U.S. nationals: Oyster Aquaculture Water Quality Internship

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Narragansett, RI, US


*Applications may be reviewed on a rolling-basis and this posting could close before the deadline. Click here for information about the selection process.

EPA Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is available at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Research and Development (ORD), Center for Environmental Measurement and Modeling (CEMM), Atlantic Coastal Environmental Sciences Division (ACESD) located in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

Research Project: The research participant will have the opportunity to be involved in research investigating the benefits to water quality from oyster aquaculture operations in southern New England. Specifically, this research will focus on understanding the biology of  improvements in water clarity through oyster filter feeding, and the human dimensions of these improvements in water quality to provide ecosystem services in selected estuaries in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The research participant may develop and apply quantitative, and/or qualitative approaches to support enhancing aquaculture operations to achieve stated water quality goals. The reseach participant will have the opportunity to collaborate with ecologists and economists to produce transferable and scalable social, economic, and ecological values and methods.

With guidance from their mentor, the research participant will have the opportunity to be involved in field experiments and laboratory analyses, developing, managing, and analyzing complex datasets; engaging aquaculturalists and other stakeholders, and analyzing and reporting on participatory research efforts; collaborating on scientific writing or presentations; and implementing case study evaluations of aquaculture operations. This is an opportunity to learn about the ecological and social impacts of aquaculture efforts in southern New England and to apply data from multiple disciplines for improving decision making.

Learning Objectives: The research participant will have the opportunity to learn through interactions with individuals and teams working on other cross-cutting human/environment projects at AED and other EPA divisions. With guidance from the mentor, the research participant will have latitude in exercising independent initiative and judgment in the research commensurate with the level of training. The research participant will have opportunity to collaborate with EPA Regions, researchers, states, and local stakeholders to improve EPA’s abilities in generating and translating decision-relevant ecological and social data to end-users.

The research participant will have the opportunity to attend research team meetings and be involved in all aspects of the research. This may include active engagement with stakeholders regarding applications of the research. There will be opportunities to develop and conduct projects within the overall research program, and to publish and present research.

Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Suzanne Ayvazian ([email protected]). If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: September 2020.  All start dates are flexible and vary depending on numerous factors. Click here for detailed information about start dates.

Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for one year and may be renewed up to three additional years upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding.

Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.

Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. Click here for detailed information about full-time stipends.

EPA Security Clearance: Completion of a successful background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is required for an applicant to be on-boarded at EPA.

ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and EPA. Participants do not become employees of EPA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

Questions: Please see the FAQ section of our website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email [email protected] and include the reference code for this opportunity.


The qualified candidate should have received a bachelor’s degree in one of the relevant fields, or be currently pursuing the degree and will reach completion by the appointment start date. Degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred skills:
  • Marine field experience and quantitative laboratory skills
  • Qualitative and quantitative data management and analysis, including: creating and maintaining Excel spreadsheets, statistical analysis and scripting using R
  • Strong writing skills and data record keeping
  • Prior experience in working with aquaculturalists and shellfish
Eligibility Requirements
  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Bachelor’s Degree received within the last 60 months or anticipated to be received by 9/30/2020 11:59:00 PM.
  • Discipline(s):
    • Earth and Geosciences (23 )
    • Environmental and Marine Sciences (13 )
    • Life Health and Medical Sciences (47 )
  • Veteran Status: Veterans Preference, degree received within the last 120 month(s).





You ad could be here!