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Summer 2010 Internship Opportunities - FIVE COLLEGE INTERNSHIP

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Summer 2010 Internship Opportunities - FIVE COLLEGE INTERNSHIP Powered By Docstoc
					       FIVE COLLEGE INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AT NOAA AND DUKE UNIVERSITY MARINE LAB
                                       SUMMER 2010

1. Age and growth of larval fish for use in stock assessments
    NOAA Narragansett Laboratory
    Narragansett, Rhode Island
2. Monitoring sedimentation dynamics, emergent and submerged aquatic vegetation in tidal freshwater
    marshes within the Chesapeake Bay
    Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
    Annapolis, Maryland
3. Modeling the atmospheric deposition of mercury to the Great Lakes
    NOAA Air Resources Laboratory
    Silver Spring, Maryland
4. Detecting climate trends in the tropical cold-point tropopause
    NOAA Air Resources Laboratory
    Silver Spring, Maryland
5. Effects of clam and oyster harvesting on juvenile fish habitat
    NOAA Fisheries Milford Laboratory
    Milford, Connecticut
6. Establishing a quality assessment system for airborne gravity data
    NOAA Air Resources Laboratory
    Silver Spring, Maryland
7. Ecology of coastal seascapes: Benthic and pelagic process affecting fish recruitment in coastal ocean
    habitats
    James J. Howard Marine Lab
    Highlands, NJ
8. Molecular Detection of Microorganisms to Enhance Environmental and Marine Animal Health Assessments
    NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center
    La Jolla, California
9. Climate change effects on fish early life processes
    James J. Howard Marine Lab
    Highlands, NJ
10. Contaminant exposure risks to early life stages of fishes
    James J. Howard Marine Lab
    Highlands, NJ
11. Pacific salmon recolonization of the Cedar River
     Northwest Fisheries Science Center
    Seattle, Washington
12. Modulation of seawater chemistry in the experimental fish tanks
    James J. Howard Marine Lab
    Highlands, NJ
13. Determination of condition of fish based on the lipid contents
    James J. Howard Marine Lab
    Highlands, NJ
14. Sea Turtle Nest Monitoring
    Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
    Naples, Florida
15. Coastal ecology research supporting ecosystem-based management
    Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve
    Wells, Maine
1. Age and growth of larval fish for use in stock assessments

Project Description: Estimates of larval fish abundance provide fishery-independent estimates of fish population
size. Most marine fishes spawn small (~1 mm), pelagic eggs, which hatch into small larvae (2-15 mm), which
then develop into juveniles and adults. Larvae are easily collected at sea in plankton nets and the number of
larvae is related to the number of adults that produced the larvae. Larval indices are being developed for a range
of species in the northeast U.S. shelf ecosystem for use as additional information regarding the abundance of
adults. In order to calculate larval indices, information is necessary regarding the growth of larval fishes and
this project will work with scientists in the Oceanography Branch examining interannual variability in larval
growth. Larval growth can determined through examination of fish otoliths, which are an internal bony structure
on which daily rings form. Otoliths are dissected from a larva, mounted on a slide, and the number of
increments counted. By aging individuals over a range of sizes, a size-at-age relationship can be developed and
growth rate estimated. These estimates are then used in the calculation of the larval indices. By aging larvae
collected over a range of years, interannual variability in larval growth can be quantified. Further, these
analyses contribute to an understanding of fish ecology and to the assessment of fish stocks.

This project will involve working with larval fish, dissecting otoliths using a dissecting microscope, counting
otolith increments using a compound microscope, building larval length and age data tables, and analyzing
length and age data to estimate larval growth rate.

Skills Required: Willingness to work at a microscope; basic computer skills; ability to work as part of a research
team; basic laboratory and data collection experience is helpful.

