2016 North American summer internships Announcement

Founded in 1975, OWUSS has sponsored 94 experience-based Rolex scholarships and 93 internships to young people who want to pursue careers in fields such as marine biology, underwater research, and conservation. The society offers summer internships in North America for 1-3 month periods to college undergraduates and recent graduates. Internship recipients receive an educational grant to help fund travel to/from internship site, room and board, and a stipend to cover living expenses. The sponsor organizations that host the internships are leaders in their fields.

George Wozencraft, Vice President Internships, says “This year’s selection process was competitive, with many qualified applicants. In addition to those selected for the 2016 internships, I want to commend the finalists for each internship. We thank the members of our internship selection committee for their contribution. Additionally, we appreciate our internship sponsors and coordinators for the tremendous support that they provide to our volunteer organization.”

Here are the 2016 internships and recipients:

Dr. Lee H. Somers American Academy of Underwater Science (AAUS) Scientific Research Diving Internship

Allie D. Sifrit, University of Hawaii at Manoa

This internship provides experience for a young person interested in a future in science, diving for research, or scientific diving-related fields. Intern applicants can be students from colleges and universities with an interest in science and diving. The program runs from mid-May through August and will include training at one of several AAUS organizational member sites. This training will give the intern the necessary dive qualifications to allow participation on research projects requiring scientific diving and introduce the intern to careers that utilize scientific diving as a tool. Once trained as an AAUS recognized diver-in-training, interns will participate in underwater fieldwork at one or more locations and research facilities associated with AAUS.

This internship is named in memory of Dr. Lee H. Somers, who was AAUS’ first President and served as a long time officer and board member of OWUSS.

Bonnier Dive Group Publishing Internship

Melissa J. Smith, University of Florida

Based in Winter Park, Florida, the recipient of this internship will gain valuable real world experience in magazine publishing. Bonnier Corporation is one of the largest consumer- publishing groups in America, with nearly 50 special-interest magazines and related multimedia projects and events. The Bonnier Dive Group includes “Sport Diver,” “Scuba Diving,” and “Undersea Journal.” The intern will have the opportunity to contribute to these and other Bonnier Corporation publications.

National Park Service Research Internship

Garrett J. Fundakowski, Shippensburg University

The National Park Service Research Internship provides a unique opportunity to work with leading archaeologists, underwater photographers, and scientists in the National Park Service and other agencies in the American state and federal government. Specific work projects will be determined based upon the interests of the intern as well as the needs of associated projects. The internship is based in Boulder, Colorado, but it is expected that the intern will travel to projects within the continental United States and potentially overseas as part of this internship. Experiences could involve a specific project in a single park or a larger project in multiple parks.

The Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) Marine Conservation Internship

Patrick M. Peck, University of Richmond

Offered in Key Largo, Florida, the Marine Conservation Internship provides an opportunity to experience working at a nonprofit environmental organization. REEF is a grassroots, non-profit organization of recreational divers dedicated to protecting and preserving the underwater environment. Outside duties include environmental presentations to local and visiting schools, university, dive, and public groups; working with other local marine conservation entities; and opportunities for conducting marine life surveys during local dives. Office duties include handling memberships, incoming marine life survey data, answering e-mail, and dealing with the public.

For more information about the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society, please visit our website:

For the official press release: 2016_OWUSS_Internship_Press_Release_March_2016.