Interning with VSI means getting to participate in the experience of the VSI and BDLA community, while being empowered to pursue your own goals and ideas! 

Through the internship program, students and emerging professionals are supported in their learning journey through:

  • Fostering sustainable relationships
  • Providing development of meaningful skill sets aligned with the interns interests
  • Creating space for meaningful, authentic, and lifelong experiences

Specifically, VSI has 5 different internship tracks, through which interns can pursue a path, or a combination of paths, that aligns with personal interests and passions:

  1. Field Science and Data Management (Whale sharks, Marine Debris Prevention/microplastics) 
  2. Community Engagement and Education (Aventureros)
  3. Communications and Relationship Development (social media, donors, fundraising) 
  4. Non-profit management and strategy
  5. Program Facilitation (learning how to interact with and manage groups that come through the station)

Though the tracks exist to inform interns of the different opportunities that are available to them, interns are free to mix tracks, as well as add tracks they think are missing! Learning opportunities range from data analyses, survey methods, and scientific monitoring of marine species, community outreach and environmental education, problem solving skills, communication skills, real life experience of how to navigate a non-profit facility, and so much more! 

While the specifics of this adventure necessarily vary to meet the needs of the individual, one thing is certain: VSI interns emerge from their experience empowered, connected, and focused on future action.

This internship program is available throughout the year and will be adjusted to meet the needs of interns and to best coordinate with VSI projects.

Photo by Dr. Kelsie Fowler

Photo by Courtney Baxter

Financial Investment

In order to cover VSI expenses and to support the ongoing work of VSI, interns are asked to contribute to living expenses. We are committed to eliminating cost as a limiting factor for all prospective interns. As such, we are flexible as far as developing alternative payment plans, or arrangements. Extra internship time conducted remotely is available and can be added to the program at no cost, with one month in-person commitment.


  • Mentorship and supervision from VSI’s staff and volunteer base, learning opportunities, and hands on experience at the Vermilion Sea Institute’s Field Station
  • Round trip transportation to Bahía de los Ángeles from San Diego, Tijuana, Ensenada or Loreto (when available, based on coordination of planned travel)
  • Rustic sea-side accommodation for the duration of the commitment
  • Equipment and resources use (fins, snorkels, wet suits, underwater flashlights, paddle boards, kayaks, etc. as available)
  • Access to boat trips may be available based on program schedule and season 
  • Some prepared meals


  • Flights & Insurance
  • While some meals are provided, food expenses will be required as part of the program
  • Leisure activities on days off

Intern Scholarships

Photo by Courtney Baxter

In order to help support individuals who are interested in participating in VSI’s Intern Program, selected or applying interns may be eligible to have a portion of their trip costs covered. This scholarship opportunity will help bridge financial gaps or hardships and/or support underrepresented populations (i.e. those individuals who otherwise may not have access to VSI Internship opportunities). VSI is dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion within its programs and with all staff, clients, volunteers, interns, subcontractors, vendors, and visitors.

Eligibility: All interns will have access to applying to internship scholarship funds as they are available. Individuals who are at risk for not participating in VSI’s intern program (either wholly, or with limited duration) due to financial burden may be given priority, as may those from underrepresented populations.  

Funds Contingencies: Sponsorship funds will be awarded upon contingency of selected interns adhering to VSI’s code of conduct, mission and values, and internship agreement requirements.  


Situated along the shores of the Gulf of California within the Bahía de los Ángeles Biosphere reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Vermilion Sea Field Station (VSFS) has hosted scientists, conservationists, educators, and students since the 1970’s. Bahía de los Ángeles is a sleepy little town unlike other crowded Mexican tourist destinations. It is primarily known for fishing and was formerly a mining town. It is authentic Mexico at its finest.


Most visitors to Bahía and VSFS take the rare and special opportunity to embrace being “unplugged” and find they connect more deeply with the incredible local environment because of it. However, if totally disconnecting isn’t possible, there are a handful of internet cafes in town. There is no cell service in town, but there are usually pay phones available at the internet cafes.

Additionally, if on-site WiFi is needed for specific administrative or academic needs, arrangements can be made at the time of reservation. If you have a specific need you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to reach out.


The Vermilion Sea Field Station is first and foremost a field facility for researchers and educators in the environmental sciences with rustic yet enjoyable accommodations. The field station is comprised of a central two story adobe and stone facility with 12 multi-purpose rooms, a large kitchen, indoor shower and changing room, outdoor bucket-flush bathrooms and an additional family house.

Sleeping is typically dormitory style, with cots available for sleeping either inside the field station or outside under the stars.

For additional information such as a suggested packing list and other travel related questions, please review the VSI Trip Planner which will be provided with registration confirmation.


To apply, please fill out this application.

Photo by Kathy Ilcken

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Every contribution is incredibly appreciated and we make sure to stretch every dollar as far as it can go!

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