Location: NOAA Narragansett Laboratory, Narragansett, Rhode Island

Intern Supervisor: Jon Hare

Number of Intern Slots: 1



2. Monitoring sedimentation dynamics: Emergent and submerged aquatic vegetation in tidal freshwater
marshes within the Chesapeake Bay

Project Description: The intern will participate in a series of studies developed to characterize and monitor the
response of tidal fresh water marshes to anthropogenic and projected climate change impacts. These studies
include: 1) wetland sedimentation; the intern will learn and participate in the measurement of surface elevation
tables, a technique used to measure surface elevation changes in wetland environments; 2) characterization of
wetland emergent vegetation; the intern will learn plant transect techniques to study wetland community
structure (i.e., species diversity, plant cover, density, etc.); 3) characterization of submerged aquatic vegetation;
the intern will learn sampling techniques to determine species diversity and biomass in riverine environments.
In addition, the intern will have the opportunity to gain experience in data entry and exploratory data analyses
for the studies listed above, with the option to prepare and give an oral presentation to local staff about some of
the results found from data collected.

Skills Required: Ability and willingness to work in the field under harsh conditions (i.e. wet and muddy), learn
new sampling techniques, and travel to multiple field sites. Although boat handling is not required, the intern
should be comfortable traveling in and working on a small boat. Knowledge of field methodologies and
experience in data entry/analysis is not required, as these will be taught through hands-on experience. Prior
exposure to Excel spreadsheets would be useful.
Location: Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research
Reserve, 580 Taylor Avenue, Annapolis, MD 20401, www.dnr.state.md.us/bay/cbnerr/

Intern Supervisor: Patricia Delgado

Number of Intern Slots: 1



3. Modeling the atmospheric deposition of mercury to the Great Lakes

Project Description: Mercury contamination in the Great Lakes is an ongoing concern, with both public health
and wildlife health impacts. Atmospheric deposition likely contributes more mercury to the Lakes and their
watersheds than any other loading pathway. However, the amount and source attribution for this deposition is
not well known. In this project, mercury released to the air from local, regional, national, and global sources
will be modeled from emissions to eventual deposition. This information will be useful in prioritizing local,
regional, national, and international actions to reduce mercury loadings to the Great Lakes.

Depending on the student’s interests and skills, the student will contribute to the Great Lakes Restoration
Initiative by working on one or more of the following aspects of the modeling project: (a) assembling,
analyzing, and/or mapping model inputs (e.g., mercury emissions inventory information and meteorological
data), and/or ambient measurement data (for model evaluation); (b) literature review, testing, development,
and/or sensitivity analysis of model algorithms dealing with the atmospheric chemistry, and/or wet and dry
deposition of mercury.

Skills Required: Basic spreadsheet (Excel) skills required for data analysis. GIS (ArcView) skills required if
the student is interested in mapping. Algorithm work could proceed on a number of different levels, from
literature review, to spreadsheet-based analysis, and even Fortran programming (if the student had experience in
programming).

Location: NOAA’s Air Resources Laboratory, Silver Spring, MD

Intern Supervisor: Dr. Mark Cohen (www.arl.noaa.gov/Mercury_modeling.php)

Number of Intern Slots: 1



4. Detecting climate trends in the tropical cold-point tropopause

Project Description: It is widely believed that stratospheric water vapor concentrations are determined by the
temperature of the tropopause in the tropics, where water vapor enters the stratosphere from the troposphere.
Because it is a greenhouse gas, changes in stratospheric water vapor have important climate implications, yet
they are difficult to estimate from existing water vapor observations. We seek to understand whether
radiosonde (weather balloon) data, available since the 1960’s, can be used to determine trends in tropical cold-
point tropopause (CPT) temperatures (and by inference trends in stratospheric water vapor), or if changes in
instrumentation pose an obstacle to such analysis. The project involves comparison of unadjusted CPT
temperatures from tropical radiosonde stations with (1) radiosonde temperature observations at standard
pressure levels that have been adjusted to account for instrument changes, and (2) CPT temperature data derived
from radio occultation observations from the Global Navigation Satellite System. This research project
involves data processing, statistical analyses, and graphical and written presentation of results. Depending on
the progress made, the intern may be involved in preparation of a manuscript for submission to a peer-reviewed
journal.

Skills Required: Some experience in the following is helpful (supervision and training will also be provided):
computer programming; manipulation of large datasets; statistical analysis; data display and graphics; oral and
written communication; and the ability to understand and evaluate research papers related to atmospheric
science, observing systems, and climate science.

