Internship Program

Our Internship Projects Provide Challenging and Meaningful Work for Students

Clear Blue Sea has an extensive Internship Program that provides students with opportunities to participate in performing our mission of “cleansing the oceans of plastic pollution.”

  • We offer internships in marine sciences, engineering, policy, business operations, project management, marketing, social media, and website development.
  • Currently have a broad diversity of interns across all San Diego campuses, including USD, UCSD, SDSU, PLNU, local high schools and even some remote students.
  • Interns receive academic credit, volunteer hours, or sometimes funding from external donors
  • We jointly develop internship project plans with students to ensure their work reflects their passions and capabilities.
  • CBSea meets weekly with interns for optimal team collaboration.
  • We acknowledge our interns with functional job titles and letters of recommendation

 We are applying their research, analysis, engineering, prototyping, and media development to continue our progress in increasing awareness of the ocean plastic crisis and building our first fully-functional FRED Prototype for testing in San Diego waters.

How do I sign up?

We are so grateful for the overwhelming number of inquiries we have recently received! To help streamline the process and to ensure a good fit, we are requesting key information in the form below which facilitates our determination on what specific projects and teams are optimal for you and for Clear Blue Sea. We also request you provide a resume with this information. Before you fill out the form, please take 15 minutes to review the content on our website so you are more familiar with Clear Blue Sea, our projects, and our mission. The form should not take more than 10 minutes.

Fill Out Our Form

A HUGE THANKS to Tom Lupfer of Clarity Design for being a visionary Clear Blue Sea Project Sponsor

Our interns come from all major San Diego campuses and as far away as Australia!

Prior Internship Projects

FRED's Angels

Trashy Pelicans (USD)

Maritime Alliance Internship team

Summer Research Team 2018

2019 Clarity Design Team

Salty Crew (SDSU)

Project and Supply Management

Social Media Team

Squid Squad

Plastic Pirates (SDSU)

USD Engineering Team

Media Creation Team

USD Engineering Team
“FRED’s Angels”

Building a Small-Scale Functional FRED Prototype

The goal of our project is to design, build, test, and demonstrate a 4-foot long prototype of the FRED architecture with a focus on the debris collection subsystem for harvesting floating plastics. We completed our FRED Prototype design in Fall of 2018 and will be building the prototype in Spring of 2019. Our small FRED model will satisfy and validate FRED system requirements provided by Clear Blue Sea. Our development efforts and lessons learned will be leveraged by Clear Blue Sea to implement a larger-scale FRED design and build program here in San Diego. Clear Blue Sea meets weekly with our team to review progress, brainstorm issue resolution, and facilitate creative design and development.

USD Engineering Team
"Trashy Pelicans"

Architecting FRED Navigation and Data Communication

Our project goal is to research, design, and prototype a Navigation and Data Communication subsystem for integration into FRED’s overall architecture. This subsystem provides functionality for semi-autonomous navigation, remote control of FRED, operational performance status reporting, and environmental monitoring. Our team works collaboratively with the FRED’s Angels Team and Clear Blue Sea to identify optimal design strategies and development methodologies. In our build phase, our Navigation and Data Communications subsystem prototype will be integrated into the FRED Angel’s team small-scale model to produce an enhanced FRED prototype for demonstration.

SDSU Engineering Team
“Salty Crew”

Proving Its Salt:
A Seaworthy Collection System for FRED

The scope of this engineering project is to develop a Debris Collection Subsystem that will act as a proof of concept of the full-size subsystem that will be a critical component of the FRED Architecture. In the Fall of 2018, The Salty Crew Team researched, engineered, and designed the architecture for this FRED Subsystem Prototype. In the Spring of 2019, Salty Crew will fabricate, assemble, integrate and test their prototype for final demonstration in a marine environment. This demonstration will include operational use of the subsystem’s ability to collect, capture, and store marine floating plastic.

Project and Supply Management

Organizing and managing Clear Blue Sea

As Clear Blue Sea’s Internship Program grows in size and scope, we need assistance managing and helping our teams and researchers. While we train all of our interns on the basics of project management best practices, this core group’s entire focus is hands-on project management and Project Management Institute (PMI) training. They are also instrumental in making progress from the Clear Blue Sea administrational side, helping us accomplish side projects that support advancement of our mission.

Interns: Zane, Eva, Chris, Jenny

SDSU Engineering Team

“Plastic Pirates”

Prototyping FRED Jr.

The Plastic Pirates Team is designing and building a table-top size marine robot that will pick up floating plastic debris in a marine environment. The team calls their prototype robot FRED Jr., which will be remote-controlled, solar-powered, and travel at 2 knots. In the Fall of 2018, the team developed alternative design strategies for FRED model components including the hull, conveying capability, power system, storage component, and electronics. In the Spring of 2019, they will procure commercial components and fabricate custom components to build and test FRED Jr. 

