The Association to Preserve Cape Cod (APCC) seeks an intern to assist staff with our Cyanobacteria Monitoring Program. The 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 2021 season (May – October), APCC is partnering with organizations and local officials to monitor ponds in each of the 15 towns on Cape Cod, with a target of 150 ponds monitored across the region.
This is a paid internship with no benefits. The period of performance is from May 17, 2021 through October 29, 2021, but the dates are somewhat flexible. The typical work schedule is 8:30 am to 4:30 pm M-F. The candidate must provide their own transportation and housing. Often the work will include the candidate traveling to and from ponds across the Cape in order to collect water samples for analysis of cyanobacteria. Only candidates with availability through the fall and that have their own vehicle and driver’s license will be considered.
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, in order 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 will be expected to observe these measures.
COVID-19 precautions: APCC has taken steps to protect the health and well-being of its staff and we will do all that we can to provide a safe work environment for the intern as well. While recognizing that the unique nature of the situation we face this year places a strain on everyone, this internship comes with an expectation of a willingness on the part of the intern to work under evolving and challenging circumstances. All interns as well as staff will be 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 COVID-19.
Interested applicants should email a cover letter and a resume to Kevin Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.