Internship Description

The Hatteras Island Ocean Center is dedicated to educating the public in coastal environments and conservation through educational nature programs and to providing exciting research opportunities for Hampden-Sydney College students. Summer interns join in the Ocean Center’s mission as they lead educational nature programs, as well as complete all tasks related to daily operations of the Ocean Center. Interns should be prepared to work in a fast-paced team atmosphere and will finish the internship having gained broad experience in environmental education and various aspects of running a nonprofit organization. We accept applications from college students of all majors who are passionate about environmental and wildlife education and conservation and who can encourage conversations with visitors of all ages. Occasional weekend work is required.

Tasks and Responsibilities

  • 50% - Lead educational nature programs for kids and adults
  • 30% - Assist with the daily operations of the Center – this includes but is not limited to greeting visitors, operating scheduling software and POS software, handling program fees, and working on projects related to the intern’s interests and professional goals that will benefit the Ocean Center or Hatteras community
  • 20% - Help maintain the building and property – this includes but is not limited to lawn work, cleaning supplies & equipment, and general building maintenance


  • GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Passion for environmental and wildlife education and conservation
  • Outgoing temperament capable of encouraging conversations with visitors of all ages
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work multiple hours outdoors exposed to high temperatures, biting insects, and high wind
  • Experience working in and around water and on watercrafts, such as kayaks and canoes
  • Completion of at least 2 years in college preferred
  • Current and valid CPR & First Aid Certification preferred

Additional Information

  • Free housing is provided on site
  • Interns will receive a $2000 stipend to help cover summer expenses; jobs on Hatteras Island outside of working hours are permitted only if it does not conflict with internship requirements
  • Interns will be enrolled in a 1-hour INDS course during the summer (academic credit will be awarded in the fall semester)

Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Interns have the opportunity to volunteer with the National Park Service for Turtle Patrols and Nest Sitting. During Turtle Patrols, interns accompany a Biological Science Technician in a UTV or truck to search for nesting sea turtle tracks and perform federal mandated protocols associated with identification and marking of sea turtle nests on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. One Turtle Patrol is required for every intern; additional Turtle Patrols that are requested by the intern are dependent on NPS staff schedule and availability. During Nest Sitting, interns ensure the safety of hatching sea turtle hatchlings at their nest sites. Interns are responsible for raking out a path from the nest to the ocean, preventing visitors or animals from disturbing the nest site, answering questions from the public, and ensuring hatchlings reach the ocean.

How To Apply

If interested in applying for this internship, email a letter of interest and resume/CV with at least 3 references to Shirley Wicker, HIOC Director:

Hatteras Island Ocean Center website

Request Information

Shirley Wicker, Director
Hatteras Island Ocean Center

Contact Information