The Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences proudly offers ongoing summer internship programs designed to immerse participants in the dynamic fields of dolphin research and coral reef conservation. These programs are structured to provide invaluable hands-on experience and training to upper-level undergraduates and recent graduates, aiming to enrich their knowledge and skills in marine science.

Coral Reef Research Internship

Our Coral Reef Research Internship offers a deep dive into coral reef ecology under the mentorship of a seasoned marine biologist. This program is a unique opportunity to work on the front lines of coral conservation, with activities including:

  • Identification of coral, fish, invertebrates, and algae.
  • Application of research methods to evaluate reef health and biodiversity.
  • Independent research project development and implementation.
  • Participation in coral nursery and reef restoration efforts.
  • Management strategies for invasive species like the lionfish.

Dolphin Training & Research Internship

Each summer, we welcome a select group of interns to join our Dolphin Training & Research Internship. Under the expert guidance of senior dolphin trainers and biologists, interns will delve into the world of bottlenose dolphins, understanding their behavior, physiology, and the intricacies of marine mammal training. This immersive experience includes:

  • Comprehensive lectures covering evolution, anatomy, physiology, and more.
  • Field research techniques to study dolphin behavior.
  • Hands-on experience in dolphin husbandry and care.
  • The opportunity to develop and conduct an independent research project.
  • Close collaboration with a passionate team of marine mammal professionals.

Meet the Experts — Introducing Our Internship Program Leaders!

Jennifer Keck, M.B.

Education & Research Coordinator and Lead Marine Biologist

Jennifer Keck has been the Education & Research Coordinator with the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS) for over 23 years. She is also a PADI Instructor and has logged over 7,000 dives on Roatan’s reefs. When not working with the university and academic groups that visit our facility, you can find her at RIMS’s Coral Nursery, growing corals that will eventually be outplanted onto our reef. She is passionate about ocean conservation, loves sharing her passion for the underwater world with others, and leads the Coral Reef Research Internships.

Teri Bolton

Senior Dolphin Trainer and Assistant Director

Teri Bolton is the Senior Dolphin Trainer and Assistant Director at the Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS). She manages the staff directly involved in the care, maintenance, training, and research of our bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates). In addition, Teri leads the Dolphin Training & Research Internships during the summer. Her efforts, tremendous energy, and dedication are vital to our facility’s success and to providing the animals with a healthy and stimulating environment. Teri is a passionate advocate for marine mammals, having spent her career as a trainer and researcher.

Both internships aim to equip interns with the knowledge, skills, and experience to advance their careers in marine science, emphasizing practical learning and research. Limited to small groups to ensure a personalized and in-depth experience, these internships represent a commitment to nurturing the next generation of marine science professionals and conservationists.

Whether aspiring to advance in the field of marine mammal science or passionate about coral reef conservation, these internships offer an unparalleled opportunity to gain practical experience, enhance your research skills, and contribute to meaningful environmental conservation efforts.

Application and Eligibility:

These internships are designed for students who have completed at least two years of undergraduate study and are at least 18 years old at the start of the program. While we do not offer course credit directly, participants are encouraged to coordinate with their home institutions to receive research or independent study credit.

Completed application transcripts, references, and supporting documents should be e-mailed in PDF format to:

The subject line of the email should be Last name, First name – RIMS Internship Reference

For comprehensive details on application processes, eligibility criteria, program costs, and deadlines, please visit RoatanIms.Org.

Send Us a Message

Complete the form below to send us your question or comment.

Marine Science Internships