Coral Reef Research Internships
This Coral Reef Research internship is open to undergraduate students or recent graduates with a genuine interest in coral reefs and marine conservation and is limited to 12 interns. Interns will live and work at our facility and gain valuable research and field experience on some of the most well-developed and ecologically diverse reefs in the Caribbean.
The Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences was founded in 1989 with the primary objective of preserving the island’s resources through education and research. In almost three decades, RIMS has established itself as a dedicated teaching institution and many student groups visit our facility throughout the year to study tropical marine ecosystems. This field station is ideally located on the northwest coast of Roatan where over thirty miles of fringing and barrier reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves and shoreline are home to an astounding profusion of life. The reefs of Roatan make up the southernmost part of the Meso-American Barrier Reef. This is the 2nd largest barrier reef system in the world and is an important area of marine research and conservation. Our location offers students access to incredible biodiversity and some of the best field experiences a coral reef has to offer!
During the 4 weeks spent on Roatan, interns will have the rare opportunity to immerse themselves in the marine environment and enjoy the unique assemblage of marine environments that are easily accessible and awaiting exploration. Interns will interact with visiting faculty, and local staff experts as they investigate the diversity on Roatan's coral reefs through site visits to seagrass habitats, mangrove communities, lagoon & patch reef environments, and coral reefs in high/low energy systems.
Through lectures, field exercises, collaborative research activities, and independent research projects, participants will learn the flora and fauna of the local habitats and understand the different ecological processes within these communities. Interns will leave the internship with diving experience and research exposure that can be carried into their future careers. Whether an intern is interested in coral reef ecosystems, or marine conservation, the summer internship provides a unique opportunity to understand the environment first hand while experiencing a new culture and island way of living.
Download Our Flyer Below:
Session 1: January 16 - February 13, 2021
Session 2: March 21 - April 17, 2021
Session 3: July 10 - August 7, 2021
15 Great Reasons to Apply for This Internship
As an intern in our Coral Reef Research Program you will...
Gain experience in the identifiation of Caribbean coral, fish, invertebrate and marine plants.
Gain valuable field experience in the practice of reef monitoring and data collection that will contribute to our long-term database.
Participate in scientific diving and develop and conduct independent research.
Have opportunities to engage and educate others about important issues in marine conservation,
SCUBA dive on the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world
Help maintain our coral nursery and gain experience in reef restoration practices
Participate in important invasive lionfish research, outreach and management.
Have opportunities to work with local non-profit educational and environmental organizations.
Meet and network with important figures in marine science, SCUBA diving, underwater photography, and conservation.
Receive college credit, (if organized through your institution)
Strengthen your resume for graduate school or future employment.
Travel abroad and immerse yourself in a new culture.
Live on a beautiful Caribbean island, where the coral reef is your backyard!
Witness stunningly beautiful sunsets.
Make life-long friendships with like-minded individuals.
Grading & Evaluation
Upon completion of this course, interns will receive a grade and written evaluation which will be based on the field ID exams, research article discussions, field journal and dive log, research proposal, data collection, oral presentation and research poster. Program participation, engagement in the classroom and the field, diving skills and safety, personal attitude, motivation and overall contribution to the course will also be noted. Interns WILL NOT receive academic credit through our facility. Any course credit must be arranged through the participant's institution.
The Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences does not offer credit for the Internship Program.
If you are interested in earning academic credit for this program, you should research this option with your home institution to ensure that the internship at RIMS meets your institute's academic requirements.
The following points may be useful in obtaining credit:
Provide a copy of all relevant information related to this internship from the RIMS website to your department head, academic advisor, or study abroad office.
Open up a dialogue about the unique educational benefit this program offers. Then discuss the possibility of obtaining independent studies credit or undergraduate research experience (REU) credit.
Upon completion of the internship, the faculty and staff mentors at RIMS will provide a written evaluation and grade based on the criteria above. (See Grading & Evaluation)
Submit all completed documentation to your academic advisor, department head, or study abroad office at your home university.
Students can contact the RIMS Education Department (email@example.com) for additional assistance.