Fellowships for College Students

The Aquarium offers fellowship opportunities in marine science, animal care, exhibits and education to college or post-graduate students. These fellowships include a stipend to help offset personal and incidental expenses. Batten Fellowships fund students to complete work in specific projects and programs. Applications are now being accepted for the following:


Research & Conservation Division

Application Deadline: February 24, 2017

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center’s Research & Conservation Division is offering Batten Fellowship positions with Research Conservation and the Stranding Response Program (VAQS) during the busy summer season (May – September).

Qualified students can compete for one of two Batten Fellowship positions which include a stipend to help offset personal and incidental expenses. These positions are approximately 12 weeks long (480 hours). Batten Fellows are expected to bring a high level of dedication and scientific interest to the program and will be integrated more fully into staff activities compared to our unpaid internship positions. Successful candidates will be required to complete a final report on their Fellowship work which will be submitted to the Aquarium’s Batten Fellowship Endowment Committee. Those not accepted for a Batten Fellowship may still compete for a general internship (no stipend).

Candidates Must Meet the Following Requirements

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be a rising senior, recent graduate or pursuing a post-graduate degree in a science-based program
  • Demonstrate interest in a career in marine or veterinary science
  • Have basic math and computer skills using MS spreadsheets, databases and data entry.  Advanced programs such as SQL, GIS, R, etc. preferred.
  • Have a valid U,S. driver’s license and good driving record.
  • Be able to swim and be comfortable in and around open water and boats
  • Be self-motivated and able to perform activities both as part of a team as well as independently
  • Be able to lift and carry 25 pounds and assist with lifting and moving larger loads
  • Be able to hike up to 5 miles on beaches carrying gear
  • Be physically and mentally fit: you will be expected to handle field activities, extreme weather, constantly changing environmental conditions, extended periods of intense activities, dead and decomposing animals (both during response and necropsy), prolonged periods of travel, insects, team activities, individual activities, sick and injured animals, euthanasia, etc.
  • Be available to perform support activities (24-7) as needed during the period of appointment

Summer Batten Fellowship for Sea Turtle and Marine Mammal Stranding Response

We are looking for a self-motivated, detail-oriented individual to assist with all aspects of marine mammal and sea turtle stranding response in Virginia. Fellowship applicants will be assessed on their completed coursework, GPA, cover letter, resume, expectations letter, two reference letters (one must be from an advisor or professor who can speak about your academic background), previous relevant experience and an interview.

Stranding Response Batten Fellow Duties

  • Assist VAQS volunteers and staff in field stranding response and/or recovery of dead (comprise ~90% of VA strandings) and live marine mammals and sea turtles. Activities may be conducted under adverse weather conditions
  • Assist in the collection of Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding Network data
  • Participate in postmortem data collection and necropsies (animal autopsies)
  • Assist with the care of animals in rehabilitation, including but not limited to: food preparation, feeding, extensive cleaning (mopping floors, laundry, dishes, cleaning tanks), restraint during exams/procedures, and other animal husbandry duties
  • Assist with research and field activities involving sea turtles and marine mammals

Expectations

Stranding Response Batten Fellows will be expected to study a topic selected through discussion with a VAQS supervisor and complete a research paper for presentation at the end of the appointment period. Fellows will give an oral (MS PowerPoint) presentation summarizing their experience at the conclusion of the appointment and complete a survey/exit interview. It will be the responsibility of the Batten Fellow, not VAQS, to ensure that any requirements for academic credit at a home institution are fulfilled.

This competitive position includes a stipend to help offset personal and incidental expenses over the course of the appointment period.

Summer Batten Fellowship for Sea Turtle and Marine Mammal Research & Conservation

We are looking for a self-motivated, detail-oriented individual to assist with several aspects of on-going sea turtle research and data collection. Applicants will be assessed on their completed coursework, GPA, cover letter, resume, expectations letter, two references letters (one must be from an advisor or professor who can speak about your academic background), previous relevant experience, skills (such as GIS, statistics, programming) and an interview.

Research & Conservation Batten Fellow Duties

  • Assist VAQS volunteers and staff with research projects including capture, tagging, sampling, sample management and field data collection for wild and incidentally captured sea turtles
  • Assist with surveys of local recreational fishers under the Virginia Pier Partner Program
  • Assist VAQS staff with data entry and processing
  • Assist with sample inventory, preparation and dissemination
  • Assist with stranding response, rehabilitation efforts, and field activities involving sea turtles and marine mammals

Expectations

Research & Conservation Batten Fellows will be expected to study a topic selected through discussion with a VAQS supervisor and complete a research paper for presentation at the end of the appointment period. Fellows will give an oral (MS PowerPoint) presentation summarizing their experience at the conclusion of the appointment and complete a survey/exit interview. It will be the responsibility of the Batten Fellow, not VAQS, to ensure that any requirements for academic credit at a home institution are fulfilled.

This competitive position includes a stipend to help offset personal and incidental expenses over the course of the appointment period.

Application Deadline

Application deadline for the summer 2017 session is February 24, 2017.  Notification of acceptance will occur no later than March 17, 2017.

Applicants applying for a Batten Fellowship position may also submit an application for a general internship (no stipend), if interested. Applicants also interested in the possibility of a general internship are encouraged to include the general intern application information with the fellowship application packet and indicate their interest in both programs in the required letter of interest.  General internship applications are located at https://www.virginiaaquarium.com/join/Documents/Intern-Application-Form.pdf. All general internship (no stipend) application materials are due by 17 March 2017.

Materials Required in Application Packet

Incomplete application packets will not be considered.

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume (including GPA, completed coursework and previous experience)
  • A letter stating your expectations of the fellowship
  • (2) Letters of Recommendation (one must be from an advisor or professor who can speak to your academic background)

Forward your completed application packet to:

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
717 General Booth Boulevard
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451
Attn: Volunteer Resources Office – Batten Fellow Applicant
OR email complete application packet to aquavols@virginiaaquarium.com . Please put “Batten Fellow Application Packet” in the subject line.