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Internship Opportunity

Development of Aquaculture Opportunity Areas in Alaska

Posted on: 03/04/2024
Research Area(s): Internships / Research

Summary / Description

NOAA Fisheries and the State of Alaska announced on June 1, 2023, that they are moving forward with a multi-year process to identify Aquaculture Opportunity Areas (AOAs) in state waters of Alaska. AOAs are defined geographic areas evaluated through both spatial analysis and environmental review processes that are determined to be environmentally, socially, and economically appropriate to support multiple commercial aquaculture operations. The size and location for AOAs will be determined through spatial analysis, Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge, and public engagement. This will allow NOAA and the State of Alaska to identify areas that are appropriate for commercial aquaculture. 

NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) is leading spatial analysis support for the Alaska AOA process. Site suitability analysis will use whole-ecosystem spatial modeling methods aimed at capturing best available data, and input from state, federal, and tribal governments, stakeholders, and the public. This is a multi-year process in which NOAA and the State of Alaska will work to analyze locations and identify AOAs in Alaska State waters to help sustainably advance aquaculture – also referred to in Alaska as mariculture. 

Key to building a whole-ecosystem spatial model that incorporates Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge, is developing a spatial understanding of existing public trust resources and subsistence and personal use fisheries within our Alaska AOA study areas. Distilling information from literature, survey project reports, Alaska Area Plans, recorded oral histories, and other sources in a spatially explicit format will allow consideration of this information within NCCOS’  spatial analysis for the Alaska AOA effort. We are seeking an intern to identify and collate information from various sources and through communication with our Alaskan partners to support our spatial analysis.   

Skills Required

The student should be capable of 1) conducting literature searches, 2) interacting in a professional manner with researchers both within and external to NOAA, 3) synthesizing written and oral information, 4) preparing a well-written initial draft of their findings, and 5) MS Excel and basic to intermediate GIS skills. 

Type of Opportunity



Remote or In-person:




Other Information

Intern Supervisor:

Christopher Schillaci

Number of Slots Available:



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