Fisheries Innovation and Microfinance Intern, Oceans

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.

Are you interested in exploring a career at an internationally-recognized environmental organization? By joining EDF as an Intern, you too can be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and a focus on results are a way of life. EDF’s Internship Program welcomes intellectually hungry leaders to join us, advance our work, and cultivate the skills and relationships needed for a successful career working for the environment. Alumni of our Internship Program have gone on to important leadership positions, most notably our own President, Fred Krupp. Could you be the next Fred Krupp?

EDF offers internships and fellowships for students and recent graduates in a variety of programs and departments throughout the organization. The ultimate goal of our internship and fellowship program is to provide high-quality experiences (including relevant projects and opportunities for networking) that form the foundation for any individual who is serious about pursuing an environmental career.

Fishery Solutions Center Overview

EDF’s Oceans Program seeks to improve the livelihoods and well-being of millions of people who depend on ocean resources while leaving more fish in healthier ocean ecosystems. The Fishery Solutions Center (FSC) designs and develops innovative fishery management tools and strategies that reverse overfishing and restore our oceans to abundance. Our staff of scientists, economists, finance specialists and fishery management experts is dedicated to providing data-driven and incentive-based solutions that provide more fish in the sea, more food on the plate, and more prosperous communities. From developing innovative data collection programs to designing flexible management plans, we work with conservation groups, fishers and governments around the world that seek new approaches to fishery management; ones through which oceans—and the communities they support—can thrive. We work on fisheries small and large, and in developing and developed countries.

Overall Function

EDF aims to catalyze reforms so that sustainable fishing becomes the norm in 12 governments that account for 62% of the global catch. Reforms at this scale could tip the global fishing political economy so that sustainable fishing takes hold worldwide. However, reforming global fisheries is estimated to cost $200 billion. Millions of fishers and fishing communities around the world are currently unable to access the funds they need to change to more sustainable fishing practices. The Fisheries Innovations and Microfinance Intern will support the FSC in developing a strategy to empower fishermen and fishing communities to access the funds they need to turn the tide on overfishing and direct investments towards sustainable, well-managed fishing practices. The Intern will lead research and provide strategic advice to the FSC on how microfinance could help put money directly into the hands of the people who need it most in order to remove barriers to fisheries reform and changes in fishing practices, and advance an overhaul of the world’s seafood production system aimed at producing more food and wealth with less environmental impact. The Intern will be responsible for researching and identifying key experts in the field; developing surveys and conducting interviews with stakeholders; and synthesizing findings into reports and presentations. By the end of the summer, the successful candidate will have helped the FSC  develop a strategy for leveraging small to medium loans to advance investment sustainable fisheries and bring wide-ranging benefits to fishing communities. In addition, the Intern will be a fully infused member of the team that participates in weekly team meetings and other events.

Key Responsibilities

  • Advance research on topics such as finance, microfinance and crowdfunding for fisheries, including a review of existing organizations and initiatives that finance fishing-related activities, with a focus on promoting sustainability in small-scale fisheries.
  • Conduct interviews with global leaders in microfinance, crowdfunding, fisheries management, and technology.
  • Support the FSC in diagnosing challenges and opportunities to leveraging web-based platforms to drive fishery investments.
  • Prepare reports, case studies etc. to document findings. 
  • Provide resources and education to the Oceans Program team on these topics through trainings, presentations, fact sheets and other methods.
  • Participate in team meetings and check-ins to solicit input and gauge progress.


  • Demonstrated interest in microfinance, fisheries sustainability, sustainable development, small-scale fisheries, or a related field; coursework or experience in these topics is desirable.
  • Strong oral and written communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Must be well organized, motivated, and detail-oriented.
  • Experience conducting independent research, synthesizing results and writing reports.
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team, including with colleagues from different technical and cultural backgrounds, and distributed across multiple geographies.
  • Demonstrated initiative and problem solving skills.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • A student enrolled in an accredited institution pursuing an Undergraduate or Graduate degree.


San Francisco, CA


10 weeks during Summer 2019


Full-time (35 hours/week)


This is a paid Internship.

Application Materials

Interested applicants should attach their cover letter and resume to the EDF application.

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.