Check below for a list of needed Eagle Scout Projects at the Back Bay Science Center in Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve (UNBER).

Eagle Scout Project List

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife appreciates having the opportunity to work and partner with the Boy Scouts of America. Much of the work done in maintaining and protecting Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve has been accomplished through the generosity of the Boy Scout Troops in our community. We would like to continue to offer opportunities to work with Department staff and volunteers here at the Reserve.

Due to the our current move-in phase, we are limiting the number of projects being distributed. We are careful not to over assign projects, in order to give each Scout the individual attention needed for quality guidance and support.

There is a basic agreement we require each Scout to complete before accepting a project with us, which includes a commitment to a project completion date. This agreement is intended to teach responsibility, follow-through, and leadership skills; plus its a way to insure a firm commitment to the completion of a project. Because the Back Bay Science Center is located on the California Department of Fish & Wildlife's Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve, there is a formal process of review each project must go through in order to get approved. A detailed Project Plan Evaluation (PPE) must be submitted through Department of Fish & Game, and each Scout must assist our staff with its completion. A site map and a 7.5 minute map of project area must be submitted along with the PPE. We can guide the Scout's through this process, but understand this is part of the project approval process.

For more information on Eagle Scout projects, please call or email:

TJ Graven
Scientific Aid


This position is currently open.

Participants rotate through three sampling programs: a bottom trawl to survey benthic fish and invertebrates that live in the middle of the bay; a beach seine to survey near shore organisms; and a mud/plankton survey of invertebrates living in the mud and the microscopic plants and animals living in the bay. Data is entered into a database which can be downloaded as an Excel file. Marine researchers and educators can look at seasonal and long-term trends in fish and invertebrate abundance and/or water quality.

MLI volunteers will assist with set-up and preparation, oversee transitions between each station, and clean-up and break down afterwards. These positions are available on a monthly basis depending on the size of the participant group. This is the only position available for students under 18 years old and can be counted toward community service hours. Students that are under 15 years of age will be required to bring an adult with them. For a detailed description and information on how to apply, please click the link below:

Marine Life Inventory Volunteer Position


All positions are currently filled.

Aquarist volunteers assist with husbandry related duties mostly including regular feedings of our resident marine animals. This position requires someone who has a passion for ocean conservation and environmental stewardship. Some experience necessary.

Click below for a detailed description and information on how to apply.

Aquarist Volunteer Position


This position is currently open.

The Back Bay Science Center runs several education programs throughout the school year. Although interns are hired to assist with these programs, there are times when we require additional assistance. This position is on-call only typically during our peak field trip season which takes place between January and June.

For a more detailed description and information on how to apply, click the link below.

Education Programs Volunteer


All positions have been filled for winter 2017.   We will be accepting applications for Spring 2017 in February 2017.

The Back Bay Science Center offers a couple different internship opportunities for college students depending on what they are looking for.

All positions have been filled for Winter 2017. Applications for Spring 2017 will be accepted beginning in February 2017, depending on your deadline.

Through a partnership with the University of California Irvine, our facility is listed as a practicum site for Social Ecology and Public Health students who must fulfill a certain amount of fieldwork hours.

If you are a UCI student looking for a field study placement, click on the link below to learn more about our site and information on how to apply.

UCI Field Study Placement


Students of other universities and colleges are looking to gain experience in the field of marine science, environmental sciences, and education. These internships occur on a quarterly basis. Click the link below to read a more detailed description and view the deadlines for application.

College Internship Position


Position filled. Please see other volunteer opportunities.

The Back Bay Science Center has partnered with two different agencies allowing us to take part in two different programs to monitor plankton. We currently work with the California Department of Public Health - Environmental Management Branch for their Biotoxin Monitoring Program in order to keep track of toxic plankton blooms occurring along the entire coast of California. Additionally, CoSEE West has implemented the HAB (Harmful Algal Bloom) Watch Program consisting of a community network of organizations and institutes located in the Southern California area to collect data on patterns in plankton blooms.

The phytoplankton internship position requires experience with phytoplankton identification and sampling techniques. This position is currently not available. However, you can click the link below to learn more about our partnerships as well as the position itself.

Phytoplankton Intern Position