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CINAR Undergraduate Fellowships for Minorities

List Date: 
Feb 4, 2016
Close Date: 
Feb 18, 2016

The Cooperative Institute for the North Atlantic Region (CINAR) is pleased to announce an opportunity for Undergraduate Fellowships for Minorities, at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.

CINAR is a regional CI that focuses on the U.S. northeast continental shelf (NES) from Cape Hatteras to Nova Scotia - one of the world's most highly productive marine ecosystems. The structure and dynamics of the NES ecosystem are strongly influenced by local, regional, and basin-scale environmental factors and by a range of human activities including fishing, the discharge of nutrients and other pollutants, and coastal development.  There is also a growing recognition of ecological, and related sociological and economic impacts from climate change and ocean acidification in the region.

All Fellows are expected to work on a project selected in collaboration with their GMRI sponsor(s) that will provide meaningful results during a 10 week Summer Fellowship. Project topics need to fit under one (or more) of CINAR’s research themes, with a geographic focus that falls within the CINAR region described above:

  • Ecosystem Forecasting
  • Ecosystem Monitoring
  • Ecosystem Management
  • Protection and Restoration of Resources
  • Sustained Ocean Observations and Climate Research

Additional information about these themes and current CINAR research projects can be found at:

Within the guidelines of this fellowship, students may apply for a summer internship identified by GMRI or may take initiative to define a topic of interest that fits within the structure of current research at GMRI. For more information visit our website at:

Positions for the 2016 GMRI Summer Internship Program are noted below.

Casco Bay Aquatic System Survey (CBASS)

GMRI is seeking candidates to fill four intern positions for the summer of 2016 in the area of marine and fisheries ecology under the supervision of the Demersal Fisheries Ecologist. GMRI scientists are conducting a long-term sentinel monitoring program to monitor ecological conditions in Casco Bay and surrounding areas (including the Presumpscot River and up to 3 miles offshore). This ecosystem monitoring “corridor” will be instrumental in helping to keep track of long-term trends in a variety of ecological indicators including temperature, water quality, fish and invertebrate community composition, trophic interactions and fish health as these may respond to changes in land use practices and climate change.

The summer interns will assume the following tasks with the assistance and supervision of GMRI research scientists and associates:

  • Water quality monitoring (temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, secchi depth)
  • Fish and invertebrate trapping
  • Fish seining and angling
  • Setting up video systems to monitor fish in situ and analyzing video footage
  • Fish diet analysis and ageing (using otoliths and image analysis software)
  • Plankton and fish egg/larvae analysis (from plankton nets)
  • Data entry and some analysis
  • Develop and populate databases and implement data quality assurance protocols*
  • Communicate and share results with GMRI staff

Qualifications include:  Enrollment in a Bachelor’s degree program (or recently graduated) in a scientific field related to marine research, with strong quantitative and computer skills; detail oriented, self-starter with strong organizational and writing skills; proven ability to work well independently and in teams. Familiarity with fish and invertebrate sampling techniques and fish ageing is preferred.


  • Data entry skills, including ability to use Microsoft Excel software
  • Basic skills in statistical analysis
  • Comfortable on boats and outside in sometimes inclement conditions

* We seek one intern who can help develop relational databases for project data and implement best practices for data management.  Candidates for this position should have experience using Microsoft Access, Visual Basic, SQL, or other relational databases.  Preference will be given to candidates with the required experience to design or modify the structure of such databases and to candidates who have experience managing large data sets.     

Forecasting seasonal changes in the Gulf of Maine

The average temperature of the Gulf of Maine has increased rapidly.  Along with the temperature changes have come changes in the seasonality in both the physical environment and in the distribution, abundance, and migration patterns of species in the region.  We are broadly interested in characterizing how seasonality of the Gulf of Maine has changed and how this has impacted important commercial species.  

For this project, we are seeking a highly capable intern to assist in the development of seasonal forecast products.  The primary task would be to evaluate potential refinements in our annual lobster forecasts (see, but we are also looking to explore other forecasting opportunities. This intern will be based in the Ecosystem Modeling Lab.

Qualifications include: Enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate degree program (or recently graduated) in a scientific field with strong quantitative and computer skills.  Strong technical skills, including familiarity with a programming environment such as R or Matlab and training in mathematical modeling and/or statistics.  Detail oriented self-starter with strong organizational skills and a proven ability to work well independently and in teams.  

Snap-a-Striper: Harnessing the observational power of recreational anglers for stewardship of Maine’s striped bass resource and fishery

Striped bass are an important component of the recreational fishery in coastal Maine. Unfortunately, recreational catches have declined in recent years without a clear understanding of the contributing factors. Understanding the origin and life history of fish caught in the fishery will provide insight into the reason for declining catches and what management actions would be effective in reversing this trend. The results of this study will inform local stewardship efforts of the only native population of striped bass in Maine and sustainable management of a fishery that contributes significantly to recreation and tourism in the state.

The Summer Intern will assist with the collection and analysis of striped bass data collected through the Snap-a-Striper program. Snap-A-Striper is a data collection program that is a collaboration between researchers at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Coastal Conservation Association of Maine and local anglers. The program is aimed at collecting photos and the inner ear bones from striped bass throughout the fishing season. We will use this data to determine the origin (local vs. migrant) of our fish, information that can improve management of the striped bass resource.  Further responsibilities will include data entry, statistical analysis of data, and synthesis of a report.


  • Enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate degree program (or recently graduated) in a scientific field related to marine research.
  • Detail oriented self-starter with an ability to synthesize data and information, strong organizational and writing skills, and a proven ability to work well independently and in teams.
  • Strong quantitative and computer skills, including basic coursework in statistics and familiarity with a programming environment such as R, will be advantageous.
  • Experience preparing scientific reports and presentations
  • Knowledge of or experience in outreach with the recreational fishing sector is preferred

Successful candidates will have additional skills and attributes that are core to our organization:

  • Passion to learn combined with a strong desire to protect marine resources
  • Desire to support the viability of the fishing industry and community
  • Eagerness to learn about the Gulf of Maine ecosystem
  • Interest to work independently and collaboratively
  • Flexibility and willingness to work where needed during the internship experience
  • Excellent problem-solving skills and strong attention to detail
  • Solid research and analytical skills
  • Desire to have a challenging experience
  • Applicants must have a track record of student success and potential as demonstrated by GPA, research portfolio, prior work experiences and/or the recommendation of a professor.


GMRI is proud to confirm our long-standing policy and commitment to providing equal access and equal employment opportunities in all terms, conditions, processes and benefits of employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status. Our employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, or veteran status.

Applicants and employees are encouraged to voluntarily self-identify their race/ethnicity, gender, disability status and veteran status to assist us in fulfilling various data reporting requirements of the federal government. This self-identification is completely voluntary, will be kept strictly confidential and separate from your application data, and used only to meet federal reporting requirements. Providing or declining to provide this information will not result in adverse action of any kind.

To be considered for a 2016 CINAR Fellowship at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, applicants must meet eligibility requirements (current undergraduate student with minority status).  Application must include a letter of interest and resume. If you plan to propose a specific project other than those already identified, please clearly articulate your interests, objectives, and a potential mentor at GMRI.

To apply for a CINAR Fellowship, please CLICK HERE. Note that you will be navigating away from the GMRI website.

The application deadline is February 18, 2016. Applications will be reviewed upon receipt.  Questions should be emailed to However, we will not accept resumes sent to this address.