Location: NOAA’s Air Resources Laboratory, Silver Spring, MD www.arl.noaa.gov

Intern Supervisor: Dr. Dian Seidel

Number of Intern Slots: 1



5. Effects of clam and oyster harvesting on juvenile fish habitat

Project Description: The intern will participate in a study on juvenile fish habitat utilization on leased shellfish
beds prior to and after harvesting operations. Work will involve collection and analysis of video data collected
from a drop camera, examination of beam trawl collections, as well as data entry and analysis. It may also
include collection and analysis of data from a single beam acoustic seabed classification system (QTCView).
The intern will also be required to assist in ongoing sampling on site or in the laboratory such as sediment
grabs, coring, collection of benthic infauna, and aging of juvenile fish using otoliths.

This internship provides an opportunity for an applicant to participate in fish ecological work, gain experience
with video equipment and gain field experience with a drop camera, beam trawls, Smith-McIntyre grabs, and
core samplers.

Skills Required: Ability to work as part of a research team. Willingness to work outdoors and aboard a research
vessel. Sampling locations targeted for this summer are located in Oyster Bay on Long Island and will therefore
require long days (12 hours) aboard the research vessel. Basic laboratory and data collection experience is
helpful. Experience with Excel spreadsheets and some statistical programs (SAS, Primer) a plus.

Location: NOAA Fisheries Milford Laboratory – Milford, CT

Intern Supervisor: Jose Pereira, Fisheries Biologist

Number of Intern Slots: 2



6. Establishing a quality assessment system for airborne gravity data

Project: The Gravity for the Redefinition of the American Vertical Datum (GRAV-D) is a long-term project to
redefine the vertical datum for the country. The vertical datum provides the basis for all height measurements in
the U.S. and has many diverse uses, including: modeling water flow and flooding, monitoring coastal erosion
and mass movement due to magma motion, and quantifying vertical geologic motions (such as those from plate
tectonics, and surface and sub-surface water changes). The GRAV-D program is multi-phased and is currently
collecting large amounts of airborne remote sensing data of the Earth’s gravity field.
The intern will examine GPS and gravity data, as well as operator notes that show aircraft dynamics to
characterize how turbulence and instrument function affect gravity data quality. Surveys to be used in this
analysis are located in Alaska, Puerto Rico & the US Virgin Islands, and the US coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
The intern will assist the GRAV-D project team in the development of a comprehensive quality assessment
system for both the raw data and intermediate processing products on a line-by-line basis from the airborne
surveys. Depending on the intern’s interests, qualifications, and available time, they may also investigate how
the various quality grades should be weighted and combined to form quality grades for the final data products.

Opportunities: The intern will gain general experience in research planning, data analysis, the application of
statistics to geophysical datasets, and the effects of the atmosphere on aircraft flight characteristics. They will
also learn about modern geophysical measurement instruments and techniques, especially those involved in
kinematic GPS and gravity measurements.

Preferred Skills: An intern with strong math skills who is familiar with MatLab or C will excel on this project.
Familiarity with statistics and the concepts of mechanical engineering or physics will be helpful, but is not
required. A strong desire to learn and ability to work on a small team are required.

Location: Silver Spring, MD

Intern supervisor: Sandy Preaux

Number of Intern Slots: 1 (although we would except 2 if they are willing to work as a team to expand the
project to include incorporating external atmospheric/meteorological data)


7. Ecology of coastal seascapes: Benthic and pelagic process affecting fish recruitment in coastal ocean
habitats

Project Description: The Behavioral Ecology Branch is applying a multi-scale approach to fisheries habitat
ecology in the Mid-Atlantic Bight Coastal Ocean where physical oceanographic processes are continuously
monitored in a well developed, operational Integrated Ocean Observation System (MARCOOS;
http://www.marcoos.us/). Our approach blends both traditional field surveys and monitoring with advanced
optical and acoustic techniques. We are planning experiments, to examine the effects of pelagic and benthic
habitat characteristics on reproduction, growth, mortality and dispersal processes. Summer of 2010 projects
include:
    1. Analysis of Benthic habitat and surveys of seascapes off Long Island and New Jersey in 2008 and 2009.
    2. Pelagic habitat and ichthyoplankton field surveys of seascapes off Long Island and New Jersey.
    3. High frequency monitoring of invertebrate and fish larval settlement and oceanographic data at sites
        within the Long Island and New Jersey seascapes.
    4. Laboratory studies of habitat effects on black sea bass behavior.

