Microplastics Monitoring Internship
Job Type: full-time temporary position
Posting Date: 4 Feb 14
Closing Date: 1 Apr 14
Closing Date: 1 Apr 14
MERI is a scientific research 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, an expanding microplastics monitoring program (local and international), sediment pH studies and invasive species surveys.
This is an excellent opportunity for an individual working toward a career in coastal marine ecology, marine debris management, natural resource sciences, or environmental policy to gain practical experience in the field and in the lab. The ideal candidate will possess a personal interest in marine pollution 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 Microplastics Monitoring Project. Primary responsibilities will include water sample processing in the laboratory, microplastic identification and counting, upholding a contamination-free laboratory, field sampling, data entry and basic data analysis. The candidate will possess a serious attention to detail and be highly organized. The candidate will be responsible for properly cataloging water samples from local volunteers, long-term research, and international efforts (1000+ samples) and maintaining order in a high sample volume laboratory. Additional duties may include assisting with research outreach activities.
• Process incoming 1-liter water samples using a vacuum pump filtration system
• Organize samples pre and post filtration
• Maintain microplastic excel database
• Analyze results for monitoring weekly blog
• Photograph and catalogue samples
• Collection and extraction of microplastics for polymer characterization/analysis
• Assist with data entry, updating field logs and lab maintenance
• Time: 60 % microscope, 25% sample processing, 15% field
• Weekly compilation of microplastic media items and endnote article update
Applicants should possess a BS or MS degree in marine ecology, environmental sciences, marine biology, organic chemistry, conservation biology or a related major. Marine field and laboratory experience are required. Experience with following laboratory QA/QC. Experience using compound and dissection microscopes. Applicants must also be able to work outside in a variety of environmental conditions. They must also be comfortable working on and near the water, working alone as well as with other research staff and general public. Must be available to work occasional nights (meetings and lecture series), weekends, and holidays as needed.
Knowledge of computer software including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel is required; photography, statistics (SPSS), Microsoft Access, EndNote, ArcGIS and graphics experience is desirable. Knowledge of plastic legislation and marine debris 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.
Reports to: Coastal Monitoring Coordinator
Time Requirements: May - October (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.
Contact Information:If you are interested in applying for this position, please state where you found the internship posting and submit a cover letter, resume, three references with the subject line “Microplastics Monitoring Internship” by April 1st to:
Abby Barrows, Coastal Monitoring and Outreach Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please, no phone calls.
Marine Environmental Research Institute (MERI)
PO Box 1652, 55 Main Street
Blue Hill, ME 04614
MERI is an Equal Opportunity Employer