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The Middle Eel River Watershed Internship Job Description

Middle Eel River Initiative
Summer 2015 applications are now closed

IndianaThe Middle Eel River Initiative is a three-year comprehensive watershed effort that is funded through Indiana Department of Environmental Management Section 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Program and administered through a cooperative effort of Manchester University (Biology Department and the Environmental Studies Program), Miami, Wabash, and Kosciusko County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The middle Eel River includes that portion of the Eel River from North Manchester, Ind. to Mexico, Ind. in the north central part of the state or 30 miles of the river and associated watershed.  The project includes four major components:

  1. Development of a watershed management plan that will include all elements listed in the State’s Watershed Management Plan Checklist (updated 2003).
  2. Identification of and remediation of high priority nonpoint source pollution sites.
  3. Implementation of a comprehensive stream water quality monitoring program that includes chemical, physical, and biological parameters.
  4. Development of a public outreach program.

Internship Major Responsibilities

The primary responsibilities of the internship will include, but are not limited to, assisting with the implementation of the comprehensive stream water quality monitoring program as outlined in the grant contract. This work will include:
  1. Operation of stream gauge and water sampling equipment
  2. Calibration of stream discharge on tributaries
  3. Collect water samples from gauge stations
  4. Conduct water chemistry on water samples
  5. Assist with fish surveys, mussel surveys, and habitat surveys
  6. Collect and analyze water for E. coli   
  7. Use Geographic Information System (GIS) to plot and analyze spatial data
  8. Prepare reports, and present data at professional meetings
  9. Assist with public outreach program
*Each intern will work closely with Manchester University biology faculty in a “side by side” learning/research environment.

Required Qualifications
  1. Enrolled as a full-time Manchester University biology or environmental studies major/minor
  2. Excellent writing and oral communication skills
  3. Proficient computing skills including word processing and Excel
  4. Working knowledge of watershed issues as they relate to stream water quality and best management practices
  5. Ability to work independently and manage time effectively
  6. Valid driver’s license
  7. Have a strong work ethic
  8. Be enthusiastic

Paired Watershed Research

Similar to the 319 Middle Eel River project, the Paired Watershed Project is trying to determine the best management practice in order to reduce agricultural runoff. The difference between the two is the Paired Watershed is anaylzing two upland tributaries, Beargrass and Pawpaw, while 319's focus is the mainstem river, the Eel. Currently the Paired Watershed is funded by a variety of different agencies but to name a few: Environmental Defense Fund, Corn Market Alliance and Soybean Alliance.

  • Water Chemistry
  • Proficient use in the use of automatic water samplers
  • Hydrology
  • Electrofishing
  • Backpack, Tote Barge, and Boat
  • Fish Identification
  • Be able to identify by site fish species within the river