2015 Internship Expectation --- Water Quality Monitoring Assistant
Vermont Agency of Natural Resources – Watershed Management Division
Position Objective: Coordinate and support the work of volunteer river monitoring programs in southeastern Vermont.
Position Period: Beginning mid-May – ending mid-August (earliest) mid-September (preferred) or later if available.
Resources available to intern: office (Springfield, VT), computer, phone, with option of working from home.
Supervision: The intern will be supervised by a VT DEC Watershed Coordinator and Watershed Association (WA) directors and will receive training and gain experience in the following: understanding water quality parameters; monitoring protocols; data management; quality assurance procedures; program coordination and public speaking and presentation skills.
LaRosa Lab Volunteer Training Day – attendance required (mid-May)
Introduction to WQ monitoring and parameters – Watershed Coordinator
Basic water sampling quality control techniques – LaRosa Lab & WA
Conductivity testing – SeVWA Site locations – WA Bacteria testing – CRWC
Working with volunteers – WA Basic GPS waypoint documentation – WA
Detailed Tasks to be Performed:
1) Volunteer recruitment assistance
a) Using information from the watershed associations, promote the programs and recruit volunteer water sample collectors for programs
b) Produce posters and outreach materials for recruitment efforts
2) Volunteer coordination
a) Determine volunteer availability
b) Schedule regular samplers, back-up samplers and assign sites
c) Assist with and provide volunteer training and support
d) Submit pre-submission testing requests and bottle requests to two water quality labs in an appropriate amount of time before those items are needed
e) Prepare and provide supplies to all volunteers prior to sampling dates (bottles, labels, field sheets, Chain of Custody forms, etc.)
f) Record duplicate and blank water sampling assignments for quality control checks
g) Update and maintain a spreadsheet with volunteer contact information
h) Send regular e-mail notices to volunteers regarding upcoming sampling events, results, etc.
3) Pick-up samples at drop-off locations or staff collection rendezvous stations on sampling days
a) Verify completeness of all field sheets
b) Receive samples and monitor sample temperatures
c) Track and document Chain of Custody
d) Conduct conductivity tests as needed
4) Transport samples to labs within required hold times if necessary
a) Potential travel to labs in Greenfield, MA &/or Burlington, VT
b) Deliver samples and Chain of Custody forms to labs and log in
c) Assist with sample processing and analysis as needed
d) Collect equipment and supplies for next sampling dates
e) File field data sheets and Chain of Custody forms in office on return
5) Data input and management
a) Using MS Excel – log in samples, sites, field notes, on-site data (air and water temp’s) and analyzed parameters (e.g. conductivity)
b) Download data from state site, review and transfer to WA databases
c) Receive/download and review E. coli lab results; transfer to WA databases
d) Distribute results to media outlets, partners & volunteers
e) Maintain hard copy files and back-up all electronic work
f) Assist with or perform updates of GIS map of WQMP sites
g) Create graphs for data sets as time allows
6) Provide education and outreach for WA’s as time allows
a) Staff table events
b) Attend association meetings as needed for WQ program
7) Work with WC on WQMP as needed
8) Special project of personal interest if time allows.
Required Skills: Excellent written, verbal and on-line communication; proficiency in MS Excel and Word; on-line data processing; high attention to detail; previous work with volunteers a plus.
Compensation: This is currently an unpaid internship but stipend funding is being sought. Reimbursement for miles traveled in the course of job duties at the current rate per mile. Personal vehicle and internet access required.
Work Schedule: Full days Wednesday and Thursday on alternate weeks for monitoring days beginning June 17. Schedule can be variable at other times.
Expected time commitment: 15 - 25 hrs/week.
Watershed Groups: SeVWA – Southeast Vermont Watershed Alliance; ORG – Ottauquechee River Group; CRWC – Connecticut River Watershed Council.