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Job Type: part-time temporary position
Posting Date: 7 Feb 14
Closing Date: 16 Mar 14
About the Wells Reserve at Laudholm:
The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve is one of 28 protected areas throughout the nation dedicated to practicing and promoting coastal and estuarine stewardship through innovative research and education programs. The Reserves are a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the coastal states. The Wells Reserve encompasses 2,250 acres along the southern coast of Maine. It has seven miles of trails that take visitors through diverse habitats, which are home to a variety of wildlife including several endangered species. The Visitor Center, Coastal Ecology Center, and Michele Dionne Research Laboratory are housed in a cluster of restored 19th century farm buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Laudholm Trust – the Wells Reserve’s non-profit partner – spearheaded the effort to save this historic site and create Maine’s only National Estuarine Research Reserve.
The Wells Reserve offers excellent opportunities for students to learn and grow professionally and academically through a number internships that involve hands-on field and laboratory coastal science studies. Activities in Summer 2014 include a mixture of projects that focus on fish restoration, salt marsh geomorphology, water-quality monitoring, wading shore birds, marine and terrestrial invasive species, and early-successional habitat improvement. Please see below for more detailed project descriptions of what we’ll be working on in Summer 2014.
Work in the field can involve early mornings, and long, hot, muddy, and buggy days in the field. Lab work may include sample processing, microscope work, and data entry and management. Interns will also assist with other projects depending on skills and interest and as needed by the Research Department.
• Minimum one year completed towards an undergraduate degree in biology, marine biology, environmental science, geology, geographic information science, or a related field.
• Enjoy working outdoors.
Desired Skills & Abilities:
• 2 or more years completed towards an undergraduate degree in biology, marine biology, environmental science, geology, geographic information science, or a related field.
• Knowledge of northeastern coastal systems, especially salt marshes.
• Proven ability to work independently and as part of a team.
• Upbeat, positive attitude and flexibility.
• Strong work ethic.
• Valid driver’s license with a clean driving record
Paid Interns have a full-time, 10 week commitment from June 1-August 15. Unpaid Interns must sign a Volunteer Agreement with the Wells Reserve that outlines their time commitment (negotiable on an individual basis).
Compensation for paid interns is $8 per hour, plus free (and optional) shared housing at Alheim Commons, the Wells Reserve’s on-site dormitory. Volunteer interns are not paid, but are also eligible for free housing at Alheim Commons with at least a 20 hour per week commitment. Both paid and unpaid internships offer people opportunities to learn from professionals in environmental science and stewardship fields.
If you are a college student attending one of the colleges or universities listed below, you are eligible to apply for these same internships (and get paid), through NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Internship Opportunities. Students apply through their school and deadlines vary by school (typically, around March 7). For more information, visit:
Amherst College Bates College Clark University
Duke University Grinnell College Hampshire College
Hartwick College Holy Cross Mount Holyoke College
Middlebury College Smith College University of North Carolina
University of Massachusetts-Amherst Vassar College
Wells Reserve Summer 2014 Research Projects
1. Nekton Larval Community Dynamics – Students will work on an ongoing monitoring project of larval fish and macroinvertebrate species abundance in the Reserve’s Webhannet River estuary, with weekly plankton collections, sample processing, and species identification.
2. Wading Bird Salt Marsh Indicator Survey – Students will work on an ongoing monitoring study of top-predator wading birds as indicators of salt marsh ecological health; individual birds (herons, egrets, ibis) are identified and mapped at high tide throughout the Reserve’s salt marshes, 2-4 times weekly.
3. Marine Invasive Species Monitoring- Students will participate in ongoing monitoring of marine Invasive species as part of the Marine Invader Monitoring and Information Collaborative (MIMIC). Monthly sampling at three distinct habitat types; Rocky Intertidal, Docks, and tidepools, for Presence and Abundance of 24 targeted marine invasive species.
4. Effects of the Invasive Green Crab on Salt Marsh Geomorphology- Students will participate in research addressing the impacts of the invasive European Green Crab in two Maine estuaries. We will assess crab populations through a variety of sampling methods (traps, Fyke Nets, etc.) while accessing the impacts of crab burrowing and feeding on salt marsh erosion.
5. Groundwater Hydrology and Marsh Geomorphology- Students will assist in research and monitoring to investigate groundwater processes and their effects on salt marsh erosion/accretion.
6. Land-Use Classification and Habitat Mapping and Change- The reserve is looking for a student with experience and interest in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to work with our GIS special to assist in a Habitat Mapping and Change initiative, as well as a number of spatial analysis projects in support of our research and monitoring activities.
7. Assessing Diadromous Species Population Structure and Movement- Students will work with WNERR researchers to identify diadromous fish species utilizing the Branch Brook estuary as a migratory pathway during spring and summer spawning periods, track anadromous life history through isotopic analysis, and track the movements of select species through the use of Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tagging.
8. Community-Based Water Quality Monitoring- Students will work with WNERR staff and community volunteers to collect water quality measurements in the Mousam and Kennebunk Rivers as part of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection Volunteer River Monitoring Program.
Thank you for your interest in working at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve!
Contact Information:To Apply:
Please send a resume, cover letter that details your qualifications, skills and interests and indicates whether you are applying for a paid or unpaid internship, and contact information for two references, in one document (pdf preferred) to: Kristin Wilson, Research Director, Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please put “Summer 2014 Research Internship” as the subject line of your email. Application deadline is March 15, 2013. Interviews and hiring decisions will be made the week of April 1st. Paid internships will depend on the availability of funding.
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