The Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC) seeks an intern to assist staff with our Cyanobacteria Monitoring Program (https://apcc.org/cyano).
APCC is offering a position that begins in mid-August and ends in mid-November. This is a paid internship with no benefits. The typical work schedule is a 37.5-hour work week over 4-5 days per week with an additional 30 min lunch break each day. The candidate must provide their own transportation and housing. Only candidates that have their own vehicle and driver's license will be considered. Often the work will require the candidate traveling to and from ponds across the Cape to collect water samples for analysis of cyanobacteria.
APCC’s cyanobacteria monitoring program is a Cape-wide initiative to collect and analyze monitoring data on cyanobacteria in freshwater ponds on Cape Cod, and to communicate results to stakeholders and local officials. For the 2023 season, APCC is partnering with organizations and local officials to monitor ponds in each of the 15 towns on Cape Cod, with a target of 140 locations monitored across the region.
Intern tasks will include the following:
- Travelling by car, on foot, and by boat to sampling locations on freshwater ponds on Cape Cod.
- Collecting field data and water samples and transporting samples to APCC’s headquarters in Dennis for processing.
- Processing samples in APCC’s lab, including sample separation and microscopy.
- Using a fluorometer to measure cyanobacteria and algal pigments.
- Recording field and lab data and quality control measures using MS Excel.
- Assisting researchers in the field with cutting edge studies on cyanobacteria using Cape Cod ponds as model systems.
- Assisting APCC staff with coordination and communication with volunteers and program partners to collect and process samples as described above.
- Assisting APCC staff with development of outreach and informational materials including brochures, information sheets, and reports, to summarize and communicate information and data to the community and project partners and to provide immediate updates on potential and active cyanobacteria blooms.
APCC seeks intern applicants with some or all of the following skills, training and/or experience:
- Water quality monitoring, especially related to cyanobacteria, algae and/or nutrient cycling in freshwater ponds.
- Understanding of the field of Limnology: the study of inland waters.
- Coursework in Limnology, Biology, Ecology, Chemistry and/or other sciences related to aquatic systems.
- Experience with microscopes.
- Use of Excel or other software to organize and analyze data.
- Ability to follow defined procedures for sampling, processing and analysis, and to carry out complex laboratory procedures.
- Statistical analysis of environmental monitoring data.
- Familiarity with Cape Cod’s geology, geography, natural history and environment.
- Comfort and safety on, in, and around water including boating, swimming, wading, etc.
- Experience with GIS.
- Excellent communication skills, verbal and written, and experience in preparing clear written reports in MS Word or other word processing software.
Safety Note: This position will require working in close proximity to and with potential exposure to toxin-producing cyanobacteria that may be present in ponds. While mild human exposure generally results in little or no reaction, there is potential for health impacts ranging from mild irritation from skin contact to severe illness and death associated with ingestion of water containing cyanotoxins. By taking proper safety precautions, we do not expect or foresee any negative health impacts from participation in this monitoring program, but all participants should be aware of the potential risks in order to make personal decisions about their level of participation. APCC staff will provide the intern with training in measures to avoid or minimize contact with cyanobacteria while sampling and processing samples. Interns and staff are expected to observe these measures.
COVID-19 precautions: APCC takes steps to protect the health and well-being of its staff. All APCC staff are expected to follow federal, state, and local guidelines and requirements for safe work whether in the field or in the lab, including social distancing, use of face coverings, washing and sanitizing hands, and other measures to avoid the potential for contracting or spreading COVID-19. Staff are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted by the start of employment per APCC employment protocols.