For more than 30 years the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society® (OWUSS) has offered a variety of experience-based internships. Our goal is to foster development of the future leaders of the marine environment. We continue to believe that by investing in special young people, by exposing them to a broad array of activities in the underwater community and giving them opportunities to work with influential people who are leaders in aquatic disciplines, we are investing in the future of our oceans and lakes.

2015 & 2016 Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society Interns with Sponsors at the New York Yacht Club, 4/16/16

The OWUSS Summer internships are offered for a 1 to 3 month period and are primarily directed at college undergraduates and graduating seniors. Internship recipients will receive a grant to help fund travel to/from site, room and board, and a stipend to cover living expenses.

The OWUSS plans to offer several internships in North America this summer.  Internship details are listed below.  More internships may be offered, so please check this website periodically for updates. The application deadline is January 31.  Applications will open in October.

North America


    Based in Winter Park, Florida, the recipient of this internship will participate in the publishing cycle of Sport Diver and Scuba Diving magazines and in producing content for the magazines’ web sites, and This is an opportunity to get real-world experience in magazine publishing, including all facets of taking the product from start to finish, and to work on web-based projects, including social media campaigns aimed at engaging our audience.

    2016 Recipient: Melissa J. Smith , University of Florida
  • Offered in Key Largo, Florida, the Marine Conservation Internship provides an opportunity to experience the working at a nonprofit environmental organization. REEF is a grass-root, non-profit organization of recreational divers dedicated to protecting and preserving the underwater environment. Outside duties include environmental presentations to local and visiting school, 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.

    2016 Recipient: Patrick M. Peck , Shippensburg University
  • This internship will provide undergraduates with the experience and opportunities necessary for 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 primarily 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 field-work at one or more locations and research facilities associated with AAUS. The internship will be supported by funding for travel to/from site, room, board, and other internship-related expenses.

    PLEASE NOTE: Priority for this internship will be given to applicants who have NOT yet been awarded the AAUS scientific diver certification.

    2016 Recipient: Allie D. Sifrit , University of Hawaii at Manoa

    The National Park Service Research Internship will provide 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 interests of the intern as well as the needs of associated projects. The internship will be based in Denver 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. The internship could involve a specific project in a single park or a larger project in multiple parks.

    2016 Recipient: Garrett J. Fundakowski , University of Richmond


  • Great White Shark Photographic Identification Internship (RFSE)

    The regular visits of the Neptune Islands by cage-diving operators (several times per week) provide the opportunity to take photographs and use photo ID techniques to quantify the number of white sharks and to improve our understanding of the population dynamics of the sharks visiting the Neptune Islands. Photographic identification (photo ID) has been used to estimate white shark population size, as well as forming the basis for studies of population ecology, site fidelity, short- and long-distance movement patterns, and spatio-temporal differences in sex ratio in this species worldwide. RFSE visits the Neptune Islands Marine Reserve and has accumulated a large data set of photos of great white sharks visiting the area. Together with The Southern Shark Ecology Group (SSEG), these photos are used for identification of individual sharks, population dynamics, and residency patterns of the great white sharks frequenting the cage-diving sites.
    The Southern Shark Ecology Group (SSEG) at Flinders University and SARDI Aquatic Sciences conducts research that directly supports the conservation and management of elasmobranch populations and their ecosystems in the Indo-Pacific and Southern Ocean regions. Research projects focus on aspects of the ecology, physiology and biology of a range of highly migratory, neritic, and coastal shark species whose populations are being assessed in terms of their risks of overexploitation and/or extinction. Another key focus is improving public perception and general understanding of Australia’s unique coastal and pelagic shark and ray fauna. SSEG values collaboration with other researchers and those who share and work in the environments of these animals.
    The primary objective of the internship will be to assist with data management, both on-board the Rodney Fox vessel and at Flinders University. The internship will begin at Flinders University to obtain an overall foundation of the entire data management process and how the data provided from the research vessel is used. Once on the research vessel, the intern will be responsible for data refinement and security, as well as preparation for database entry. Additional tasks include assisting with cage diving activities, general housekeeping and customer service on Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions.

    Interns must be 21 - 26 years old at the time the internship is awarded and be a resident of Australia or New Zealand.