Marine Mammal Science Job Openings

Research Internships in Maui, Hawai’i

Job Category: Internship Opportunities (unpaid), Volunteer Opportunities
Date Posted:

Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF), based in Maui, Hawai’i, is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting whales and other marine life through research, education, and conservation.  Our researchers have studied whales and dolphins throughout the Pacific for over 30 years and currently conduct projects in Hawai’i, Australia, and Ecuador.  For more information about Pacific Whale Foundation and our research please visit


PWF seeks performance-driven and dedicated individuals for long-term internships based out of our Maalaea, Maui offices. Interns are expected to be available on a full-time basis, including weekends as needed.


Primary responsibilities are office-based and may include:
– Photo-identification matching of whale flukes and/or dolphin dorsal fins;
– Data entry and archival tasks;
– Data processing and analysis;
– General operational tasks.

Additional responsibilities include field work: year-round boat surveys for odontocetes and marine debris, and, during the winter, land-based surveys for humpback whales using a theodolite.

Interns must be able to spend many hours on the water and on shore in sometimes extreme weather conditions, including high temperatures, hiking into remote areas, and carrying heavy loads of equipment. Field days typically exceed eight hours and occur approximately 1-3 times per week.

Each intern may be assigned to a specific project according to skill set and availability. Interns also assist staff with other projects, such as outreach events, as the need arises.

– Be advanced undergraduates or recent graduates in biology or a related field (if you are seeking college/university credit please indicate so in your application);
– Be available to volunteer on a full-time basis for the entire internship period and must be available for all field work;
– Have a mature attitude towards research;
– Be proficient with computers and data entry; specifically using PCs and the Microsoft Office suite of products;
– Willingness to spend long hours in front of a computer doing repetitive tasks;
– Have a strong work ethic, attention to detail, and superior organizational skills;
– Have the ability to work well both in a team and independently;
– Have the ability to admit to mistakes;
– Be adaptable and a fast-learner;
– Be able to collect data in a detail-oriented manner;
– Have experience collecting data in the field;
– Speak, read and write English fluently;
– Must be a U.S. citizen or legally authorized remain in Hawai’i for the internship period. International applicants will be considered, but it is the responsibility of the applicant to acquire necessary visas and documentation.


There is no financial compensation for these positions and no housing is provided. Interns are responsible for their own travel and living expenses. There is public transportation available on the island.

*Application process*

Interested candidates should submit an application with the following:
– A cover letter including your availability, i.e. preferred time period (1 page only);
– A resume describing training, experience and relevant skills (2 pages only);
– Names and contact information of three references.

Please specify in your cover letter which internship period you are applying for.

Season: Winter-Spring
Internship period: January 1 – April 30
Application deadline: September 30

Season: Summer
Internship period: May 1 – August 31
Application deadline: February 28

Season: Fall
Internship period: September 1 ? December 31
Application deadline: June 30

Please send these items as e-mail attachments (PDF preferred) to – No phone calls or drop-ins, please!