in their work.

Creative Internships

Immerse yourself in a world of beauty, mystery and sheer inspiration with SRC. Allow your creativity to reach new depths as you explore how art, communication and marine science can become inexorably intertwined. Come face-to-face with our ocean’s top predators, or paint your imagination with the vibrant colors of secluded coral reefs.

Each semester, we welcome new creative interns to the team. Currently, we have semester-long internships (volunteer, 1, 2, or 3 credits) for:
  • Video Production
  • Field Photography
  • Custom-Designed Multimedia Internship
Applicants must have a strong foundation within their area of expertise and access to relevant equipment. While a large degree of creative freedom will be given, interns must be highly self-motivated.

Independent Study & Class Projects

We welcome students from all areas of study to propose interdisciplinary projects focused around the SRC Program. If you can dream it, we can help you realize it.

Potential areas of expertise could include:
  • Marine Science
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Engineering
  • Math & Statistics
  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Ecosystem Science and Policy
  • Communications
  • Marketing
  • Education
  • Visual Arts
Previous projects include:
  • A scientific research project investigating shark morphometric measurements.
  • A photojournalism story on how SRC science is helping recreational fisherman create more responsible guidelines for catch-and-release
  • A scientific research project tracking bacterial loads in the Biscayne Bay
  • A documentary-style video profile on Dr. Neil Hammerschlag and the SRC program
  • An infographic visualizing the findings from Dr. Hammerschlag’s latest scientific publication
  • A scientific research project analyzing shark satellite tracks in relation to several environmental factors, including geomagnetic fields.
Potential future projects include:
  • A series of blog posts discussing the latest in marine conservation policy
  • Creating 3D modeling of shark tracks and movements
  • Development and implementation of K–12 educational marine science presentations
  • An engineering evaluation and recommendations for field research equipment

Financial Assistance

As a non-profit organization, all undergraduate opportunities are volunteer-based. If you would like to apply for financial assistance to support your internship or project, please explore the following options:

“Working with SRC has been one of the most valuable and rewarding experiences of my college career. One would think that working on cutting edge research projects relating to shark conservation would be enough to make the experience amazing but that’s not all. What makes SRC extra-special is the passion and dedication of the team, from our director Dr. Hammerschlag all the way to undergraduate interns. I would not be where I am today without the opportunities made available by Dr. Neil and the rest of the amazing SRC team.”

— Kyra Hartog
Shark Research Intern ’11-14

“My most memorable trip with SRC was late in 2011 when we went out of Broad Key with the RSMAS Board of Visitors. That day we tagged 2 Great Hammerheads, 2 Tiger sharks (one being a juvenile), and a blacktip. At the end of the day I couldn’t believe that I was actually doing something I’ve dreamt of since I was 2 years old.”

— Evan Byrnes
Shark Research Intern ’12-13

“This internship has allowed me to learn many skills and techniques I probably wouldn’t have had the chance to learn in any other lab. These include boat handling, field research techniques such as analyzing blood, and effective scientific communication. Of course, if you want to learn a thing or two about sharks, this is definitely the place to be! Since I started interning with SRC two years ago, my knowledge has increased with every trip. I feel highly confident when people ask me questions about sharks. In addition, I’ve attended intern enrichment sessions covering a variety of different topics such as first aid, fish identification, and shark dissections. This lab also provides great opportunities for networking with people from all sorts of backgrounds and places. I can easily say interning with SRC has been one of the best decisions I have made during my undergraduate career.”

— Daniela Escontrela
Shark Research Intern ’12-14