[MARMAM] Marine Environmental Research Institute 2010 Internship

Michelle Berger mberger at meriresearch.org
Thu Mar 4 08:20:32 PST 2010

The Marine Environmental Research Institute (MERI) is recruiting to fill a
Research Internship position for the spring/summer of 2010. This internship
requires a 6-month commitment (minimum), with a possible extension to one

MERI is a non-profit scientific research and education 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 Seals as Sentinels, a long-term
investigation of the impacts of pollutants on northwestern Atlantic harbor
seals and the Blue Hill Bay Coastal Monitoring Project.  MERI collaborates
with Northeast Region Stranding Network in the response to marine mammal
strandings in Downeast Maine.

MERI is located on the Blue Hill Peninsula in a unique coastal ecosystem
bridging mid-coast and Downeast Maine. This rocky coastline is primary
habitat for a rich variety of marine and terrestrial wildlife including bald
eagles, ospreys, seals, porpoises, dolphins and whales. The landscape is
dotted with uninhabited islands, rocky ledges, small fishing villages,
boatyards, and blueberry fields. 

This internship is an excellent opportunity for an individual working toward
a career in environmental health sciences, ecotoxicology, veterinary
medicine, or public health to gain practical experience assisting with a
variety of wildlife research projects and communicating the results to the
scientific community and the public. The ideal candidate will possess a
personal interest in the marine environment, wildlife, and human health, and
will be committed to the mission of the organization. 

Primary Internship Responsibility


This position involves assisting the Research and Monitoring staff with the
implementation of the Seals as Sentinels project, MERI's long-term
investigation of pollutant levels, trends and health effects in stranded and
free-ranging seals and their major prey fish, as well as studies of
pollutant-related disease in domestic animal sentinel species. Primary
responsibilities include assisting in marine mammal stranding response,
necropsies, sample collection and sample processing, storage, and shipping;
performing literature searches, data interpretation, and science
communication. Additional duties assisting with a new pinniped monitoring
survey, photo-documentation, and community outreach.


Internship Description: 

*        Assist with response to marine mammal strandings: travel to
stranding locations, assess animal condition; work with MERI's stranding
specialist to report strandings to the network

*        Assist with necropsy of stranded marine mammals in the field and in
the MERI laboratory; perform tissue collection from stranded animals for
toxicology studies; process and store tissue samples in the MERI Tissue Bank

*        Assist with collection of tissues and health assessment data from
veterinarians for studies of pollutant-related hyperthyroid disease in
domestic animal sentinel species  

*        Prepare samples for shipment, maintain chain-of-custody
documentation for samples

*        Assist with the pilot phase of a boat and aerial survey of harbor
and gray seals in Blue Hill Bay

*        Communicate with cooperating network organizations, veterinarians,
and laboratories to ensure compliance with sampling protocols

*        Assist with literature surveys, enter references into Endnote,
compile articles relevant to preparation of publications and reports

*        Photo-document research and monitoring activities for web-available
reports and lectures; contribute to the MERI image library

*        Create Power Point presentations and perform other tasks related to
science communication and preparation of publications and reports

*        Assist the Education department with mentoring and training of
young scientists

*        Pitch in, as all employees do, to help with MERI events, lectures,
and programs and activities as needed


Reports to: Senior Research Assistant and MERI Director



Applicants should possess a BA or BS degree in environmental health
sciences, ecotoxicology, veterinary medicine, wildlife biology, or related
field. Applicants should be well-organized and detail oriented.  Experience
collecting, processing and documenting biologic samples according to
standard protocols is required. Experience with sick or injured animals,
working in a veterinary clinic, or performing animal necropsies is a plus.
Experience handling small to medium-size boats in marine waters is highly


Knowledge of computer software including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel,
and digital photography is required. Experience with statistics (SPSS),
Endnote, and graphics software is highly desirable. As this position
requires some local travel, applicants must possess (or be able to obtain) a
valid U.S. driver's license and have a good driving record. Applicants must
be available to work occasional nights, weekends, and holidays as needed.
This position requires physical activity and applicant should be able to
lift up to 40 lbs and maintain balance while walking on uneven terrain
(island ledges) and on small boats. 


Time Requirements: This position requires a 6-month commitment (minimum)
from approximately April to October 2010 (start and end dates are somewhat
flexible). Upon a satisfactory review, the internship may be extended up to
one year. Full-time hours (40 hours/week); additional hours to be agreed
upon by intern and the Director. 


Compensation: Stipend and shared housing in Blue Hill, Maine. Housing is
within walking distance to the Marine Environmental Research Institute.
Interns are responsible for all travel expenses, food, and visa arrangements
if applicable.


To Apply:
If you are interested in applying for this position, please submit a cover
letter outlining your experience, CV, a relevant writing sample, and three
references to: 

Michelle Berger, Senior Research Assistant, mberger at meriresearch.org

Marine Environmental Research Institute (MERI)
PO Box 1652, 55 Main Street
Blue Hill, ME 04614
Website:. <http://www.meriresearch.org/> www.meriresearch.org

MERI is an Equal Opportunity Employer



Michelle Berger

Senior Research Assistant

Marine Environmental Research Institute (MERI)

P.O. Box 1652

Blue Hill, ME 04614

(207) 374-8980


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