10 March 2022: My internship at NAMMCO



My first contact with NAMMCO’s work was during my Marine Mammal Sciences Masters in Scotland, where we studied the management of marine mammals and I focussed on the Arctic for a few assignments. Discovering the internship program at the Secretariat, it didn’t take me long to apply. I had previously lived in Svalbard and dreamt of returning to Northern Norway ever since, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity after finishing up my studies – a way to combine my passion for marine mammal conservation with living closer to nature all while broadening my understanding of polar issues.


About the intern

Josephine Schulze recently graduated from her MSc in Marine Mammal Sciences from the University of St Andrews, Scotland. Throughout her studies, she had the chance of living and studying in Svalbard, and develop a passion for marine mammal conservation, particularly in polar regions.

About my internship

I arrived in early January, so I got to enjoy the polar winter while also starting to slowly see the light return . At the Secretariat, I was quickly thrown into the daily tasks of NAMMCO, and had the pleasure of preparing as well as supporting the Secretariat during the Scientific Committee meeting that took place just a few weeks after starting my position.

On a daily basis, tasks at NAMMCO varied greatly, and included working on the website (for instance updating some of the species pages), running the social media, copy-editing submissions for NAMMCO publications, attending meetings of various working groups and committees and sometimes writing reports for such meetings, and much more.

Currently, I am co-organising the fourth Annual Marine Mammal Student Symposium with the Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea and the Biology department of the University of Tromsø. The event will take place in a hybrid format, so I look forward to seeing what projects students here and elsewhere are working on, and support them in expanding their network as well as knowledge on conservation of marine mammals.

The NAMMCO Secretariat consists of three wonderful permanent employees, and being part of such a small team has been very enjoyable, and I have been included in as many aspects of the Secretariat and NAMMCO’s work as possible.



With my background in science, it was definitely challenging to look at polar issues not only through the lense of a scientist, but also consider the economical, cultural and social aspects, but I am grateful for the team here for expanding my views and helping me to better understand the full picture. I have also never organised a Symposium, so every step of the way is new ground for me, but so far each challenge could be tackled with the support of the wonderful people around the Secretariat and the co-organisers.


Splitboarding on Kvaløya

Life in Tromsø

Tromsø is a beautiful place, with nature all around you and endless opportunities to get outdoors. This is what makes it really special to me – I have not been to many places where you can get mountains almost to yourself for snowboarding or skiing, see northern lights in the night, live by the sea (and get seasonal visits from whales) and enjoy the perks of city life all at once.

The international community here is very welcoming, which made moving to a new country in which I am just learning the language a lot easier than I expected.


If you are interested in becoming the next intern at the NAMMCO Secretariat in beautiful Tromsø, the next deadline for applications will be 01/04/2022. For more information, click here.

Northern lights nearTromsø

Start typing and press Enter to search