Skills Required: Willingness to work aboard research vessel and as part of a research team. Basic data
collection and processing experience is helpful. Enthusiasm is a must.

Location: National Marine Fisheries Service, James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory Highlands, New
Jersey

Intern Supervisors: John Manderson, Linda Stehlik, Beth Phelan

Number of Intern Slots: 2-3
8. Molecular Detection of Microorganisms to Enhance Environmental and Marine Animal Health
Assessments

Project Description: The intern will investigate the use of culture and molecular methods to improve the
assessment of coastal water quality and marine mammal health. Targets include fecal indicator bacteria,
pathogens, and fecal source identification markers. Work will involve sample processing (microbiological
culturing & filtering of environmental samples), molecular biological techniques (nucleic acid extraction, PCR
amplification, gel electrophoresis, photodocumentation, qPCR), and data entry & data analysis.

Skills Required: Basic knowledge of standard microbiological practices, such as sterile technique. Familiarity
with standard molecular biological practices, such as pipetting. Willingness to work outdoors and in a BSL-2
area. Ability to work as part of a research team.

Location: NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center, La Jolla, California

Intern Supervisor: Dr. Kelly Goodwin

Number of Intern Slots: 1


9. Climate change effects on fish early life processes

Project Description: This project evaluates the potential effects of climate change on fish populations. Fishes are
expected to exhibit increases in metabolic, ontogenetic, and ecological rates as water temperatures increase.
Beyond this general expectation of a direct effect of temperature on rates of living, we must also refine details on
relationships between water temperature and key processes in fish life cycles, and on indirect effects on the ecology
of these species. In addition, the effects of an increased level of ocean acidification – which is rising as a
consequence of C02 emissions – on fish are largely unknown and represent a new and exciting research front. We
are using a combination of field, laboratory, and experimental data to address these topics with respect to resource
fish species of the northeastern USA. The student will be directly involved in field monitoring, laboratory
experiments, and/or analyses of archived data in addressing a component of this larger research effort. Among
other activities in 2010, we expect to be conducting laboratory experiments on the direct and interactive effects of
water temperature and acidity on embryos and larvae of fish species representative of our local fish fauna. As part
of our research team, the intern’s duties and responsibilities will include: 1) Acquiring spawning fish and/or
fertilized fish eggs; 2) Implementing and maintaining laboratory experiments on the joint effects of water
temperature and acidity on early-life features of experimental fish including their growth, development, and
survival; 3) Collecting, reducing, and summarizing data from direct observations and from digital images of
embryonic and larval fish; 4) Participating in 2-day research cruises on Hudson River Estuary as part of ongoing
assessments of fish populations near the margin of their geographic ranges; and 5) Supporting ongoing laboratory
experiments and analyses. The student will work among other students, research associates, and career NOAA
research scientists.

Skills required: The student must be willing to work outdoors, on small boat (including overnight cruises), and in
the laboratory. Must be detail oriented, organized, with a history of completing assignments; comfortable working
with a team; and listens and communicates well. Working familiarity with MS Office (Word/Excel/PowerPoint) is
expected.

