UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station Summer Internship Program (Closed for 2019)
This internship program is intended to give undergraduate students at UF an opportunity for real-world experience in research and/or extension activities. Selected students will work alongside practicing researchers and natural resource managers. These internships are six weeks, from early May to Mid-August (depending on host needs), and interns are paid $12.00 per hour for 40 hours a week. The hosts include UF/IFAS faculty as well as state and federal agency partners. Interns will participate in an orientation meeting with NCBS staff and hosts, as well as a summer wrap up workshop where interns will summarize their experiences. This is a great opportunity for students to enhance their skill sets and explore career options in natural resource fields. Application materials and host information for the 2019 program are found below. These internships are open to current undergraduates and recent graduates (within the past year) from the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Florida. To see more information on our previous Interns and their experiences, go see our blog.
2020 Internship Descriptions will be posted below in early February.
Applications Due: March 2nd, 2020 (tentative)
Candidates will be Notified: TBA
Intern Orientation for Selected Candidates: TBA
Please send a CV and contact information for three references in a single PDF file to Emily Colson at email@example.com. The CV should include GPA and Transcript as well as details of experience and skills relevant to the position. Multiple files from applicants will not be reviewed, and applications will be reviewed by a committee of UF faculty and hosts.
You must also include your top three internship choices. (See list below)
2019 Internship Projects
Host: Darlene Velez, Water Resources Program Manager, SRWMD
Responsibilities: This is a scientific research internship involving the collection and review of water quantity and quality data and assistance with water resources projects in the Suwannee River Basin and Big Bend area. The selected candidate will work alongside District staff and receive hands-on experience calibrating and maintaining water quality and quantity equipment, taking flow measurements, collecting water quality samples, post-processing data, reviewing and quality control of data, and using ArcGIS and Excel to visually display data in a meaningful way.
Spring Flow and Water Quality Assessment
This project entails using flow meters and water quality sondes to assess flow and water quality of springs within the District boundaries as part of a larger monitoring network.
Coastal Spring Water Quality and Quantity Assessment
This project entails locating, documenting, and assessing springs along the west coast of Florida from Jefferson County to Levy County. Water quality grab samples and flow measurement will be collected.
Other Day-to-Day Tasks:
• Review of water quantity and quality data
• Maintenance of digital and paper records and files (scanning, editing, organizing)
• Calibrating and maintaining water quantity and quality instruments
• Assisting other staff as needed
Minimum Qualifications: Basic computer skills and ability to work full days (8am-5pm) and some long field days (7am- 7pm) are required. Knowledge of GIS and analytical and data management experience are preferred. Good written and oral communication skills and the ability to work within a team are necessary. This position will be approximately 50% office and lab work needed the ability to sit at a computer several hours in a row, 50% field work assisting staff in remote and undeveloped areas. This will include working up to 12 hour days, being in and around water, on motorized boat or airboat, and occasionally in areas where there may be exposure to adverse weather conditions, biting/ stinging insects and ticks, poisonous plants, venomous snakes and other wildlife.
Other Information:This position is based in Live Oak, FL at the SRWMD office. Subsidized vanpool options are available from Gainesville and High Springs, FL.
Project Title: Sea-level rise mediated Phragmites australis invasion in Juncus roemerianus dominated saltmarsh of the Gulf of Mexico, FL.
Hosts: Primary supervisor: Dr. Carrie Reinhardt Adams, Associate Professor, Environmental Horticulture Department. Day-to-day supervisors: Leah Cobb Lee, PhD graduate fellow, Stephanie Verhulst PhD graduate student, Christine Rohal, postdoctoral researcher.
Start date: May 6, 2019, negotiable
General duties and responsibilities for the intern:
Clearly salt marsh plant communities respond to hydrologic modification, including salinity intrusion; a deeper understanding of this response can guide restoration and habitat management efforts. The intern will assist with greenhouse mesocosm experiments related to plant interactions along a salinity gradient, as well as fieldwork to support observations of herbaceous plant communities. Daily work will include: 1) in the greenhouse: non-destructive measurement of plant response, assistance with biomass harvest at the end of experiments, and 2) in the field: plant tissue collection, measurement of plant trait characteristics, salinity sampling for surface and pore water. The student will develop an individual project, potentially involving competitive relationships between the native Spartina alterniflora and the invasive Phragmites australis. Duties associated with ongoing work would be required and will offer exposure to a range of experimental designs.
