Job Announcement: 2024 OPC Summer Internship Program

2023 OPC summer interns (left to right) Veronica Whaley, Nathan Lee, Audrey Jung, Isabella Carreon the August 15, 2023 Council meeting.

The California Ocean Protection Council (OPC) is hiring up to four Student Assistants for its 2024 Summer Internship Program (Program). The purpose of the Program is to provide undergraduate college students with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience with a small State agency focused on protecting and enhancing the state’s coastal and ocean ecosystems and ensuring easy, affordable access to and along the coast for all Californians.

The OPC Summer Internship is a 10-week, full-time paid internship that includes experiential learning, multidisciplinary collaboration, mentorship, professional development, and opportunities to work with multiple stakeholders. This internship experience will give students opportunities to be actively engaged in acquiring skills, increasing knowledge, and being exposed to what careers in ocean and coastal zone research and management can entail. All of the interns will work on projects and efforts related to advancing OPC’s Strategic Plan to Protect California’s Coast and Ocean.

Those hired for the internship will work between May 20 and September 27, 2024, depending on their university’s academic calendar. The internship can be fully remote, with the opportunity to work from the Sacramento office at least once during the summer. The successful candidate(s) will be hired as a Student Assistant and salary will be consistent with the range defined in that classification and determined on academic and work experience by state human resources staff. This is a non-testing classification, therefore anyone meeting the minimum qualifications listed on the classification specification may apply for this position.

Interns are expected to work full-time, 40 hours a week for 10 weeks. Interns may work as little as 30 hours per week if they have demonstrated school or work conflicts. Flexibility around school and/or work will be taken into consideration when determining a start date and work schedule.

More Information

For more information including minimum qualifications, desired skills, helpful resources, and the application link, view the job announcement on our website.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Applicants shall be actively enrolled at a California college or university as a rising junior, senior, or upper-level transfer student, in good academic standing (a current GPA of 2.7 and higher is preferred, but not required), and majoring in biological, chemical, physical, environmental or marine science, natural resource management, political science, or a closely related policy or scientific discipline.
  • ·Students in STEM majors with environmental working, volunteer, or research experience are also eligible.
  • No prior job experience is required; any combination of experience and education that would likely provide the desired skills is qualifying.
  • Applicants must have a strong interest in protecting California’s coast and ocean and an interest in state policy and management.

Desired Skills

  • An individual with high potential and the desire to learn more about California’s coast and ocean, climate change, and how government works.
  • An individual with strong oral and written communication skills. Proficiency reading and speaking non-English languages are also encouraged.
  • Interest in learning about general concepts and principles involved in environmental justice and equity issues, including community outreach and engagement strategies.
  • Familiarity and/or general knowledge of vulnerable communities in California, including communities along California’s coast, and experience working with low-income, diverse populations.
  • A highly organized and motivated individual who has demonstrated creative problem-solving skills.
  • The ability to research and analyze problems and make recommendations based on research and findings.
  • The ability to work independently and collaboratively as part of a team in both a professional physical office and/or virtual environment.
  • Technically adept with frequently used software tools including the suite of Microsoft Office 365, and potentially GIS and statistical software.
  • Experience and/or willingness to learn how to organize, analyze, and manage large amounts of data, and how to prepare charts, tables, and reports for use by non-experts.


The application deadline is March 22, 2024.  For more details and to apply, please visit the CalCareers website.  


OPC is a Cabinet-level state policy body that works to ensure healthy coastal and ocean ecosystems by advancing innovative, science-based policy and management, making strategic investments, and catalyzing action through partnerships and collaboration.

Categories: Career Opportunities