Location: NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Highlands, New Jersey

Intern Supervisor: Dr. Christopher Chambers
Number of Intern Slots: 1
10. Contaminant exposure risks to early life stages of fishes

Project Description: Inshore habitats are used by a variety of marine and estuarine organisms as a source of prey,
location for reproduction, and shelter during vulnerable life-stages. These habitats are also the principal location
for the infusion of contaminants into the marine environment. Understanding the extent and nature of
contamination along industrialized watersheds, as well as the complexity of potential toxic responses by impacted
organisms, remains a significant challenge to researchers and resource managers. We are conducting research that
1) examines the evidence for toxicities in indicator fish species to ecologically relevant contaminants, 2) broadens
the set of response variables from those traditionally collected to include sublethal, fitness-related end points, and 3)
evaluates the relative toxicities of dioxin-like PCB congeners to common and to threatened fish species found
within the Hudson River ecosystem. Our focus is on contaminant exposures that occur in the early life of fishes
and sublethal responses that are expressed soon thereafter (e.g., late embryos and larvae). We use an experimental
laboratory approach and have recently been focusing on threatened species from this ecosystem (e.g., sturgeons).
As part of our research team, the intern’s duties and responsibilities will include 1) Acquiring spawning fish and/or
fertilized fish eggs; 2) Implementing and maintaining laboratory experiments on the toxic effects of PCBs on early-
life features of experimental fish including their growth, development, and survival; 3) Collecting, reducing, and
summarizing data from direct observations and from digital images of embryonic and larval fish; 4) Participating in
2-day research cruises on Hudson River Estuary as part of ongoing assessments of fish populations near the margin
of their geographic ranges; and 5) Supporting ongoing laboratory experiments and analyses. The student will work
among other students, research associates, and career NOAA research scientists.

Skills required: The student must be willing to work outdoors, on small boat (including overnight cruises), and in
the laboratory. Must be detail oriented, organized, with a history of completing assignments; comfortable working
with a team; and listens and communicates well. Working familiarity with MS Office (Word/Excel/PowerPoint) is
expected.

Location: NOAA Fisheries Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Highlands, New Jersey

Intern Supervisor: Dr. Christopher Chambers

Number of Intern Slots: 1



11. Pacific salmon recolonization of the Cedar River

Project description: We are seeking interns that will be key members of a research team including scientists
from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and the University of Washington. Interns will assist us in the field
and laboratory on a long-term research project in western Washington where we are examining the
recolonization of the Cedar River, a protected watershed that supplies drinking water to the city of Seattle, by
Pacific salmon. In the 1900’s a diversion dam was constructed that blocked passage of anadromous salmon into
the watershed. In 2003, a fish ladder was built, which provided Pacific salmon access to some of the best habitat
in Western Washington. This project allows us document the colonization of juvenile and adult salmon as well
as determine the ecological effects of these fish on the Cedar River ecosystem. Interns will assist us in field and
laboratory work, including habitat and fish surveys (using electrofishing and snorkel surveys); and water, algae,
and invertebrate sampling. Field research will be conducted in the Cedar River watershed, an ecological reserve
owned by the City of Seattle. Interns will also conduct laboratory work processing water, algae, and
invertebrate samples and data entry.

Opportunity: This internship provides a unique opportunity to collaborate in a large-scale, long-term ecological
research project critical to the conservation of Pacific salmon. The interns will gain valuable experience in field
techniques for surveying stream habitat, invertebrates and fish. Interns will gain valuable experience in
conservation biology, ecology, fish ecology, stream ecology, and taxonomy.

Skills required: Interns must be willing to work under potentially physically demanding conditions and be
comfortable working in streams. Experience with snorkeling a plus. We are also looking for someone that is
positive and a good communicator; detail oriented; and works well as part of a research team. Coursework in
ecology and zoology helpful as is basic experience in collecting field data and laboratory procedures.

Location: NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Cedar River, Washington (field work), Seattle, WA (laboratory work, field coordination),
http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov

Intern supervisor: Peter Kiffney

Number of Intern Slots Available: 1-2



12. Modulation of seawater chemistry in the experimental fish tanks

Project Description: Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere
has increased from approximately 280 to 386 parts per million (ppm) as a result of human activities such as the
burning of fossil fuels. Present levels of atmospheric CO2 would actually be higher than 386 ppm if not for the
fact that approximately one third of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions that have occurred during that period
have been absorbed by the ocean. As a result of this absorption, dissolved CO2 levels in the world’s oceans
have also increased. This increase in dissolved CO2, through its interaction with the carbonate buffering
chemistry of the ocean, has resulted in a decrease in ocean pH and carbonate ion concentration, a process
known as Ocean Acidification.

