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Marine Biology Research and Education in Ireland | Waterville, Ireland

More photos from this internship can be found here.

More photos from this internship can be found here.

Located in the seaside village of Waterville, this informative and interactive marine interpretive center promotes better overall understanding of Ireland’s marine biodiversity through engaging exhibits, fun workshops, and activities. A local marine biologist launched our partner organization in 2014 to provide marine research and education on the lovely Irish coast.

The center collaborates with and promotes local marine activity providers such as sea sports centers, wildlife watching trips, boat tours, and fishing trips. The center also supports wildlife charities such as Birdwatch Ireland and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group.

Internship Start Dates:

  • Late May, early June

Duration of Internship:

  • 12 weeks

Awareness Center

The interpretive center holds some very rare whale and dolphin skulls and bones, models of fish, live animals in the tanks, a touch pool, an Irish marine life audio visual, exhibits on Irish whales and dolphins and lots more interactive displays for everyone to enjoy discovering Ireland’s fantastic marine life! A marine biologist is available to explain the amazing sea life found in the center and in Irish waters.

Center Activities

Our partner provides fun and interesting activities for both kids and adults to discover Ireland’s marine life and the importance of the sea in our daily lives. Nature connection is a key part of learning in all workshops. In support of local “clean coast” initiatives, each workshop includes a 5-minute beach clean to raise awareness of marine litter and help clear the beach of litter.

Sample Activities and Workshops:

  • Explore the Seashore & Rocky shore rambles beach workshops
  • Marine Creature Feature workshop
  • Beach Art & Litter Awareness workshop
  • Discover Snorkeling courses
  • Be a marine biologist for the day workshop
  • Sea stars – guided beach walk @ night

Research at the Center

Research began in 2015 with a volunteer crew completing seal surveys in the Bay. Later, forty marine mammal surveys documented over 300 animals, including porpoises, bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, rissos dolphins, minke whales, and humpback whales. Flora and fauna surveys of a local lake and wetland area provided the basis for the creation of a nature trail.

Education and Outreach Option

  • Develop the marine education program
  • Supervise children and adult marine workshops on the beaches and in the center
  • Create and present marine wildlife and awareness presentations and games
  • Provide marine wildlife talks on boats
  • Promote social networking and public relations
  • Assist in research and field survey work

Research Development Option

  • Develop research and survey program
  • Record, organize data, and report to relevant organizations
  • Supervise local headland watches for marine mammals and birds
  • Organize and conduct public whale watches from local headland
  • Encourage the public in surveys – citizen science
  • Teach children and public survey methods
  • Promote social networking and public relations

Additional Skills Developed

  • Irish Marine mammal identification
  • Marine mammal survey techniques on boats and headlands
  • Gain experience with Waterville Lakes & Rivers Trust in salmon and sea trout conservation
  • Diving & Snorkeling survey techniques (if you have Dive qualification PADI Advanced or equivalent)

Academic Background:

  • Interns should have an academic background and/or experience working in marine biology, conservation, and education.


  • Interns are expected to demonstrate responsibility, professional motivation, flexibility, and effective communication skills.
  • Additional helpful attributes include: First Aid certification, Marketing and Social Media skills, snorkeling/scuba diving certification, field work experience, and desire to work outdoors including on boats for long hours.

Language Requirements:

  • English is the language of communication. Interns must be capable of written and spoken communication at a near-native level in professional settings.

Visa Requirements:

  • No visa is required for internships under 90 days. For multiple term placements, interns must be eligible for an Irish Working Holiday authorisation.

Estimated One-Time Expenses

  • IE3 Global Program Fee: $3,450
  • International Travel: $1,250
  • Visa fees and Work Authorisation (only for 90+ day options): $690*

Estimated Monthly Expenses

  • Housing: $550 - $900
  • Food: $550
  • Local Transportation: $75
  • Utilities, Phone, Internet: $80

*Fee amounts are calculated with an exchange rate from European Euro at the time of posting.

Independent Housing

Interns arrange their own housing.

Learn more about past interns’ experiences below:

Learn more about the programs this partner offers here.



Application Deadline

Summer: January 25

Basic Requirements

- Background in marine biology/environmental science or similar

- Keen interest in marine conservation and education