S.C. Sea Grant Consortium

Internship Opportunity

Minorities in Aquaculture Shellfish Aquaculture Internship Program

About the Internship

Minorities in Aquaculture (MIA), in partnership with the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium (SCSGC) has established the Shellfish Aquaculture Internship program to provide a hands-on career development opportunity for a woman of color enrolled in an accredited two- or four-year college or university in South Carolina (undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate). Students of color with an interest in aquaculture; marine, biological, or ecological sciences; environmental sciences; sustainability; and/or business entrepreneurship are encouraged to apply.

Minorities in Aquaculture has a mission to create a more diverse and inclusive aquaculture industry by bridging the gap between minority women and sustainable seafood careers. This internship is being offered to broaden career focus for minority students with environmental and entrepreneurial interests by providing an immersive training experience in aquaculture. The internship will highlight the potential to become part of the aquaculture community as well as teach the environmental benefits that result from local sustainable aquaculture. The intern will work alongside aquaculturists at a host shellfish farm in South Carolina to learn regular farm operations and maintenance, and will have the opportunity to engage with aquaculturists, the MIA team, and SCSGC specialists as mentors.


For residents of coastal South Carolina, seafood represents sociocultural ties to the past, a connection to the saltmarsh and ocean environments, and its economic value has supported numerous generations. While fishing and wild harvest of seafood continues today, culturing bivalve shellfish has gained popularity over the past decade. Advancements in gear technology have enabled harvest of product year round, allowing shellfish aquaculture to become a viable career option. In addition, the demand for locally grown sustainable seafood is high. If produced, the single oyster product can be sold at a premium. Aside from economic incentive, shellfish aquaculture is ranked as one of the lowest impact forms of protein production and actually benefits the environment by providing the same services that natural oyster populations yield (e.g., filtration of the water, habitat). By bridging the gap between minority women and careers in sustainable aquaculture, Minorities in Aquaculture allows underrepresented and often under resourced groups to capitalize on a local and viable career in the increasingly prevalent field of aquaculture.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Engage with aquaculturists at the host farm on a daily basis to assist with daily maintenance and general operations.
  • As needed, assist host farm with a variety of business related tasks (inventorying, business related tasks, marketing/social media communications).
  • Additional opportunities may include visiting applied research facilities and engaging with environmental outreach organizations.
  • Document internship experience through photos and notes to be compiled into a report and presentation concluding the internship.

Internship Requirements

    • High school diploma/GED completion
    • Enrolled in a 2 or 4 year accredited college or university in South Carolina
    • Ability to get to and from work
    • Be willing to assist with a variety of aquaculture operations including but not limited to (physical field work, inventorying, business-related tasks, marketing, social media presence, farm maintenance).
    • Participate in monthly meetings with MIA and SCSGC to discuss internship progress
    • When the farm schedule permits, interns will participate in national Community Engaged Internship professional development activities for professional enrichment and peer discussions through virtual platforms.

Internship mentors will be Imani Black, founder of Minorities in Aquaculture (MIA) and the host farm supervisor, with secondary contacts Sarah Pedigo and Matt Gorstein (S.C. Sea Grant Consortium). Other MIA and SCSGC staff may also be contacts as the internship progresses.

Internship Timeline

  • Four-month summer (May-August)

Physical Requirements

  • The intern will be willing and able to work in the field during the summer months (including work on docks, boats, and in the water at the farm lease site). This includes working in the sun, in the water, and in the mud in some cases.
  • Ability to lift 40 lbs.

Materials to be Produced by Intern

  • A final report on internship experience will be due 90 days after the completion of the internship.
  • Interns will present on internship experience by participating in the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Coastal Science Symposium following the internship.

Employment Rate and Hours

  • $17.50 per hour, up to 40 hours per week
  • Aggregate salary up to $11,200
  • Travel expenses will be offered on a reimbursement basis to total $2,500. Travel may include vehicle mileage getting to/from work, work-related meetings, and participating in the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium Coastal Science Symposium.


A South Carolina shellfish aquaculture farm selected to serve as a host farm.


Candidate must be a woman of color enrolled in an accredited two- or four-year college or university in South Carolina.

Application and Submission Information

  • Cover letter describing why you are interested in the internship, and how the internship would advance your education and career goals.
  • Resume/CV including: name, address, contact information, college/university, expected graduation year, major, previous experience.

How to Apply

Application Deadline April 26, 2023!

Application information should be submitted to:

Imani Black – imanib@mianpo.org; cc: Sarah Pedigo – sarah.pedigo@scseagrant.org.

To ensure the safety of interns, host farms are required to adhere to the following terms of a Safe and Respectful Working Environment:

  • The host farm will provide a structured work environment; farm operations will be completed in a socially equitable manner that ensures the intern gains knowledge related to farm operations in a way that is beneficial to the intern and the host farm.
  • The host farm will ensure that the work environment minimizes injury risks and takes all precautions to maintain MIA intern health and welfare by providing a safe and hygienic work environment. The host farm will provide adequate training and standard operating procedures (e.g., training to complete general farm operations, machinery use) to prevent and minimize injury risk.
  • The host farm will guarantee a non-discriminatory environment is provided to the MIA intern by all employees of the host farm during the internship. This includes fair and equal treatment regardless of age, race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, disabilities, physical traits, culture, religion, neurological status, citizenship type, marital status, education level, veteran status type, income, or socioeconomic status.
  • The host farm will certify that in the event of an injury or incident they will take necessary and corrective steps to resolve issues and/ or seek adequate care (e.g., appropriate medical attention) to ensure safety of the MIA intern.
  • The host farm will ensure that in the unlikely event of misconduct by the MIA intern occurs, the actions/events will be reported to internship providers (MIA and SCSGC) and that issues be resolved by these entities.