We are seeking an intern to participate in targeted laboratory studies that are intended to quantify the impact of
ocean acidification on marine resource species. The intern will be focused on the chemistry aspect of the
experiment, e.g. implementing, monitoring, and maintaining the acidification treatments along with assessing
any changes in water chemistry that result from the presence of experimental organisms.
This research is part of NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Research Program. The overarching goals of this
program are to monitor the trends in ocean acidification and predict how ecosystems will respond to ocean
acidification brought on by burning fossil fuels and to provide information that managers can use to address
acidification issues. This internship provides an opportunity to gain laboratory experience in the development
and maintenance of experimental environments and in water quality monitoring.

Skills Required: The student must have a basic chemistry background and be willing to work in a laboratory
setting. The student must be detail oriented, organized, and comfortable working with a team. Basic laboratory
and field data collection experience is helpful.

Location: NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Fisheries Science Center,
James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory at Sandy Hook, Ecosystems Processes Division, Marine
Chemistry Branch, Highlands, New Jersey 07732

Intern Supervisor: Dr. Matthew Poach

Number of Intern Openings: 1
13. Determination of condition of fish based on the lipid contents

Project description: Habitat quality can influence the condition of the fish. Poor condition can affect the
growth, ability to avoid predators, migration fitness, overwinter survival and ultimately recruitment into the
breeding stock. Fishery biologists use lipids as an important factor in the determination of fish condition.
Ecology of Coastal Ocean Seascapes (ECOS) study compares habitat characteristics of two seascapes in the
New York Bight to understand their correlation with abundance, distribution and condition of early life stages
of different fish species. Fish samples from seascape off the coasts of New Jersey and off Long Island were
collected by beam trawl over two the consecutive years from spring into fall. Analyses of different
oceanographic and biological parameters are currently underway.

We seek to recruit a summer intern to assist in the analyses of lipids in fish in a primarily laboratory setting.
Lipid content in the species collected at both seascapes will be analyzed to compare and contrast fish conditions
in the two different habitats. Additional analyses will examine overall seasonal changes in lipid levels and its
relation to the habitat variation. This internship provides an opportunity to develop analytical skills under the
guidance of a lipid researcher. The intern will gain experience in fish dissections, passive lipid extraction
protocols, use of digital analytical balance, gravimetric lipid determination and basic knowledge of lipid
speciation by using an Iatroscan. Data collected on fish condition can provide valuable information for modelers
aiding in the fisheries management.

Skills required: The intern should have taken some courses in chemistry. This individual should be detailed
oriented and would benefit from having previous laboratory experience. Interest in learning chemistry protocols
and instrumental analysis is helpful.

Location: NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Fisheries Science Center,
James J. Howard Marine Sciences Laboratory at Sandy Hook, Ecosystems Processes Division, Marine
Chemistry Branch, Highlands, New Jersey 07732

Intern Supervisor: Beth Sharack

Number of Intern Openings: 1



14. Sea Turtle Nest Monitoring in Rookery Bay NERRs, Naples, FL

Project Description: Located at the northern end of the Ten Thousand Islands on the gulf coast of Florida, the
Rookery Bay Reserve represents one of the few remaining undisturbed mangrove estuaries in North America.
It is home to three species of sea turtle - Kemp’s ridley Lepidochelys kempii) and Atlantic green (Chelonia
midas) turtles are both listed as Endangered species, and the loggerhead (Caretta caretta) is listed as a
Threatened species. The loggerhead is the most common species of sea turtle seen along Reserve beaches.
Rookery Bay Reserve resource management specialists work in cooperation with U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Collier County Natural Resources and the Conservancy of SW Florida to preserve this threatened species.
Reserve staff and volunteers patrol the beaches to locate and cage nests, protecting them from predation by
raccoons. We then document the number of hatched eggs to get a better understanding of nesting success. The
intern will train and supervise volunteers, and monitor nest establishment and hatch rate, contributing to a multi-
year data set on sea turtle nesting and hatching.

