2024 Minnesota Sea Grant Community-Engaged Internship in Fisheries and Aquaculture is Accepting Applications

Application Period is Open - Deadline April 14, 2024

Minnesota Sea Grant is recruiting applicants for the 2024 MNSG Community-Engaged Internship in Fisheries and Aquaculture (MNSG CEI). The undergraduate internships are designed to broaden participation in Great Lakes, marine, and coastal professions by providing training and mentorship to the next generation of scientists, decision-makers, and community members.

Please share our CEI Internship Flyer


Duluth, Minn. — Applicants are encouraged from historically underrepresented communities, including Native American, African American, Hispanic and Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander, female, first-generation college students, veterans, LGBTQ+, students with disabilities, students who have experienced or worked to overcome educational or economic disadvantages and/or who have personal or family circumstances that may complicate their career paths.

Position Description 

The MNSG community-engaged intern will work with Minnesota Sea Grant fisheries and aquaculture staff on a variety of projects in the lab and in the field. Projects will be located at the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Center (MAISRC) Containment Lab (MCL) on the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus and field activities will occur throughout the state. As part of the internship the candidate must be willing and able to travel to North Carolina to participate in the Sea Grant CEI Field Experience program. North Caroline Sea Grant will arrange air travel for students and pay expenses for the trip (details below).

Relevant Projects

Egg-to-Market Yellow Perch Project
Increasing Golden Shiner Bait Production in Minnesota
Great Lakes Aquaculture Collaborative
Consumer Education on Seafood and Aquaculture

Overview of Job Responsibilities 

  1. Raising Yellow Perch from eggs to adults in both a flow-through and recirculating aquaculture system (RAS). 
  2. Refining the methods to produce Yellow Perch fingerlings at the MAISRC lab. 
  3. Applying those methods at the Little Earth of United Tribes’ (LECUT) new aquaponics facility. 
  4. Assisting with the development of accessible and engaging outreach material for the LECUT aquaponics facility. 
  5. Assisting with gathering information for outreach materials and helping with activities associated with MNSG’s 2024 Aquaculture Decision-Maker Day during which MNSG staff will lead legislators, policymakers, and aquaculture producers on a tour of selected Minnesota aquaculture facilities. 
  6. Assisting with other fisheries and aquaculture projects in the lab and in the field as opportunities arise. 
  7. Participating in the National Sea Grant CEI Field Experience program and activities.


Yellow Perch embryos and larvae under a microscope.


Primary Job Duties: 

Fish Husbandry 

  1. Feed fish and clean tanks daily. 
  2. Collect accurate data about the amount and timing of feeding. 
  3. Monitor fish health and water quality daily. 
  4. Collect and record accurate, detailed data. 
  5. Properly care for all equipment, follow safety procedures, and comply with animal-use permits. 

Field and Lab Work

  1. Assist MNSG staff with field sampling and data collection on a variety of fisheries and aquaculture projects (e.g., Invasive Cattail, Golden Shiner, Lake Superior fisheries, etc.). 
  2. Assist with data processing in a lab setting (e.g., spreadsheets, databases). 
  3. Perform data entry, error checking and preliminary analysis. 

Education and Outreach 

  1. Work with MNSG staff to create education and outreach materials (printed and digital) for a variety of fisheries and aquaculture events and projects. 
  2. Assist staff with Sea Grant’s Aquaculture Decision-Maker Days event. 
  3. Develop outreach materials for the Little Earth of United Tribes’ (LECUT) new aquaponics facility. 
  4. Assist other MNSG staff with education and outreach events as the need arises. 

Skills required: 

  1. Ability to comply with all training requirements and certifications in a timely manner. 
  2. Must be organized, highly responsible, detail oriented, and willing to work as a team member. 
  3. Must have a positive attitude and commitment to staying on schedule with fish feeding and tank cleaning. 
  4. Must be able to work independently, follow detailed instruction (both written and oral), recognize when assistance is required and ask for help. 
  5. Must understand and demonstrate use of basic math skills. 
  6. Must demonstrate use of basic writing skills with emphasis on clarity and organization. 
  7. Must demonstrate ability to enter data on a computer in electronic format. 
  8. Must be able to follow a rigorous schedule and have access to dependable transportation.

