Cuba Oceans Program Intern

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 630 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and results are a way of life.

EDF Oceans Program: The Oceans Program works to find constructive solutions to the most critical problems threatening the world’s marine environments. At the national and regional levels, our team of scientists, attorneys and economists are working with fishermen to establish sustainable fisheries management solutions that will allow fisheries to recover, leading to more fish in the sea, more food on the plate and more prosperous fishing communities. Our Oceans Program works in the United States, Mexico, Cuba, Belize, Europe, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Japan and China.


Cuba Oceans Program Description:

Since 2000, EDF has become a trusted partner and resource for Cuban policymakers, managers, scientists, fishermen, community leaders and NGOs. We have successfully worked with Cuban experts to protect Cuba’s coastal and marine resources, which are among the most vibrant in the Caribbean. When Cuba committed to establish a network of marine parks several years ago, EDF helped Cuban scientists identify priority habitat areas for protection; since then, Cuba has set a goal to protect 25% of its coastal waters. Our projects have also included developing strategies to implement new coastal laws and policies, supporting ecological and economic research in the Jardines de la Reina National Park, and assessing the feasibility of developing renewable ocean energy projects off the northern coast of Cuba. 

Our current projects focus on improving fisheries management, implementing a national strategy for conserving shark populations that EDF helped design, and training scientists on tools for assessing and managing fish stocks when data is limited. Since 2013, EDF has partnered with Cuban institutions to work on community-based initiatives to protect coral reefs, end overfishing and improve the livelihoods of residents along Cuba’s south coast. In recent years EDF also facilitated a dialogue between the U.S. and Cuba on protecting shared marine resources, which has resulted in an unprecedented agreement between NOAA and the Cuban National Center for Protected Areas to collaborate on the science and management of coral reef ecosystems. EDF also helped broker a broader U.S.-Cuba environmental agreement that has expanded opportunities for sharing knowledge and technology between the two countries.

EDF is poised to expand on the foundation we have built in Cuba over the past 17 years and help ensure the country can preserve its extraordinary natural heritage and create new economic opportunities for coastal residents in the face of a changing climate and a more open society. We share a common ocean and a vision with our partners that Cuba can thrive, with resilient, productive and sustainable coastal ecosystems that support a growing economy and a more prosperous population.


Position Description:

EDF’s Cuba Oceans Program is looking for a part time Intern to support the Cuba Program Managers in weekly administrative and research work.  The intern would work a total of 120 hrs. during the summer months with flexible hours depending on work load and availability with an average of 10 hrs. in 1 week. There would be the possibility to extend the position afterward.

They will work alongside the two Managers that implement on-the-ground fisheries sustainability projects with partners in Cuba and a graduate student assistant who also supports the project with research, logistics, GIS and video editing needs. This is an opportunity for a student interested in marine conservation and U.S.-Cuba relations on the environment to learn about EDF’s work and provide support to the Cuba Program team.


Tasks include:

1.      Managing an excel database of contacts and partners

2.      Managing document library using an online platform (weekly content updates)

3.      Reviewing and summarizing U.S.-Cuba news and marine conservation research

4.      Organizing supplies and handling printing and mailings for trainings/ workshop events

5.      Other administrative duties dependent on needs and candidate’s skills and interests



- Exceptional organizational skills

- Trustworthy and able to use guidance to work independently at times

-  Able to work from EDF office or from home/campus when needed

- Proficiency in Spanish highly desired

- Other skills that could be applied: GIS, video editing, graphic design, science writing

- Undergraduates (juniors/seniors) and graduate students preferred


Location: Austin, TX

Term: May 21st - August 24th 2018

Hours: 120 hrs. Total, flexible week to week

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.