Blue Hill Bay Coastal Monitoring Internship

The Marine Environmental Research Institute (MERI), a nonprofit organization based in Blue Hill, Maine, is recruiting to fill a Coastal Monitoring Internship position for the field season 2013. This is a full-time position requiring an 8 month commitment from May through December.

MERI is a scientific research and education organization dedicated to understanding the impacts of environmental pollutants on wildlife and human health, and to interpreting this information to a broad audience. Current projects include a marine coastal monitoring initiative and a long-term eco-toxicological investigation of northwestern Atlantic harbor seals.

This is an excellent opportunity for an individual working toward a career in coastal marine ecology, natural resource sciences, or conservation biology to gain practical experience in the field and in the lab. The ideal candidate will possess a personal interest in marine ecology and ecosystem monitoring and a commitment to the mission of the organization.

Primary Job Responsibility

This position will involve assisting the Research Department with the implementation of the Blue Hill Bay Coastal Monitoring Project. Primary responsibilities will include water quality sampling at fresh and marine water sites, phytoplankton monitoring and identification, laboratory water chemistry analysis, invasive species collection and identification, monitoring pinniped haul out sites and behavior, crewing MERI’s green research vessel, data entry and basic data analysis. Additional duties may include assisting with research outreach activities.

Job Description

-Conduct in-situ water quality monitoring using a DataSonde multi probe and sample collection at marine and freshwater sites throughout the Blue Hill Bay watershed
-Collect biological & microplastic samples in the field and identify them in the lab
-Prepare for each field day by calibrating and maintaining field instruments
-Perform lab chemistries and bacterial assays following established standard operating procedures and quality assurance protocols
-Monitoring and recording pinniped haul-out sites and behavior

-Assist with data entry, updating field logs and lab maintenance
-Help run the volunteer water quality monitoring program
-Assist with preparation of result summaries, reports, fact sheets and presentations
-Be responsible for the education and training of junior interns and students in monitoring techniques
-Articulate and promote the MERI mission to the public
-Perform other duties relating to the organization's goals and mission as required

Reports to: Monitoring Project Coordinator and Research Staff

Qualifications

Applicants should possess a BS or MS degree in marine ecology, environmental sciences, marine biology, conservation biology or a related major.
Marine field and laboratory experience, and seamanship skills are required. Experience with spectrophotometers and multi-
parameter probes and a familiarity with environmental sampling methods and statistics are preferred. Experience identifying phytoplankton and coastal invasive species is desirable. Applicants must also be able to work outside in a variety of environmental conditions. They must also be comfortable working on a marine research vessel and be available to work occasional nights, weekends, and holidays as needed.

Knowledge of computer software including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel is required; photography, statistics (SPSS), Microsoft Access, EndNote and graphics experience is desirable. Knowledge of Gulf of Maine marine phytoplankton species is recommended. Applicant must possess a valid driver’s license and a good driving record. Only US citizens should apply. Position requires some physical activity and applicant should be able to lift up to 40 lbs, walk carrying fragile equipment on uneven ground.

Time Requirements

May - December (Flexible start) Full-time (40 hours/week); additional hours to be agreed upon by employee and Director.
Compensation

Stipend and shared housing in Blue Hill, Maine. Housing is within walking distance to Marine Environmental Research Institute. Interns are responsible for all travel expenses and food.

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