Back to the Bays Internship Program

Back to the Bays Internship Program

About Back to the Bays Initiative

Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program has been giving “Back to the Bays” since 1985. In this time a wide variety of projects in support of habitat and shellfish restoration, water quality initiatives, fisheries research, and extensive youth education and citizen science programming have been conducted. CCE’s Back to the Bays Initiative was launched to increase awareness and involvement in efforts of CCE Marine Program.

Back to the Bays Interns will be responsible for assisting with implementation of the “2020 Ways to Give Back to the Bays” campaign, assisting Marine Program researchers and educators with various field and lab related tasks, and serving as part of the Outreach Team at public events. Specific activities will involve assisting in habitat restoration stewardship efforts, including Marine Meadows Workshops; helping deliver stewardship-based outreach programming in support of the Long Island Shellfish Restoration Program; providing support to CCE Educators at our various camps and public education programs; and assisting at all Back to the Bays fundraising and awareness events. Internship  opportunities will be offered from May-December (specific time-frames are flexible); weekend work will be required. To the extent possible, internship experiences will be tailored to best meet the interests and any research requirements of intern candidates.

A Back to the Bays Intern will gain valuable experience in a wide range of CCE Marine Program areas and initiatives. Back to the Bays Interns will also build professional relationships with staff and scientists in all areas of CCE Marine Program. An intern may work with the Volunteer Coordinator to customize their experience based on their personal career goals, availability, and specialized expertise. Details and internship tasks in each of our CCE Marine Program Area are outlined below.

Major Duties of Position

  1. Interaction with the public and providing outreach and education at workshops, youth education programs, and various events and fundraisers;
  2. Assistance at our shellfish and coastal plant nursery sites;
  3. Assistance in development of social media tools and educational materials;
  4. Providing the public with information in support of CCE Marine Program projects and initiatives;
  5. Occasional boat and field work assisting staff in restoration activities;
  6. Work as a team member with existing Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) staff including Marine Program managers, specialists, educators and technicians.

Primary Sites and Locations

Tiana Bayside Facility

89 Dune Rd., Hampton Bays, NY 11946

SCMELC (Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center)
3690 Cedar Beach Rd, Southold, NY 11971

Program Areas and Duties

Youth Education:
The focus during summer months will be supporting our summer youth camps. This position is much more than assisting the Camp Director as a counselor. Our rigorous marine camps expose campers to local habitat ecology, species identification, water quality testing, marine sampling techniques, aquaculture, and the scientific method. And our ArtSea programs engage students in scientific learning and conservation through the lens of artistic expression. An intern will undergo training in all these areas of expertise before the start of camp, and continue to refine their skills throughout the
summer. One of the best ways to learn is to teach others. Interns also have the opportunity to give short presentations to campers on topics of their choosing, under the guidance of the camp director. Camps run from 9-2pm Monday-Friday. We are in most need of assistance at our Tiana Bayside Facility during the 2022 season.
*Interns under 18, are never left alone with campers and the camp director or other CCE staff are always ultimately in charge of the children and oversee all safety.

Aquaculture and Shellfish Restoration:
An intern can assist our CCE staff at our Southold shellfish hatchery. This is a unique opportunity to be a part of a large, statewide effort to revive the rich, historical shellfish industry of Long Island. The work done by the intern will contribute directly to restoring shellfish populations, and to scientific reports that may help to inform future allocation of funds and continued restoration efforts. This project offers the student an opportunity to get involved in the shellfish aquaculture process. Intern will assist with regular shellfish hatchery and nursery maintenance, data collection at nursery and
sanctuary sites, as well as public outreach and documentation of our work.

Habitat Restoration:

A Back to the Bays Intern will have opportunities to participate in our Marine Meadows Program. Habitat restoration initiatives include eelgrass, marsh cord grass, and dune grass restoration and monitoring. Interns will learn first-hand, the impacts of these important grasses on the ecosystem and actively help to restore plants by working in our greenhouse, collecting seed, and helping to lead public Marine Meadows workshops.

Citizen Science: Horseshoe Crab Monitoring Network and Seahorse Conservation Initiative

Our intern will assist CCE Staff in volunteer events to help monitor our local horseshoe crab populations in May and June, and then seahorses in July, August, and possibly September. Working alongside experienced scientists on these projects offers training in marine sampling techniques, such as the use of transect lines and quadrants to quantify and estimate populations.

Outreach and Communications:

Based on interest and skills, the Back to the Bays Intern may also participate in writing and creating posts for our social media accounts. Some of these tasks can be completed remotely if necessary. They can also assist us in promoting CCE Marine Program and Back to the Bays campaign at festivals and public outreach events.

Qualifications and Experience Pre-requisites

*Please Note* This is an unpaid Internship but may qualify for Internship credits-please contact your College Internship/Career Center for additional information.

Required: High School Diploma, pursuant of Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in environmental or biological sciences, natural resource/coastal management, or other related field; valid NYS License; ability to interact effectively with the public; transportation to and from sites.
Preferred: Experience in environmental education and outreach activities; event and fundraising planning; experience working with the public and youth; interest in photography and use of social media tools; effective and creative written communication skills; experience utilizing video footage editing software; knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.


  • Ability to work outdoors and perform physical tasks as needed.
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks.
  • Ability to maintain a positive and professional attitude.
  • Ability to work flexible work schedule based on demands of program and needs of staff.
  • Willingness to work as a team member and to work with the general public and youth.
  • Ability to work under potentially adverse field conditions (e.g. inclement weather).
  • Comfortable in aquatic environments and handling live animals.

Back to the Bays Interns are trained, supervised, and report directly to the Back to the Bays Volunteer Coordinator, Hazel Wodehouse,


Hazel E. Wodehouse
Back to the Bays Volunteer Coordinator / Marine Educator

Last updated May 5, 2023