Water Resources Interns

Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG)

Washington, DC, United States 🇺🇸


The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) has an immediate opening for up to two Interns. Candidates with previous field sampling experience will be strongly considered for the position. The Intern(s) will work closely with project managers to perform the Anacostia Trash surveys. The Intern(s) will also collect biological and geomorphic data in streams throughout the District of Columbia and the Anacostia watershed as well as, conduct other field data collections (e.g., vegetation surveys, water quality sampling, etc.). Other responsibilities will include data entry and data entry validation. Applicants should be dependable, hardworking in both field and office environments; highly organized, independent and self-motivated with strong research and writing skills. A reliable means of personal transportation is a must. Applicants can expect flexible scheduling, with up to 40 hours per week.


  • Performing the Anacostia stream trash survey protocols;
  • Performing fish and macroinvertebrate surveys using MBSS protocols;
  • Performing geomorphic stream channel cross-section measurements using professional grade surveying equipment;
  • Performing limited riparian vegetation surveys;
  • Performing baseflow measurements using a flow meter;
  • Performing instantaneous water quality measurements using a variety of electronic meters;
  • Performing reforestation site evaluation, planting and site maintenance;
  • Performing baseflow and stormflow water quality grab sampling;
  • Performing limited GIS cartography-related tasks;
  • Performing data entry into spreadsheets and databases;
  • Taking notes at meetings and assisting with written meeting summaries;

Required Skills

The position requires experience with field surveying techniques (fish, macroinvertebrates, or vegetation); a good understanding of urban watershed hydrology; a good knowledge of research techniques; and the ability to speak and write effectively. Applicants should have a good knowledge of the fish, macroinvertebrates, and vegetation found in the Mid-Atlantic region. This position demands an individual who works well both independently and in a team environment and who can stay on schedule and meet deadlines. A reliable means of personal transportation is also required. Basic level experience with water quality monitoring equipment and ESRI ArcMap (and its associated ArcToolbox) are a plus.

Minimum Qualifications

Applicant should be enrolled or have received a degree in the environmental, planning, natural sciences or related field. Specific training in the MBSS protocols, course work and/or experience with water quality monitoring and related water quality/resources issues are desired.  Intern must have strong quantitative, oral communication and technical writing skills and be proficient in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Internet navigation.  Database software (e.g., Access) and/or GIS applications experience is also desirable.  Field work requires the willingness and ability to work in a variety of outdoor settings/temperatures and occasionally in inclement weather on uneven terrain/irregular surfaces.