Marine Science Intern (PO-00732461)


This position will assist National Park Service personnel and staff with protecting and monitoring the marine environment in War in the Pacific National Historical Park (WAPA).

The position will help establish and maintain a new large-scale coral nursery for outplanting efforts. This nursery will be co-located at Hap's Reef, a popular dive site within WAPA. Fragments from coral colonies that survived significant bleaching events between 2013 and 2023 will be used to seed this ocean-based nursery. The need for this critical work is driven by a 37% reduction in Guam's shallow reef live coral cover – which has resulted in severe ecological and economic consequences. Local agencies, managers, scientists, and community members recognize that active restoration is necessary to combat continued loss of corals and coral-associating fishes and invertebrates. Prior nursery and outplanting projects, such as the 2019 outplanting of Piti Bomb Holes (PBH) grown corals, have demonstrated the success of this approach and need to expand it.

The position will also help monitor temporal changes in the marine environment including coral reef and reef flat surveys, water quality, maintaining loggers. Interns will take part in controlling corallivorous crown of thorns starfish (COTs) in the restoration areas. Participating in additional projects like stream monitoring may occur as opportunities arise. Responsibilities and Duties: This internship will involve working in shallow coral reef habitat using SCUBA and snorkeling equipment. Access to sites will be from shore or by a charter boat. In addition, interns will survey coral reefs and reef flats using transects and photo-quadrats, use loggers to measure abiotic data, control COTs by injecting with oxbile or vinegar, use spreadsheets and databases to enter and maintain data, and assist with analyzing data and writing reports.

1. Expand coral reef restoration efforts at WAPA by creating a new coral nursery that will provide thousands of fragments from a variety of species for outplanting onto damaged and denuded reefs.
2. Engage partners and the local community in outplanting activities to restore Hap’s Reef, approximately 1 net hectare of denuded reef (approximately 6 gross ha).
3. Produce a technical report and/or journal article on the health, survival, and best practices associated with nursery and outplanted corals.
4. Monitor park reef and reef flat ecosystems to track health over time.
5. Control corallivores and other species of concern.

Methods :
1. Install a new large-scale coral nursery at Hap’s Reef (in WAPA’s Agat Unit) and populate the nursery with 5000 coral fragments of species of local concern, sustainably sourced from populations that have survived past bleaching events. A coral genetic diversity study in 2021 will determine high diversity collection sites and thermo-tolerant genomes.
2. Outplant 1000 nursery-cultured coral fragments, representing a minimum of five keystone species , onto Hap’s Reef.
3. Monitor the health, survival, and growth of nursery and outplants using data collected by NPS staff, partners, and volunteer community members.
4. Actively mitigate the threat of corallivorous COTS in the Agat Unit. While COTS are native to Guam, severe outbreaks of COTS can decimate coral populations and must be culled.
5. Provide knowledge, training, and data summaries to local dive shops.
6. Conduct marine monitoring using standardized transect and photo quadrant methods.
7. Exchange data, results, and lessons learned with nursery and coral reef managers around the world to grow the communal knowledge base and support the development of best practices for reef restoration.


· An interest and prior academic experience in marine ecology (required)

· Open water SCUBA certification (required)

· Ability carry out physically demanding work (required)

· Proficiency in swimming (required)

· Experience with marine ecology data collection and entry (preferred)

Compensation amounts:

· $633 – weekly living allowance (subject to applicable taxes)

· $14,000 – duty related travel and other expenses (receipts required and consultation with NPS and SCA staff)

· AmeriCorps eligible (health insurance and $6,895 education award if elected and internship satisfactorily completed)

*PLEASE NOTE that selected candidates will be responsible for identifying and paying for their own housing in Guam and that they will need to front the costs of travel to Guam and back and submit a reimbursement request*

*All allowances subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes

It is SCA's policy that all AmeriCorps-required background checks must return cleared prior to the position's start; this includes being fingerprinted for the FBI check. Otherwise, the AmeriCorps award will be removed or the position's start date will be delayed due to non-compliance.

For SCA’s COVID guidance, please refer to

SCA 1957

Position ID: PO-00732461

Expected Dates: January 8, 2024 - January 5, 2025

135 Murray Blvd
Suite 100
Hagatna, GU 96910

Training Provided: Potential Department of the Interior MOCC boat training along with marine ecology data collection training.

Educational/Recreational Opportunities: Snorkeling, diving, bike riding, kayaking, boating, fishing, and other opportunities abound across the island of Guam.

Professional Development Opportunities: The opportunity to work with world leading marine biologists and technicians.

Handicap Accessible?: Yes

Main Area of Focus: Natural Resources Mgmt

Further Details

AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible

Driving Logistics: Recommended

Car will need to be purchased due to the nature of Guam

Housing or Stipend Provided?
D. No housing is available

Indoor/Outdoor: Combination

US Citizenship: No

Student Conservation Association