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Community Engaged Internship for Undergraduate Students


The Community Engaged Internship is designed for undergraduate students from underrepresented and indigenous communities. The overarching goal of this internship program is to broaden participation in marine and coastal professions by providing training and mentorship to the next generation of scientists, decision makers and citizens. The program will do so by recruiting, retaining and engaging diverse students in place-based research, extension, education and/or communication that respects and integrates local ways of knowing.  

The key components of this program are listed below, and details about specific internship opportunities will vary by Sea Grant program:

  • On-the-ground learning experience through a 10-week internship over the summer months, including  
  • 8 weeks to complete a project that extends the knowledge of community stakeholders to address a coastal, marine or Great Lakes issue of environmental, economic and/or social importance, and
  • 2 weeks invested in professional development
  • Sea Grant-led mentorship
  • Webinar-based professional development sessions
  • A cohort of fellow student interns to network and engage with
  • A meeting at the end of the internship program to further learn about the mission and work of Sea Grant, exchange knowledge and explore the role fellows can play to solve coastal, marine and Great Lakes challenges


Questions about the program can be directed to



Featured CEI Programs


Meet Interns from the 2020 Cohort

Ipsita Tingi

Ipsita Tingi

Intern, Georgia Sea Grant Public Programs Internship - Ipsita helped develop, teach, coordinate, market and evaluate virtual marine science programs for UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant. She incorporated art, botany, music, and hands-on experiences into the programs.

I realized I was able to weave together different relations and interests within my work to create a meaningful and impactful experience for participants of the virtual marine science programs. I hope to use this realization to constantly learn and merge fields of study!

David Martinez Vasquez

David Martinez Vasquez

Intern, Michigan Sea Grant Environmental Internship​ - David educated local high school students about watershed ecology, environmental justice issues, the role of green infrastructure in stormwater management, and the job skills required for green infrastructure installation and management. He also wrote a research proposal for an experiment in which 220 trees will be planted to assess which native Michigan trees are best at discouraging invasive Reed canary grass.

“This internship helped me learn the satisfaction that comes with doing restoration work and helped me realize that hard work and hope can bring a whole lot of change. In a few years, we can all come back to the restoration projects we worked on this summer and witness the fruits of our labor and I think that is amazing.”

Grace Maves

Grace Maves

Intern, Michigan Sea Grant Environmental Internship - Grace collected data on trees planted by a Detroit-based non-profit in order to document the benefits of their tree planting efforts. Her work focused on the tie between human needs and the natural environment.

I have found that how you communicate your research plays a role in its significance in the minds of different subject groups. For example, city stakeholders best understand the monetary service values of trees while local residents connect best with common comparisons.



CEI Stories and News

Michigan Sea Grant interns focus research on conservation issues in Great Lakes

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Michigan Sea Grant interns focus research on conservation issues in Great Lakes

This summer, Michigan Sea Grant (MISG) welcomed 16 undergraduate interns to work on research related to aquatic invasive species, fisheries, ecosystem modeling, and education and green infrastructure. Their two-month-long internship projects, aimed at enhancing sustainable use of Great Lakes resources, were part of the Sea Grant Community Engaged Internship (CEI) program.


One intern’s reflection

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One intern’s reflection

Elise Ertl, a Coastal Science Communications Intern at Wisconsin Sea Grant, reflects on her projects and growth during her virtual summer internship.

Ten Weeks for a Formative Experience: Wisconsin Sea Grant offers adapted summer undergraduate internships

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Ten Weeks for a Formative Experience: Wisconsin Sea Grant offers adapted summer undergraduate internships

Ten weeks can be fleeting. Even though the days may pass quickly, they can be momentous ones. At Wisconsin Sea Grant this summer, the hope is that for eight undergraduates 70 days will be formative. The eight students are participating in an inaugural internship program targeted toward underserved and indigenous communities, rich in mentoring and, in three of the five opportunities, focused on tribal issues.  

Sea Grant Network: Visit Inside Sea Grant for guidance documents, templates, forms and more. 

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