RESEARCH | EDUCATION | CONSERVATION
Rain or shine, every day was either making progress or making memories!
- Shane White
The Shark Lab is seeking highly motivated, hard-working people with a desire to gain experience with marine fauna and flora. Interns are integrated into all aspects of the station's workload – alongside field activities, they are expected to assist with fixing equipment, cleaning the facilities, and cooking family-style meals. Not only do interns gain practical skills and knowledge throughout their time, but they are given the opportunity to obtain connections in a diversity of disciplines, including photography and cinematography, research, education and more. We believe that interning at the field station is a life-changing experience that not only develops scientists but also helps to create well-rounded people, with a drive and passion to succeed in whatever path they choose to follow!
You must be 18 years of age or older to intern with us.
ABOUT THE INTERNSHIP
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING RESEARCH IN THE BAHAMAS:
The research permitting processes in the Bahamas has changed. Some internship periods may include hands-on research, however due to the logistics involved, this is not a guarantee for every placement. Before you submit an application to intern at the BBFSF, please be aware that research activities are organized according to the station schedule, weather and other factors, and we may be unable to tell you if there is research planned during your availability.
Still, there are many practical experiences the Shark Lab provides during each internship, such as learning how to operate at a remote field station and various research, education, and outreach experiences.
Field Techniques and Activities:
Boating, knots, and navigation classes
Potential field activities:
Interacting with juvenile lemon sharks in pristine mangrove habitat
Snorkeling and freediving with Caribbean reef sharks, blacktip sharks, lemon sharks and nurse sharks
Interacting with southern stingrays on a white sand beaches
Snorkeling and freediving with Great Hammerhead sharks during the winter months
Snorkeling a variety of coral reef, mangrove and seagrass habitats
Snorkeling with sea turtles at the famous SS Sapona shipwreck
Potential encounters with spotted eagle rays, Atlantic spotted dolphins, or bottlenose dolphins and more marine wildlife
Fishing (trolling, spearing, spinning rod, etc.)
Snorkeling & Freediving (we do not do SCUBA)
In-water & boating safety training
Tour of North Bimini
History of the Bimini Biological Field Station
History of the Bahamas
Maps and Navigation of Bimini and surrounding areas
Photo ID of Great Hammerheads
Ecology and Evolution of Elasmobranchs
Thorough shark "workup" lesson and demonstration with our model hammerhead
Sharks in the Media
Critical analysis of research papers
Graduate school processes and applications
Science Communication - Disseminating Research
Photo and video editing instruction and demonstration
Networking and relationship building as you work and live alongside future marine scientists but also by interacting with various groups, courses, production crews, etc. who visit the station
Remote field station maintenance
Public speaking and science communication via tours, classroom/school visits and outreach experiences
Scientific writing opportunities through blog writing
Cooking for large number of people
ROOM & BOARD FEES - WHAT'S INCLUDED?
Room & Board Fee
Our monthly room & board fee is $1000 USD, and any additional days outside this, will be charged at a weekly rate. It is all-inclusive of internship activities, accommodation at the Station, three meals a day, laundry, internet, and all field activities & training. This cost works out as roughly $33/day – not a bad deal for food and accommodation, especially compared to standard Bimini prices. Please note that the room & board fees paid by interns makes up less than a third of the total running cost of the Station annually. All Shark Lab funding goes directly into ensuring the station will continue running. We appreciate your understanding on this matter. Please see Scholarship Opportunities below for scholarship information.
In addition to the room & board fees, we require a one time payment of $500 USD to cover your round trip flight from Fort Lauderdale – Bimini. This flight is organized entirely by BBFSF specific to your internship dates.
On acceptance of the internship, you will be sent clear instructions by the Station Administrator. All invoices are sent via Quickbooks. If you are paying through a bank of the United States, you can easily pay the fees via bank transfer. International payments are transferred through a “wire transfer” that must be made through your local bank. Payments can be made via installments, or in one full payment. Please note: Payments via an International Bank may incur an additional $15 fee to enable wire transfers. The internship fees do not include your personal travel costs, personal equipment, or personal insurance.
USD and BSD are of equal value and are used interchangeably in the Bahamas. Please allow for additional spending money to cover optional outside expenses such as: Shark Lab t-shirts, meals out, snacks, drinks, souvenirs etc. Most snacks are 3 x as expensive as the US due to importation fees and taxes, so keep this in mind.
Doc Gruber Memorial Scholarship
We are pleased to announce continued scholarship opportunities for 2024 thanks to the support of the MCZP Foundation. We understand that financial barriers can limit opportunities for people in the early stages of their careers. To be considered, please fill out the entire Internship Application Form, including the section marked Scholarships.
Doc Gruber Memorial Scholarships are available for Bahamian & international applicants who are 18 years of age and up.
“This internship was such an incredible and well-rounded experience. Thanks to this, I'm currently developing educational and informative materials about sharks that I can offer my community.”
- Wanda Ortiz Báez
2021 Intern & MISS Elasmo Fellow
Entry to the USA:
It is imperative that all interns are eligible and able to travel within the United States as Florida is where we travel to and from in the case of an emergency, evacuation due to a hurricane, or any other unforeseen circumstances. It is YOUR responsibility to check and meet the requirements to enter the USA - (visa, ESTA, waiver program, etc.)
Please be prepared to attach a PDF version of your CV, cover letter and two letters of recommendation with the application form.
Check out our Internship FAQ Page.
“During the course of my internship at the Shark Lab, I learned valuable skills in fieldwork, statistical analysis, and professional development. Additionally, the connections I made at the lab have helped me pursue my current Master's degree where I am comparing stable isotope values in juvenile lemon sharks within their coastal and island nurseries, using Bimini as my island nursery site.”
JACK DALES - INTERN 2021
“I searched for knowledge and experience in the field but left with so much more: an extended family, numerous stories to tell, motivation to push forward, and, of course, knowledge and experience in the field.”
WANDA ORTIZ BÁEZ - INTERN & MISS ELASMO FELLOW 2021
"My time at the Bimini Shark Lab as a volunteer intern remains one of the most memorable experiences of my life, both personally and professionally. Working in the field with these magnificent creatures in their own element and working with the lab's scientists and staff provided me with a plethora of skills learned and connections made. The crew of the Shark Lab during my time there remains the coolest group of people I have ever had the privilege to work with. If I were given a chance to go back to the Shark Lab, I would do so without hesitation. I hope to be able to collaborate with the Bimini Shark Lab and the crew I met and worked with during my future career in shark science. For aspiring shark scientists, there is no better place to get world-class supervision from experts in the field, as well as develop skills in the field of shark research."
ETHAN DEWALD - INTERN 2021
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
One of the most beneficial aspects of being a volunteer at the Shark Lab is that the harder you work and the longer you are there, the more responsibility you are given.
DR. LAURAN BREWSTER
The experiences I gained at the Shark Lab have been instrumental in my life, both professionally and personally.
DR. JAMES LEA
I have no doubt that all of the experience working with sharks I had gained at the Shark Lab was invaluable for getting the position.