Working in uncomfortable (hot, humid, muddy) conditions, as well as long days (leaving Gainesville at 7am, returning at 5pm) is required. Physically strenuous work (long walks, lifting heavy pots) will occasionally be needed. Infrequently, night/weekend work may be required.
Minimum qualifications: proficiency in MS Excel, attention to detail, and willingness to ask questions. Preferred skills include: basic water sampling experience, basic statistics
Other information: The position is based in Gainesville, and transportation will be provided for travel from Gainesville when needed. Hours range from 20-40 hours/week. For more information, please contact Carrie Adams firstname.lastname@example.org.
Host - Tim Jones
Job Description: St. Martins Marsh and Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserves span over 950,000 acres of state managed submerged land of the Big Bend of Florida. Staff work diligently to conserve the natural resources within these boundaries through various programs and partnerships year-round. We are seeking an intern to assist with these programs during the 2019 summer season. Program examples include but are not limited to: Seagrass monitoring using the Braun-Blanquet cover scale, cultural resource assessments, water quality monitoring/sample collections and education and outreach events.
• Daily Duties: opening of the facility, feeding display specimens, prep of necessary equipment for field tasks
• Field Duties: Scoring of 4 quadrats at 125 fixed seagrass (and macro algae) monitoring sites throughout the Big Bend; Various water quality monitoring techniques including in field surface water sampling, fixed station YSI monitoring locations, etc; Assist staff at educational hands-on events (manning of touch tanks); working to assess AP’s cultural resources; as well as equipment maintenance and various other tasks as they arise.
• Ability to swim and use snorkel gear safely (Snorkel gear is NOT provided, must provide own)
• Comfortable working in extreme weather conditions (examples but not limited to: long periods exposed to Florida heat and sun; weather events like rainstorms, etc.) and long days, sometimes exceeding 8 hours
• Strong communication skills with the ability to work as part of a team, as well as individually
• Related environmental experience or coursework is preferred but not required
• Experience with vessels – trailering/towing preferred but not required
• Valid Florida driver’s license
Host - Caleb Purtlebaugh
Job Description: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s (FWRI) Fisheries-Independent Monitoring (FIM) program is a long-term program designed to monitor the relative abundance of fishery resources in Florida’s major estuarine, coastal, and reef systems. The program was developed to: 1) address the critical need for effective assessment techniques for an array of species and sizes of fishes and selected invertebrates; 2) provide timely information for use in management plans; and 3) monitor trends in the relative abundance of taxa in a variety of estuarine and marine systems throughout Florida.
Responsibilities: The FIM program uses a multi-gear approach to collect data on various life history stages of fishes and selected invertebrates from a wide variety of estuarine habitats. Gears used to collect estuarine fishes include: 21.3-m center bag seine; 6.1-m otter trawl; and a 183-m haul seine. Offshore data collections include use of: side scan sonar; hooked gears; and underwater cameras. This research position is located at FWC’s Senator George Kirkpatrick Marine Lab in Cedar Key, FL. The researcher will assist in all aspects of a Fisheries-Independent Monitoring program with emphasis on directing and executing statistically valid research experiments and surveys in estuarine and offshore waters on various sized boats to evaluate relative fish stock abundance, age composition, movement, growth, and condition of fish populations. Data collection may require strenuous physical activities. Field work may be done under arduous conditions (e.g. inclement weather, rough seas, and shoreline wading. This position will require that large fish be safely handled. Travel and multiple days (2-4 days) at sea on a vessel less than 60’ in length may be required. Field and office work will primarily be during weekdays, although occasional weekend travel may be required for offshore sampling.
Other Information: Personal transportation to the Senator George Kirkpatrick Marine Lab will be required, but not for travel related to field work. Housing is not provided, unless overnight stay is required for offshore sampling.
Host: Charles Martin, Research Assistant Professor, UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station
Start Date: June 1, but flexible.
