Coastal Programs Internships

The DNREC Coastal Programs Section offers internship opportunities relating to various aspects of coastal management in Delaware.

All internships for summer 2023 are now filled.

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Coastal Programs

The Coastal Programs Section uses research and education to help lead public policy discussions and balance the use and protection of coastal and ocean resources. Internships may relate to research, policy development, public education or other missions of the section.

Applications are handled by the Delaware State Parks internship program. Applicants should use the Delaware State Parks Internship Program Application and select “Middle: Delaware Coastal Programs” or “Middle: DNERR” as their park preference depending on the internship.

Available Internships

Environmental Framework Analyst (Coastal Programs)

Term of Service
Summer, 2022 (12 weeks)

Part-time (20 – 29.5 hours per week) or full-time (30 – 37.5 hours per week)

Entirely remote

The intern will lead an effort to review and analyze existing Environmental Mitigation Plans for offshore wind development projects, both in the U.S. and overseas, to identify best practices in successful mitigation and/or compensation methodologies and inform future potential regional-specific mitigation recommendations.

The intern will gain valuable ocean science policy experience through the lens of the expanding field of offshore renewable energy, as well as acquiring knowledge about regulatory programs within DNREC and other environmental organizations.


  • Literature review of Environmental Mitigation Plans (EMPs) for offshore wind development projects
  • Identify best practices for successful EMPs
  • Develop list of recommendations for potential regional-specific mitigation methodologies
  • Engage with subject matter experts and stakeholders

Policy Intern (Coastal Programs)

Term of Service
Summer, 2022 (12 weeks)

Monday – Thursday
(30 hours per week)

At least partial in-office time with ability to work offsite as the project allows

The intern will conduct a precedent analysis and assist with archiving to support various program improvements.

The intern will gain valuable policy experience, including policy research as well as acquiring knowledge about regulatory programs within DNREC and other environmental organizations.


  • Conduct a precedent analysis
  • Assist with archiving and data organization
  • Create a report of potential program improvements

Environmental Education Intern (DNERR)

Term of Service
Summer, 2022 (12 weeks)

Full-time (37.5 hours per week)

St. Jones Reserve, Dover, Delaware

The intern will learn about estuarine ecology and coastal processes and how to translate science information into age-appropriate learning materials and activities. The intern will also learn different teaching techniques to use in a classroom and informal settings and gain valuable hands-on science teaching experience, public speaking skills, leadership skills, and organizational skills. In addition, this internship provides opportunities to work with exhibits, including those with live animals.

At the end of the internship the intern will have given a public program, will have a working knowledge of the differences between interpretation and formal and informal education, will be able to create engaging and effective social media posts, will be able to safely and effectively lead both canoe and boat trips on flat water, and will have improved public speaking and written communication skills.


  • Interact with reserve visitors and assist them as needed, be a front-line representative of DNERR
  • Assist with programs
  • Help plan and develop programs
  • Lead/Assist with weekend programs
  • Assist with staffing information booths at community events
  • Provide direction and answer questions of program participants
  • Help gather materials and assist in set up and clean-up for assigned program
  • Lead Nature walks: talking to and leading a group of kids or families on trails
  • Lead/Assist with canoe and boat trips
  • Report suggestions and observations
  • Assist in operation of the Visitor Center cleanliness, answer phone, answer questions, restock information brochures and guides and provide direction
  • Assist with school programs
  • Assist in the management of DNERR social media platforms
  • Other duties as assigned

Research Intern (DCMP)

Term of Service
Summer, 2022 (12 weeks)

Full-time (37.5 hours per week)

In-person/hybrid at the St. Jones Reserve, Dover, Delaware

The intern will assist our Stewardship Coordinator with research and monitoring projects focusing on tidal marsh ecosystems. The intern will also assist in leading DNERR citizen science projects and gain hands-on research experience, including data collection and interpretation, and learn about on-going research efforts in upland and estuarine ecosystems such as nest box and wetland vegetation monitoring.

At the end of the internship, the intern will be able to identify at least 10 common wetland plant species and focal marsh birds by sight and vocalizations, be able to identify at least five nesting bird species and understand their nesting cycles, understand and demonstrate various research methodologies used for coastal monitoring projects, have gained leadership skills by organizing citizen science projects, and will be able to manage and interpret scientific data.


  • Enter and analyze scientific data within online and desktop databases
  • Assist with on-going DNERR research: nest box monitoring, marsh vegetation monitoring, aquatic invasive species monitoring, marsh bird surveys, and other projects as needed
  • Participate in DNERR-related education and stewardship events as appropriate
  • Develop a summer research project focusing on a DNERR management need with the guidance from the Stewardship Coordinator
  • Present the completed project to staff, and potentially professionals within the National Estuarine Research Reserve System
  • Other duties as assigned, based on organizational needs