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Aerial Survey Intern

Apply now for: Spring 2021, Summer 2021

*Fall applications will be available in March

Time commitment:

Winter:125 hours minimum

Spring: 12-16 Weeks. At least Two Full Days per week 


The Aerial Survey team within Spatial Ecology, Mapping & Assessment Program (EcoMap) is seeking one intern to analyze and organize vertical photographs from past aerial surveys. The project will involve searching through 5-7 years of vertical camera photographs looking for presence of Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus) in a wind energy area (WEA) off the coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

The aerial team has been conducting surveys in an area proposed for wind development off Massachusetts and Rhode Island since 2011. This work has greatly increased survey effort in these understudied areas and helped increase our understanding of the marine environment. Interns will not be directly involved in aerial survey or field work but may have the opportunity to observe and assist with survey preparation and ground operations as needed. Results from photo analysis work may support future publications.

Interns will report to Orla O’Brien, Assistant Scientist, in the Spatial Ecology, Mapping & Assessment Program, and work alongside other members of the aerial survey team within the EcoMap group

Duties/Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Search vertical camera photographs taken during aerial surveys for marine avifauna
  • Organize photos for easy access and add information to Excel datasheet
  • Help to create figures and statistics on species occurrence
  • Perform literature searches on relevant species and habitats
  • Participate in monthly EcoMap meetings


  • Exceptional attention to detail and organization skills, even during tedious, repetitive tasks.
  • Ability to maintain focus and interest during several hours working at a computer
  • A minimum of 3 years of completed undergraduate study required
  • A demonstrated interest in marine biology, marine conservation, and/or ecology.
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills.
  • Must be highly self-motivated with the ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Experience with basic Microsoft Office platforms, especially Excel, required.
  • Experience with marine animal identification, especially in the Northwest Atlantic, preferred.
  • Interest in reading, discussing, and publishing peer-reviewed research.

Organizational Description:

The New England Aquarium’s mission is to protect the blue planet through hands-on programs, live animal and interactive exhibits, public lectures and forums, and research and conservation projects.

This mission is fulfilled through exhibits, and through education, conservation and research programs. Exhibits showcase the diversity, importance and beauty of aquatic life and habitats, and highlight critical aquatic conservation issues. Programs emphasize species, habitats and issues critical to New England. The Aquarium is also a pioneer in marine animal rescue, and a leading ocean conservation organization with research scientists working around the globe.

The New England Aquarium serves as a responsive community resource that attracts and involves the broadest possible audience; seeks a culturally diverse staff and governing board that reflect our community; adheres to the highest standards of animal stewardship; and is committed to delivering the highest quality visitor experience in a welcoming and enjoyable manner that evokes wonder, curiosity, understanding, caring and action.

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