Marine Research Internship II

The Marine & Environmental Research Institute (MERI) is filling a Marine Research Internship II position for the 2017 summer-fall season. This is a full-time position requiring a 6-month commitment from June through November (flexible start date).

Organization: Marine & Environmental Research Institute (MERI), Center for Environmental Studies. Location: Blue Hill, Maine; coastal village approx. three hours north of Portland and one hour south of Bar Harbor.

Overview of MERI

The Marine & Environmental Research Institute (MERI) is a nonprofit scientific organization dedicated to protecting wildlife and people from the harmful impacts of toxic chemicals. The Institute investigates the environmental causes of disease and inspires solutions to pressing environmental issues. Priority areas include: microplastics in the ocean food web; toxic contaminants in top ocean predators (marine mammals and fish), and coastal monitoring in the Gulf of Maine. To learn more about our work, visit <>.

This internship is an excellent opportunity for an individual working toward a career in marine biology, environmental chemistry, ecotoxicology, coastal ecology, environmental health sciences, or a related field to gain practical experience in the field and in the laboratory. The ideal candidate will possess a personal interest in environmental research and a commitment to the mission of the organization.

Job Description

The primary focus of this internship is a laboratory-based investigation of the bioaccumulation of microplastics in the tissues of blue mussels (Mytilus edulis). The successful candidate must be a highly meticulous and detail-oriented person with prior lab experience. This project is part of a high-profile, multi-institute collaborative study. The intern will also assist the MERI Research Department with its coastal monitoring program that includes tracking bacteria at local swimming beaches, identification of harmful algal blooms, and monitoring ocean warming and acidification. On occasion, the intern may assist the team in the response to marine mammal strandings in the region.

Specific Duties

=C2=B7       Perform laboratory assays following established standard operating procedures and protocols including mussel tissue digestion and the occasional processing and archiving of marine mammal tissues

=C2=B7       Perform extensive microplastic counts under a compound microscope

=C2=B7       Manage and analyze large multi-variable data sets and produce reliable summary statistics

=C2=B7       Safely handle and properly dispose of laboratory chemicals

=C2=B7       Collect water and tissue samples from shore and the MERI research vessel at sites in the greater Blue Hill Bay

=C2=B7       Safely operate and maintain all field and lab equipment including a multiparameter YSI EXO2 Datasonde

=C2=B7       Assist with data entry, and updating of laboratory records, logs, and inventories

=C2=B7       Prepare summaries, reports, fact sheets, and assist with research presentations

=C2=B7       Conduct literature searches, develop background information, and communicate and promote MERI=E2=80=99s research and mission to the public

=C2=B7       Give a presentation to MERI staff on your research at the end of your internship

=C2=B7       Assist with marine mammal stranding response and other projects as needed

=C2=B7       Assist with MERI events including the environmental lecture series and other duties relating to the organization’s goals and mission as required

Reports to: Marine Research Coordinator


Applicants should possess a BA or BS degree in marine biology, environmental chemistry, ecotoxicology, coastal ecology, environmental conservation, or a related major. Basic knowledge of statistics, database management, and standard laboratory safety and operating procedures is required. Applicants must also be able to work outside in a variety of environmental conditions, be willing to get dirty, muddy, and wet, be hands-on with a variety of organisms, and be comfortable working on a marine research vessel. The ability to think critically and work independently are a must.

Knowledge of computer software including Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel required. Proficiency in photography/film, graphics, ArcGIS, and statistics (SPSS) software is desirable. Applicant must possess a valid driver=E2=80=99s license and good driving record, and be available to work occasional nights and weekends as needed. Only US citizens or lawful permanent residents should apply. Position requires some physical activity and applicant should be able to lift up to 40 lbs.

Time Requirements:

June – November (Flexible start) Full-time (40 hours/week); additional hours to be agreed upon by employee and Director.


Stipend and shared housing in Blue Hill, Maine. Housing is within walking distance to the Institute. Interns are responsible for all travel expenses and food.


If you are interested in applying for this position, please submit a cover letter outlining your experience, career objectives, and why you are interested in an internship at MERI along with your resume/CV and three references to:

Madelyn Woods, Marine Research Coordinator, at <>. Indicate =E2=80=9CMarine Research Internship II, NAME=E2=80=9D in the subject line of your email.

Marine & Environmental Research Institute (MERI)

PO Box 1652, 55 Main Street, Blue Hill, ME 04614

Website: <>

MERI is an Equal Opportunity Employer