USD Engineering Team

Harnessing the Summer Sun – Building the first FRED Solar Power Prototype

The scope of this project was to research, engineer, design, and develop a functional prototype of FRED’s Solar Power Subsystem based on system requirements provided by Clear Blue Sea. Over a short period of 10 weeks, the team completed a systems engineering life cycle methodology that included multiple design reviews and operational testing.  At the conclusion of the internship project, the FRED Solar Power Subsystem Prototype was demonstrated to the engineering department at USD and then written up as a project success story for the USD website.  

Summer 2018 The Maritime Alliance Internship Team

The Maritime Alliance Internship Team:

  • Designed, prototyped, and demonstrated a small-scale FRED Debris Collection Subsystem for integration with USD’s Solar Power Subsystem Prototype
  • Developed a White Paper on marine sensors that will enable FRED to identify and alert marine mammals to avoid any encounters
  • Developed a White Paper based on strategies for recycling extensive numbers of solar panels such as those planned for fleets of FREDs operating in the ocean

2019 Clarity Design Team

Enhancing Mini FRED Prototype Features and Functions

Clarity Design sponsored another summer team of four USD engineering students to continue the progress made by the 2018-2019 senior design teams. In the spirit of diversity, this team is comprised of students from the National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and the USD Engineering School at large. The team will be enhancing the Mini FRED after they do a thorough design review and test of the prototype from that project.

Team Members: Desmond, Cameryn, Zach, Jazmyn

Media Creation Team

Creating Original Content to Share Clear Blue Sea’s Progress

Clear Blue Sea’s startup focus has been on engineering development and mentoring interns, but now thanks to our media volunteers, we will be able to share a behind-the-scenes view so our fans can come on the journey with us, even if they are far away. Graphic designers, artists, and educators will work together to make technical concepts easy to understand through visuals and help us advertise events and efforts from our awareness teams. Videographers and photographers are going to capture the action happening at our weekly meetings and monthly events, as well as interview key personnel about their insights on ocean plastic pollution and Clear Blue Sea.

  • Artists & Graphic Designers – Lauren, Chantil, Devynn, Ken, Shai
  • Photography & Videography – Sharyn, Danielle, Ami, Ellie (Joseph,
  • Educational Content – Alexander

Squid Squad

Raising Awareness on Local San Diego Campuses of Ocean Plastic Pollution

The goal of this small intern team is to raise local awareness of the problem of ocean plastic pollution on San Diego college campuses in order to reach more young people as they are making decisions about their place in the world. Clear Blue Sea believes that younger generations have the power to make global change, and by planting seeds of change early on, we can reach a larger audience and create a more well-informed public for a bluer, brighter future. Each student brings knowledge of their own campus to the the team, and together they plan small events and team up with other environmental organizations for collaborative outreach.

Team Members: Eva, Jasha, Kelcie, Kaelah, Marcus

Website Development Volunteer Team
An Interactive and Welcoming Website for All Audiences

The goal of the website development team was to re-brand the website and make Clear Blue Sea feel more like a nonprofit. In addition to creating this new vibe, the team created new pages to more accurately share Clear Blue Sea’s progress and communicate important concepts to the user. They also customized the interface so Clear Blue Sea could better receive inquiries and messages from the public. Website maintenance is ongoing.

Team Members: Sonali, Kent, Rupali, Leena, Janine

Social Media Team

Developing an Online Presence to Raise Awareness of Ocean Plastic Pollution

The goal of this volunteer and intern team is to raise online awareness of the problem of ocean plastic pollution and the many possible solutions including Clear Blue Sea’s innovative robot, “FRED.” The team developed profiles on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and posts daily to build a community rallied around Clear Blue Sea’s mission and reach new people who would otherwise be unaware of Clear Blue Sea. Despite the bleak reality of plastic pollution, the team speaks in a hopeful voice and features groundbreaking, beautiful, and/or grassroots work being done around the globe and of course, right here at Clear Blue Sea.

Team Members: Trent, Kaelah, Zeina, Sam, Janine, Erna, Ken, Ashley

Summer Research Team 2018

Researching More About Ocean Plastic Pollution

  • Developed a White Paper based on review of current oceanographic research on the Great Pacific Garbage Patches and the ocean current that put them in perpetual motion
  • Developed a White Paper based on oceanographic and climate sensors that will be implemented on FRED to monitor environmental conditions such as water and air temperature, wind and ocean currents, GPS location, and wave size
  • Performed Project Management shadowing of summer projects to support planning and logistics for project team work success and cross-team collaboration
  • Developed a White Paper on Commercializing Recycled Marine Plastic

Webb Institute Team

High Level Research for Clear Blue Sea future planning

  • Webb Naval Institute senior thesis evaluated types of Motherships, methods for FRED to dock with the Mothership, and methods for the garbage to be transferred from FRED to the Mothership. Final recommendation is a Heavylift Ship (pictured) to lift FRED out of water for maintenance and debris offloading
  • Developed a Whitepaper based on engineering methods for removing floating debris from marine environments – final recommendation is conveyor-type system
  • Developed a Whitepaper evaluating FRED base vessel type – final recommendation is catamaran base
  • Developed a Whitepaper based on global scope and financial viability of plastic recycling

2017 Interns: Alice Panek (Webb), Nick Hanslin (Webb), Jedd Stallings (SDSU)


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