NOAA's Response and Restoration Blog

An inside look at the science of cleaning up and fixing the mess of marine pollution

Constituent and Legislative Affairs Internship

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Large white building with green lawn in front.

The U.S. Capitol Building. (Architect of the Capitol)

We invite you to join a dedicated and enthusiastic team at NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration where you will gain invaluable resume-building experience and an insider’s perspective from the nation’s leader in ocean conservation and management.

As an intern, you will work on a variety of projects focusing on outreach and public engagement. Based at our headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. (easily accessible on Metro’s Red Line), you will be in the loop on and encouraged to attend marine policy events, lectures, conferences, and receptions that provide fantastic networking opportunities for your career development.

Position Description

Volunteers pick up marine debris on a beach in Washington state. (NOAA)

OR&R faces the challenges of supporting NOAA and federal initiatives while keeping pace with Congress and constituents in support of our major programs:

  • Emergency response support for 120–200 oil and chemical spills in coastal waters each year
  • Natural Resource Damage Assessment and environmental restoration planning
  • NOAA’s Marine Debris Program
  • NOAA’s Disaster Response Center

OR&R works on critical environmental hazard issues, such as oil spill response, offshore drilling policy, marine debris prevention and reduction, and restoring natural resources. We are looking for motivated self-starters who enjoy independent as well as group work to join our team. The ideal candidate for this internship will possess a strong academic background and the desire to immerse him or herself in the world of marine policy and the internal workings of a federal office.

Two people on beach picking up trash.

Volunteers pick up marine debris on a beach in Washington state. (NOAA)

Major Responsibilities

  • Assist in preparations for one-on-one meetings with key OR&R constituents and events to support OR&R programs; assist in note-taking at events and prepare debrief materials.
  • Attend NGO, interagency, and Congressional events and prepare debrief materials for OR&R staff
  • Assist in preparation for and execution of congressional outreach events, such as briefings, hearings, and testimonies
  • Write and update biographical profiles for key members of Congress and stakeholder groups
  • Track progress of key legislation and policy initiatives
  • As experience permits, provide input on federal policy initiatives, including permits, administration views, and agreements
  • Assist in special projects as needed that fit your interest and skill areas, including research reports, video production, or media relations

Desired Qualifications

  • Interest or experience in marine policy and communications

    A heavy band of oil is visible on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico

    A heavy band of oil is visible on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico during an overflight of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on May 12, 2010. Predicting where oil like this will travel depends on variable factors including wind and currents. (NOAA)

  • Strong writing and verbal communications skills
  • Familiarity with MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint software
  • Excellent attention to detail and a strong work ethic
  • Experience researching academic literature or legislation
  • Familiarity with Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Calendar

Eligibility and Compensation:

OR&R cooperates with institutions of higher learning and internship coordination programs to support students who have arranged to receive credit for their work. Interns are also expected to develop a project based on their interests and present on the project to the NOAA community. We can accommodate part- time and full-time availability. While the duration of internships can vary, most typically last at least 10 weeks. At this time, stipends are not offered. Internships are open to students age 16 and older. The NOAA Office of Security requires a background check for all interns and staff; this process will begin at the start of your internship.

Non-US citizens must hold an appropriate visa and be accepted as an intern at least 45 days prior to the scheduled start date to complete additional security clearance.

To apply, email a cover letter (including dates of availability), resume and a writing sample to Policy Analyst Robin Garcia at

Application deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017

Please review the OR&R Internships page for further details on eligibility for this and other OR&R intern positions.

Author: Office of Response and Restoration

The National Ocean Service's Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) provides scientific solutions for marine pollution. A part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), OR&R is a center of expertise in preparing for, evaluating, and responding to threats to coastal environments. These threats could be oil and chemical spills, releases from hazardous waste sites, or marine debris.

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