Marine Debris Internship

Center for Coastal Studies

Provincetown MA,, Massachusetts

Job Type Paid Internship
Salary Details $10k payment
Deadline Dec 08, 2023
Required Experience 0 - 1 years


Joanna Toole Internship – Global Ghost Gear Initiative (Winter—Spring 2024)    


Global Ghost Gear Initiative


Program Manager, Global Ghost Gear Initiative


Internship - Seasonal/Temporary


Virtual - Washington, D.C. USA

Fieldwork (In-Person) – Provincetown, MA USA Housing option available.


Open to international applicants pending visa restrictions; applicants must be female-identifying


Three months remote work and three months field work (6 months total)


This position is funded in part by Ocean Conservancy and will be administered by the Center for Coastal Studies. For more information, please visit the Center for Coastal Studies website.  $10k payment for 6 months.

The Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) is the world’s largest collective impact alliance dedicated to solving one of the most critical challenges facing our ocean today – that of abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG or “ghost gear”). The GGGI is a collaborative, cross-sectoral alliance of stakeholders from fishing industry, private sector, non-governmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations, corporations, governments, and academia dedicated to tackling ALDFG at a global scale. Launched in September 2015 and founded on the best available science and technology, the GGGI aims to improve the health of marine ecosystems, protect marine life from harm, and safeguard human health and livelihoods. The GGGI’s strength lies in the diversity of its ~135 member organizations, including the official support from 20 governments, and many intergovernmental organizations.

In memory of Joanna Toole, one of the co-founders of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, this six-month internship will provide a young woman with three months of field experience addressing ALDFG and other marine debris on Cape Cod; and three months working with the GGGI to address lost and abandoned fishing gear through domestic and international policy, as well as corporate engagement. 


Based at the tip of Cape Cod in the Atlantic Ocean, the Center for Coastal Studies (CCS) is a non-profit scientific research organization with a focus on marine mammals of the western North Atlantic and on the coastal and marine habitats and resources of the Gulf of Maine. With a staff of 50, CCS promotes stewardship of coastal and marine ecosystems, conducts interdisciplinary research activities and provides educational resources that encourage the responsible use and conservation of coastal and marine ecosystems. CCS is home base to the federally-permitted Marine Animal Entanglement Response team, and regularly collaborates with other institutions and individuals to advance the Center’s mission.


In March 2019, Joanna Toole, one of the principal architects and driving forces behind the establishment of the GGGI, was tragically killed in the Ethiopian Airlines crash as she was on her way to further engage the international community to address ghost gear and its environmental impacts. In recognition of Jo’s leading role in addressing ghost gear and in celebration of Jo’s legacy and dedication to her work, the GGGI, in close consultation with Joanna’s family and the Joanna Toole Foundation, the GGGI has established the Joanna Toole Internship to further the work of the GGGI, to continue to inspire generations to come to protect our oceans from ghost gear and support female leaders in the field in pursuing a career in ocean conservation.  The Joanna

Toole Internship is co-hosted by Ocean Conservancy and the Center for Coastal Studies to support the meaningful career development of a young woman interested in marine policy and conservation.


Ocean Conservancy embraces a hybrid work environment, which allows our staff the flexibility to work virtually and in-person while building strong connections across the institution. This component of the position can be conducted remotely.

  • Support one or more of GGGI’s signature projects by participating in partner calls, organizing event logistics, and drafting materials for online trainings.
  • Assist with GGGI communications tasks including updating project write ups on the GGGI website, authoring blogs, assembling external presentations and fact sheets.
  • Support one or more of our GGGI member organizations with a dedicated project in line with the interests of the intern and needs of the GGGI. Potential projects include:
    • Conduct a stakeholder analysis of partners in a given region
    • Synthesize existing policies impacting the management of lost and abandoned fishing gear
    • Draft an action plan for a corporate member’s seafood supply chain
  • Attend weekly team meetings and assist with tracking project deliverables.
  • Participate in kick-off calls for GGGI’s small grants recipients.
  • Handle logistics for special functions and conducts other special projects and activities, as assigned.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.
  • Candidates with GIS skills may have the opportunity to work on a special mapping project.


This component of the position will be based at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Field work tasks will depend on the needs of the organization at the time of the internship but will be related to evidencing the impacts of ghost gear on marine animals, birds and their habitats, providing hands-on support (potentially related to rescue), supporting awareness-raising activities and helping formulate and implement collaborative solutions. Potential tasks during the three-month internship include:

  • Participate in sea turtle disentanglements
  • Participate in whale disentanglements (low likelihood)
  • Participate in ghost gear removal field work and data collection
  • Participate in shoreline clean ups, debris surveys and impact assessments of debris in sensitive habitats
  • Analyze CCS turtle entanglement data
  • Assist with aspects of whale entanglement scar analyses
  • Assist with collating, visualizing and sharing shoreline and at-sea removal data
  • Visit other organizations in the region such as WHOI, NEAq, NMFS-NEFSC, NERO, SBNMS, IFAW, WDC


  • Dedication and passion for the stewardship of the oceans, in particular an interest in ghost gear.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field.
  • Currently enrolled in a Master degree or aiming to pursue a Master in a related/relevant field.
  • Desire to learn more about the environmental impact of ghost gear, seafood sustainability and relevant stakeholders.
  • Excellent computer skills including Microsoft Office suites. Familiarity with Google Drive products a strong plus.
  • Ability to lift 40 pounds and comfort with working in an outdoor environment in a variety of weather conditions.
  • Strong communication skills and reliability.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and to manage multiple simultaneous projects and stakeholders; attention to detail.
  • Ability to coordinate multiple tasks from a variety of staff simultaneously with minimum supervision.
  • Experience working in a collaborative office or professional environment.
  • Self-motivation, flexibility, and a positive “can-do” attitude.
  • GIS skills a bonus, but not required


We are seeking a female professional with interest in marine science, biology, political or social science, or any related/relevant topic with a keen interest in ALDFG and in pursuing a career in ocean conservation to assist the GGGI with coordinating GGGI activities, engaging the GGGI membership and advancing our project goals around the globe. We are open to international applicants pending visa restrictions.


Please send cover letter and CV/resume to Employment@coastalsrudies.org.  Deadline is December 8, 2024.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category General / Stewardship, Marine Biology
Tags GIS