Responsibilities: We seek an intern(s) to work in the Estuarine Ecology Lab at the Nature Coast Biological Station on a wide variety of projects related to coastal ecology in the nearshore environments of the Gulf of Mexico, particularly in the Nature Coast region. Projects and responsibilities will vary but include field sampling of fishes and invertebrates; quantitative assessments of environmental parameters and habitats such as seagrass, oyster, and mangroves; laboratory experiments on nekton ecology and behavior; and other day-to-day tasks including sample identification, sample processing, data entry, and assisting other staff as needed. The selected intern(s) will work with a variety of lab personnel including the technicians and graduate students. Field work will be performed on small boats and interns will be required to participate heavily in field-based activities which are often characterized by long hours outdoors and potentially arduous conditions such as extreme heat in the Florida summer, biting insects, and inclement weather. The position is located at the Nature Coast Biological Station and, while no transportation costs are covered, carpooling opportunities may be available. Depending on funding availability, we anticipate hiring 1-3 candidates for this internship.
Qualifications: The applicant must have reliable transportation and valid driver’s license as well as an interest in marine community ecology and the ability to work both collaboratively and independently. Job responsibilities will include possible night and weekend work and some moderate-heavily lifting. Basic computer skills and ability to work full time with long field days are required. Good written and oral communication skills and the ability to work within a team are necessary.
Other Information: Preferred applicants will have some experience with identification of invertebrates and fishes of Florida’s Big Bend or previous experience using dichotomous keys. Relevant coursework in ecology/marine biology and previous experience with small watercraft is preferred, but not required. This position is based at the UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station in Cedar Key, FL.
Hosts: Dr. Mike S. Allen, NCBS Director, and Samara Nehemiah, Graduate Research Assistant
Start Date: Negotiable, six-week total internship between May and August.
Responsibilities: This intern will help with a project that is estimating the age and growth of Spotted Seatrout in Cedar Key, Florida. The work will include collection of spotted seatrout from local fishing guides, processing of otoliths (ear bones) for determining fish age, data entry and field collections.
Qualifications: Interns should be undergraduates in IFAS, pursuing a degree in natural resource fields (fisheries, wildlife, ecology, etc.)
Other Information: This position would work in Cedar Key, Florida for a total of six weeks. Travel stipend up to $500 is available, and carpooling will be feasible on some days. The position will include a combination of field and lab work, but no special equipment is required. The intern may also contribute to a variety of ongoing research projects at the Nature Coast Biological Station.
Hosts: Dr Paul Tallie (post Doc), Dr. Bob McCleery(Associate Professor)
Start Date: Mid May
Responsibilities: The federally endangered Cedar Key salt marsh vole is possibly the least understood endangered mammal in North America. Inters will be helping to determine the possible extent of the population: Working from St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge south to Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge. Interns will be part of a team conducting camera work in the marsh to find the vole. Field work will include, camera trapping, vegetation sampling and analyzing and organizing camera trap data, and equipment and database management.
Qualifications: Pursuing a degree in a biological field within IFAS, a strong work ethic and passion for field work
Other information: Based at Lower Suwanee refuge. Housing at bunk house provided.
Hosts – Peter Frederick and Leslie Sturmer
Responsibilities: Daily Duties vary with type of work. This position will be based in Gainesville Florida at UF’s maincampus, butwill involve considerable field work in and around Cedar Key. Work will be associated with 1) projects on aquaculture research involving wet lab and office work, field aquaculture plants and harvest and data collection, and 2) oyster reef restoration and its effects, including data entry and management, sample processing, and assisting graduate students with field studies.
Field Duties: This position will be based in Gainesville, but the intern will frequently be accompanying project staff to fieldsites, ortravelling to Cedar Key for aquaculture work.
- Ability to swim and work in water and muddy conditions.
- Comfortable working in extreme weather conditions (examples but not limited to: long periods exposed to Florida heat and sun; weather events like rainstorms, etc.) and long days, sometimes exceeding 8 hours
- Strong communication skills with the ability to work as part of a team, as well as individually
- Related environmental experience or coursework is preferred but not required
- Experience with vessels – trailering/towing preferred but not required
- Valid Florida driver’s license
Start Date: No later than May 30th