Student Opportunity Announcements

Blue Hill Bay Microplastics Monitoring Intern

The Marine Environmental Research Institute
(MERI), a nonprofit organization based in Blue Hill, Maine, is recruiting to
fill a Microplastics Monitoring Internship position for the field season 2014.
This is a full-time position requiring a 6-month commitment from May through
October. MERI is a scientific research organization
dedicated to understanding the impacts of environmental pollutants on wildlife
and human health, and to interpreting this information to a broad audience.
Current projects include a marine coastal monitoring initiative, an expanding
microplastics monitoring program (local and international), sediment pH studies
and invasive species surveys.This is an excellent opportunity for an
individual working toward a career in coastal marine ecology, marine debris
management, natural resource sciences, or environmental policy to gain
practical experience in the field and in the lab. The ideal candidate will
possess a personal interest in marine pollution and ecosystem monitoring and a
commitment to the mission of the organization. 

Primary Job Responsibility

This position will involve assisting the
Research Department with the implementation of the Blue Hill Bay Microplastics
Monitoring Project. Primary responsibilities will include water sample
processing in the laboratory, microplastic identification and counting, upholding
a contamination-free laboratory, field sampling, data entry and basic data
analysis. The candidate will possess a serious attention to detail and be
highly organized.  The candidate will be
responsible for properly cataloging water samples from local volunteers,
long-term research, and international efforts (1000+ samples) and maintaining
order in a high sample volume laboratory. Additional duties may include
assisting with research outreach activities.

Job Description:

  1. Process
    incoming 1-liter water samples using a vacuum pump filtration system
  2. Organize
    samples pre and post filtration
  3. Maintain
    microplastic excel database
  4. Analyze
    results for monitoring weekly blog
  5. Photograph
    and catalogue samples
  6. Collection
    and extraction of microplastics for polymer characterization/analysis
  7. Assist with data entry, updating field logs and lab
  8. Time: 60
    % microscope, 25% sample processing, 15% field
  9. Weekly
    compilation of microplastic media items and endnote article update


Applicants should possess a BS or MS degree in
marine ecology, environmental sciences, marine biology, organic chemistry, conservation
biology or a related major. Marine field and laboratory experience are
required. Experience with following laboratory QA/QC and familiarity with
compound and dissection microscopes a must. 
Applicants need to be able to work outside in a variety of environmental
conditions. They must also be comfortable working on and near the water,
working alone as well as with other research staff and general public.  Must be available to work occasional nights
(meetings and lecture series), weekends, and holidays as needed. 

Knowledge of computer software including
Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel is required; photography, statistics
(SPSS), Microsoft Access, EndNote, ArcGIS and graphics experience is desirable.
Knowledge of plastic legislation and marine debris is recommended. Applicant
must possess a valid driver’s license and a good driving record. Only US
citizens should apply. Position requires some physical activity and applicant
should be able to lift up to 40 lbs, walk carrying fragile equipment on uneven

Reports to:Coastal Monitoring Coordinator 

Time Requirements: May - October (Flexible start) Full-time (40 hours/week);
additional hours to be agreed upon by employee and Director. Compensation: Stipend and shared housing in Blue Hill, Maine. Housing is within
walking distance to Marine Environmental Research Institute. Interns are
responsible for all travel expenses and food.

To Apply:If you are interested in applying for this
position, please state where you found the internship posting and submit a
cover letter, resume, three references with the subject line “Microplastics Monitoring Internship” by
April 1st to: 

  • Abby Barrows, Coastal Monitoring Coordinator at 

    Please, no phone calls. 

    Marine Environmental Research Institute

    PO Box 1652, 55 Main Street

    Blue Hill, ME 04614


    MERI is an Equal Opportunity Employer