Fisheries Conservation
Principal Investigator


Does the work we do sound interesting to you?  

Training the scientists of the future is an important part of SERC’s mission. There are three ways in which you can be involved in the Fisheries Conservation Lab: internships, fellowships, and volunteering / Participatory Science. Check out our projects page to see what sort of work we're involved in right now.  If you are a motived individual, are excited about what we're doing, and want to be a part of it, visit the links below to find out how to get engaged.

The Smithsonian is committed to ensuring that all applicants are treated equitably in an environment that is free from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, gender stereotyping, pregnancy, and sexual orientation), national origin, age, disability, parental or marital status, or genetic information. Our mission is best advanced by the contributions of people of diverse backgrounds. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.

Summer 2024 internship application deadline: February 15, 2024 - Apply starting November 1, 2023 and select the Fisheries Conservation Lab!

We seek creative, hardworking interns interested in pursuing careers in Fisheries Conservation or in Science Communication and Education. Internships are a great way for undergraduates, recent graduates and Masters students to get their hands deep into science (and the Chesapeake Bay!).  We have 2-5 paid interns every summer and occasionally an intern in the spring or fall.  As a science intern, you'll gain a wide variety of field and lab experience while also working on a specific independent project that relates to one of the projects our lab is currently involved in.  As a communications and education intern, you’ll engage in science storytelling through videos, blog posts, web, social media, and curriculum development, while also assisting with field and laboratory research. Expect to work hard but have fun while spending time in the field and lab, managing data, analyzing data, and presenting your independent work to SERC’s research community. 

Visit SERC's Internships page for more information and to apply for a SERC internship and our Fellow and Intern Projects page to examples of current and past projects. In 2024, we will offer internship opportunities that can be completely virtual, in-person, or hybrid. For those interested in in-person internships, we anticipate that we will be able to have interns on campus in 2024. Special topics of interest for Summer 2024 internships are: 1) evaluating oyster reef restoration using underwater video and high resolution sonar, 2) animal migration studies through the Movement of Life Initiative and the Atlantic Cooperative Telemetry Network, and 3) long-term studies of Chesapeake Bay fish and invertebrate communities including MarineGEO projects.

You can also work with our lab through the Chesapeake Research Consortium C-StREAM internships or the Chesapeake Conservation Corps, or other internship opportunities. Contact PI Matt Ogburn for more information about these opportunities.


Postdoctoral, Predoctoral, and Graduate Fellowships provide excellent opportunities for engaging in Smithsonian science, developing new skills, and growing your professional network. We have diverse research interests in Fisheries Conservation and long-term studies of nearshore ecosystems, focusing especially on coastal and estuarine species. We apply field and lab experiments, field surveys, animal tracking technologies, multibeam sonar (ARIS) and underwater video, genetic and biogeochemical analyses, and other methods to basic and applied questions in ecology, conservation, and fisheries and aquaculture. We strongly encourage prospective Fellows to contact us well before the application deadline in order to develop collaborative project proposals. Projects linked to our current research, that take advantage of SERC’s long-term data sets, or that engage other labs at SERC or other Smithsonian research and conservation programs are particularly encouraged. We are particularly interested in identifying postdoctoral fellowship applicants with interests in:

  • Research that builds from or integrates SERC long-term datasets of fish and invertebrate community structure to explore trophic ecology, environmental variability, climate change, etc.
  • Blue crab ecology and fisheries
  • Oyster restoration, fisheries, and aquaculture
  • Diadromous fish conservation
  • Application of animal telemetry to answer ecological or fisheries management questions (Movement of Life Initiative)

Visit SERC’s Fellowships page for more information about opportunities. Contact Dr. Matt Ogburn to learn more about how to apply to work with the Fisheries Conservation Lab.

Life on a Sustainable Planet Fellowship (due August 31): Unifying Approaches to Oyster and Coral Reef Research to Accelerate Climate Resilience and Conservation

Apply this fall to the Smithsonian Institution Fellowship Program:

SERC Fellowship Deadline: November 1, 2023

Many of our projects have opportunities for volunteer participation, with a particular focus on engaging Participatory Scientists to assist with sample collection in the field, sample processing in the lab and data analysis. Our volunteers range from high school students (including STEM interns) to retirees. We especially seek volunteers who can commit to a fairly regular weekly schedule and can work a ½ day or full day per visit.

Contact SERC’s Volunteer and Participatory Science Program to learn more about current opportunities.