Quick Reference

  1. Location: University of Minnesota Twin Cities St. Paul campus with some travel to the University of Minnesota Duluth and statewide. 
  2. Dates of employment: June 3, 2024 to August 9, 2024. There may be some opportunity to expand the dates of employment based on work activities, funding, and the candidate’s schedule.
  3. Compensation: One-time $6,000 stipend. Position is 10 weeks and 40 hours per week. Required travel expenses outside the Minneapolis-St. Paul area will be covered. 
  4. Apply: 
    • Email the following documents (PDF or Word) to Don Schreiner, Minnesota Sea Grant Fisheries Specialist, University of Minnesota Duluth, schr0941@d.umn.edu. 
      • Resume (2-page limit). 
      • Cover letter (2-page limit). 
      • Three professional references that include both an email address and a telephone number for each reference. 
    • Deadline: Email with application documents must be sent no later than 5 p.m. CT, April 14, 2024.

CEI Field Experience

The CEI Field Experience in North Carolina will expose students to interdisciplinary watershed community issues so that they

  1. Increase knowledge of freshwater, coastal and marine science, policy and community-led topics
  2. Create long-term supportive community via facilitated student peer networking 
  3. Deepen identities as environmental scientists and community leaders
  4. Experience all four Sea Grant focus areas: healthy coastal ecosystems, sustainable fisheries & aquaculture, resilient communities & economies; and environmental literacy and workforce development

The experience will include a range of activities, from state environmental agency visits to hands-on community fieldwork and scientific presentations, providing a comprehensive understanding of freshwater, coastal and marine water resource management in the southeastern U.S. The field experience will take place in North Carolina, a state with a unique contribution to the environmental justice movement that spurred national resistance to fight environmental burdens. Students will travel from the Piedmont (Raleigh) to the coastal plain and barrier islands to observe a diverse ecology and learn from a spectrum of communities addressing complex water management challenges. 

Logistics: NC Sea Grant will arrange air travel for students and pay all expenses for the trip with funds from the National Sea Grant Office. 

Day 1: Sunday, July 21, 2024 

  • Travel to Raleigh Evening social

Day 2: Monday, July 22, 2024 

  • Policy panel discussion: Watershed regulations and government efforts to protect aquatic ecosystems 
  • Visit Walnut Creek Wetland Park for conversation and service: Community-led cleanup efforts in southeast Raleigh 
    • Activity: Pick up trash around the creek 
  • Scientific presentations by NC Sea Grant funded researchers 
    • Barbara Doll, NC State University Biological & Agricultural Engineering: Stream restoration and wetland conservation 
    • Bethany Cutts, NC State University: Shifting terrains: Understanding residential contaminants after flood disasters 
    • Dave Salveson, University of North Carolina: New Bern hurricane recovery & planning 

Day 3: Tuesday, July 23, 2024 

  • Interns travel from Piedmont to coastal North Carolina 
    • Iced tea at Croatan National Forest 
    • Dinner at Atlantic Beach 

Day 4: Wednesday, July 24, 2024 

  • Boat tour of barrier islands, leaving from Beaufort marina 
  • Engage with coastal communities on the edge: Down East Carteret County 
  • Visit Carteret Community College + NC State University Center for Marine Sciences and Technology 

Day 5: Thursday, July 25, 2024  

  • Travel to Raleigh Interns return home  


Top: Minnesota Sea Grant Aquaculture Associate Kieran Smith feeds Yellow Perch. Image credit: Amy Schrank/MNSG. 

Middle: Yellow Perch embryos. Image credit: Kieran Smith/MNSG.


Amy Schrank, extension program leader and fisheries and aquaculture extension educator, Minnesota Sea Grant, University of Minnesota and University of Minnesota Duluth. aschrank@umn.edu. 

Don Schreiner, fisheries specialist, Minnesota Sea Grant, University of Minnesota and University of Minnesota Duluth. schr0941@d.umn.edu.  

Marie Thoms, communications manager, Minnesota Sea Grant, University of Minnesota and University of Minnesota Duluth. methoms@d.umn.edu.