Part-time Research Internship (unpaid) Summer 2017

  • The Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (WBNERR) in Falmouth, MA (Cape Cod) is one of 28 NERRs around the country whose mission is to promote stewardship of coastal ecosystems through research, education, and outreach. As part of our mission we monitor a number of biological and abiotic parameters: meteorology, water quality and nutrients, various crab and bird populations, and plant community composition. The Reserve strives to provide interns with a wide variety of experiences that can benefit them in pursuing future employment or education. We provide a dynamic atmosphere interacting with staff and visiting scientists located at a historic estate overlooking Waquoit Bay.

WBNERR seeks a research intern with at least two years in undergraduate biology, chemistry, or environmental science. The candidate should be willing and able to help with field and laboratory work.

The summer projects include, but are not limited to: 1) analyzing local water samples in the lab; 2) calibrating water quality and meteorological equipment for field data collection; 3) monitoring salt marsh elevation, plant communities, and crab populations at our NERRS Sentinel Site to track climate change impacts; and 4) managing biomonitoring datasets and conducting preliminary analyses (as needed). 

Laboratory Duties and Tasks (training provided as needed):

  • Filter water samples.
  • Process turbidity/water clarity samples.
  • Acid-wash dishware.
  • Calibrate handheld field equipment.

Field/Data Duties and Tasks:

  • Deploy and retrieve crab traps in the salt marsh (training provided).
  • Conduct crab burrow survey in the salt marsh platform (training provided).
  • Identify salt marsh plants and collect basic stem height and density measurements (training provided).
  • Help maintain and download data logger instruments in the field (training provided).
  • Conduct elevation surveys with Real Time Kinematic GPS device or optical level (training provided).
  • Handle Trimble GPS unit (training provided).
  • Lift heavy (30-50 lbs) field equipment.
  • Assist with boat handling.
  • Enter data in excel and run preliminary analyses (as needed). 

Preferred qualifications: Undergraduate coursework in biological, environmental, or marine science (with lab component); experience with Microsoft Office software; previous fieldwork experience (in salt marsh habitat desired but not required); boat experience highly desirable (must be comfortable on boats); ability to work independently (with oversight) and as part of a team; a strong desire to work outside in sometimes adverse weather conditions for long periods.

Desired timeframe: 12 weeks June through August, with extensions on either end possible (part-time). Preferred hours are 9am-5pm, 2-3 days per week. 

To apply: Please e-mail resume and cover letter to Ms. Jordan Mora, Waquoit Bay NERR Research Associate, at For questions, call (508) 457-0495 x 128.

Laurie Tompkins
Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
P.O. Box 3092
Waquoit, MA 02536
Tel. 508-457-0495 x108