COAST Student Internships Summer 2013

PCEC Environmental Toxicology Internship

Host: Pacific Coast Environmental Conservancy (PCEC;
PCEC is dedicated to the protection and sustainability of the unique Pacific coast environments, and promotes science-based understanding, solutions and education relating to modern concerns facing this unique region. PCEC promotes an integrative “systems” approach to understanding environmental impacts by assessing environmental effects on organism responses to determine the nature of the impact and possible mitigation strategies. PCEC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization established in 2008.

Location: Long Beach

Internship Dates: June 1– August 31 2013; start and end dates flexible with regard to student’s academic commitments

Stipend: $3,000.00

Time Commitment: The intern must complete a minimum of 300 hours to receive the full stipend. Ideally, the intern will work 30 hours per week for 10 weeks, plus some weekends. The intern is allowed to volunteer an additional 10 hours per week.

Position Description and Responsibilities: Two (2) internships are available at the Pacific Coast Environmental Conservancy in Long Beach, CA. The interns will participate in two ongoing environmental studies: 1) investigating local marine environments impacted by human activity and assessing how restoration processes affect the environmental health of resident organisms; and 2) endocrine disruption as a result of large scale human impact. Through both of these projects, the intern will work side by side with professional researchers and biologists. Fieldwork includes collecting and processing samples, including blood and various tissues, on a marine vessel or via beach seining at various field locations that are part of ongoing projects. The interns will also be responsible for collecting and organizing data during sample collection and processing. The interns will also participate in the analyses of samples in lab via Enzyme Immuno-Assays, proteomic analysis, chemical analysis and data entry of all samples. The interns will be required to finish all duties and responsibilities given to them and may be requested to present the results of their work to a panel of biologists overseeing the project.

Preferred Experience and Capabilities: Experience with Microsoft Excel, Sigmaplot and/or Sigmastat. Experience in data collection and organization is a plus, but not required. Basic knowledge of marine biology and physiology is preferred but not required. Previous lab experience is also preferred but not required. The intern must be capable of communicating in a professional manner with others.

Skills Gained: The interns will have the ability to work both in lab and field settings gaining valuable hands-on experience in field sample collection, laboratory-based experimentation and data analysis. The interns will work closely with lead biologists from PCEC and other collaborating organizations in the fields of endocrine disruption, environmental ecotoxicology and marine ecology. The interns will gain skills in running and analyzing Enzyme Immuno-Assays (EIAs), proteomics, chemical analysis, data analysis, working with the public, public speaking and collaborating with various researchers in the field.

Eligibility/Requirements: This internship is geared toward upperclassmen (juniors/seniors) and science graduate students. Valid California State driverís license is required, as some travel may be involved. The intern must be 18 years or older and must be able to work independently or as a team and interact in a very professional manner with collaborating researchers as well as members of the general public. They must possess good organizational skills and work ethic, as well as be willing to get wet, dirty and be out in the field (potentially on a boat) for hours at a time and be able to lift 20-30 pounds when carrying equipment and gear for field collection. During the duration of the internship they may also expect to work some hours during weekends, depending on field sampling schedule, as well as some days that will require long hours and/or early starts.