Paid fisheries biology internships available in Coos Bay

    Courtesy BLM

    COOS BAY, Ore. - High school junior and senior biologists on the rise can apply to the American Fisheries Society’s national "Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program" for the summer.

    During the program, interns like Maria Arellano shadow natural resource professionals during the 8-week, hands-on experience.

    Arellano's memorable experience was fish DNA sampling.

    "That gave me an opening toward medicine because I was able to cut it open and see the structure of it,” Arellano said.

    She is a sophomore at Southwestern Oregon Community College, studying bio health sciences, with plans to transfer to Oregon State University. She’s saving her earned $4,000 scholarship for tuition.

    She and other students worked with biologists to restore fish and bird habitats.

    Asked about why she would encourage someone to participate in the internship, she said it gives students an awareness of the environment.

    "It shows them to take care of our nature and our animals and how to preserve them."

    Their summer program includes working with aquatic systems, sampling, and more.

    Stephanie Messerle, district fish biologist with the bureau of land management said "it gives them a little bit of an idea of the types of jobs available in natural resources, maybe it will spark them to become a fish biologist or other type of natural resource specialist.”

    She said no experience is necessary, just passion and an eagerness to learn.

    “Just so they're aware of the types of jobs available and the agencies in our area."

    And to get them one more step ahead for resume building for college and career.

    "It's a great experience, you learn a whole bunch just being out in nature,” said Jamie Decker, a past intern.

    Decker is 19, and is a commercial fisherman in Coos Bay.

    He interned in 2016, interested in the agricultural industry.

    He said he enjoyed his experience as an intern and encourages others to apply.

    "Do what you love to do and something you feel good about doing,” he said.

    Decker said one of his memorable experiences is seeing the streams in Powers and salmon tagging.

    It's a hands on experience and a way for the students to better their future.

    Apply for Summer 2019 online at by the February 15 deadline.

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