Skills Required: Must be competent in basic boating skills including: navigation in estuarine/ocean tidal
setting, basic boat and engine maintenance, and boating safety. Must have a valid driver’s license, be able to
swim, and have basic First-Aid skills. Good field observation and data gathering skills are required, as are good
people skills. You will be working with and training volunteers and must be a TEAM player. Physically able
to work in summer outdoor conditions that include summer heat and humidity, biting insects, and rain. Finally,
GIS and GPS skills are a plus but not required.

Location: Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Naples, FL www.rookerybay.org

Intern Supervisor: Victoria Vazquez, NERRs Research Coordinator

Number of Intern Openings: 1




15. Coastal ecology research supporting ecosystem-based management*

Project description: The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve (Wells NERR) is part of the NOAA NERR
system. Our mission is to support research, education and training programs to support ecosystem-based
restoration and management of estuarine and coastal watershed resources. We are seeking interns (1-3) to work
as research team members during the 2010 field season. We expect earnest interest and appropriate academic
background, but no prior training for these internships. We will be involved in several field and laboratory
research projects (see below). Interns may chose to focus on one or more project, in consultation with Wells
NERR Research staff prior to their arrival. Interns will have opportunities to participate in other projects during
their stay as determined by student interests and project needs. Projects in brief: 1) NOAA Salt Marsh
Restoration Success – ongoing performance evaluation of 5 marshes; 4 restoration and one reference site, with
field collection/ measurements of permanent vegetation plots, ground water wells, soil organic matter, and
transect elevations 2) Nekton Larval Community Dynamics - ongoing monitoring of larval fish and
macroinvertebrate species abundance in the Reserve’s Webhannet River estuary, with weekly large plankton
collections, sample processing, and species identification, 3) Wading Bird Salt Marsh Indicator Survey –
ongoing monitoring of top-predator large wading birds as indicators of salt marsh ecological state; individual
birds (herons, egrets, ibis) are identified and mapped at high tide throughout the Reserve’s salt marshes 2-4
times weekly, 4) Marsh-Estuarine Food Web and Climate Change Interactions – experimental field (e.g. field
enclosures/exclosures) and lab work (e.g. environmental chamber), testing hypotheses regarding the effects of
increased temperature on the movement of energy and mercury through benthic and epibenthic invertebrates
and small fish, 5) Habitat-Mediated Interactions between Native and Invasive Herbivores and Predators –
experimental field work (e.g. field enclosures/exclosures) to measure the influence of salt marsh plant habitat
structure on invasive snail and crab interactions with native marsh fauna (benthic, epibenthic and nektonic
species). We are located on the Southcoast of Maine, between and not far from Portsmouth, NH and Portland,
ME. Our 200-acre campus (including intern housing) is located adjacent to 2000 acres of salt marsh and
estuary (Little, Webhannet, Ogunquit Rivers), that provide many of our study sites.

Opportunity: Interns will become proficient in project-specific field and lab procedures, which may include:
plant, bird, and invertebrate and fish surveys/ collection /identification; sediment and soil core collection and
lab processing; construction of field enclosures/exclosures; use of gps and total survey station instrumentation;
use of water level, salinity, temperature data-loggers; quantitative stereomicroscopy; soil core collection and lab
processing. Interns must be prepared for the modest physical challenges of field work in marsh-estuarine
habitats.

Skills required: No specific skills are required, but experience in collecting and organizing scientific data
would be very helpful. Academic background should be in natural science (i.e. biology, chemistry or allied
discipline).
Location: NOAA/Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve, Wells, Maine.
* Free dormitory housing is provided. Because of this, stipend is prorated to $2,800.

Intern Supervisor: Michele Dionne is first point of contact. Potential supervisors (by project number above) are
Tin Smith (Stewardship Coordinator) – Project # 1; Jeremy Miller (Research Associate) – Project # 2; Sue
Bickford (GIS Specialist and Stewardship Associate) – project # 3; Jen Dijkstra (Post-doctoral Fellow) –
projects # 4,5.

Number of Intern Slots Available: 3