Today's students are tomorrow's leaders and environmental stewards. This notion is a driving force in AWF’s mission.
Every year, we invite graduate and undergraduate students from around the world to join our field team and participate in our research and monitoring programs. We provide mentorship, training, and housing, and in return students assist us in our field work.
Applications for 2023 summer internships have closed. Typically, we post our call for applications in January, so be sure to check back here and on our social media pages early next year for 2024 internship opportunities.
A life changing experience
Immersing oneself in a pristine wilderness environment can be life changing and there are few places where this is more true than Southeast Alaska. For our field team, “work” means spending hours on the water observing whales while surrounded by majestic, snow-capped mountains blanketed with temperate rainforests. Time off offers opportunities for exploring on foot and in kayaks, or berry-picking, or simply watching bears and eagles fight over salmon from the deck of our field station. Living in such an awe-inspiring wilderness setting promotes connectedness to the natural world and evokes a deeper appreciation for the value of conservation and environmental stewardship, and it is these sentiments that create lifelong ambassadors for nature.
Our remote research facility
During the spring/summer research season, AWF’s field team is housed at our remote field station on Baranof Island in the heart of Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. The surrounding waters are rich with wildlife and home to one of the largest humpback whale feeding aggregations in the Northern Hemisphere. There are no roads leading here; our team arrives by boat or float plane. The field station itself provides housing, lab space and cutting-edge research equipment. As well, it is home to our research vessels and large-whale disentanglement equipment - everything that AWF's team needs to tackle the region's important conservation issues.
“My summer working with the AWF is definitely one of my most treasured experiences, full of amazing scenery, wildlife and people”.
- Lindsey, College of the Atlantic
"Never could I have guessed the academic and aesthetic wonders that were awaiting me at AWF’s field station. The opportunity to bring my studies and dreams to life is one I will never forget”.
- Emma, University of Alaska Southeast
"As a volunteer with AWF, I had the opportunity to observe amazing wildlife among the beautiful scenery of Southeast Alaska. It was an invaluable learning experience".
- Colleen, Oregon State University
"It’s hard to believe a place like AWF’s field station exists. I learned so much over the two months there and getting to spend so much time out on the water was amazing".
- Blake, University of Otago
"What a chance to work with AWF! I loved the way they work with and teach volunteers. Alaska was an awesome, beautiful, wild place to work and spending time on the water with the animals was the best".
- Rocio, St. Andrews University
"Volunteering for AWF was a fantastic experience. The opportunity to work so closely with such magnificent animals is incredible, but it was accentuated by working with a professional organization that focuses so much on supporting students of marine science".
- Dana, Bowdoin College