COAST Student Internships Summer 2013

PRBO Zooplankton Research Internship

Host: PRBO Conservation Science (PRBO;
PRBO Conservation Science (PRBO) is a non-profit organization founded in 1965 as Point Reyes Bird Observatory. PRBO conducts bird ecology research, creates management tools, leads field science training programs, and develops and delivers bird science education programs to advance biodiversity conservation in the west on land and at sea.

Location: Petaluma

Internship dates: June 1 – August 30, 2013; start and end dates flexible with regard to student’s academic commitments

Stipend: $2,500.00

Time Commitment: The intern must work 30 hours per week for 10 weeks (minimum of 300 hours) to receive the full stipend. Ideally, the intern will work 7.5 hours per day for four days per week.

Position Description and Responsibilities: One (1) internship is available to work with biologists in collecting data on zooplankton samples collected during the Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies (ACCESS) program at-sea surveys in the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries. The intern will work in the PRBO laboratory with PRBO biologists to identify euphausiids (krill), decapods, mysids and fish in samples. Tasks include: splitting zooplankton samples; identifying (to species and age class, if possible), weighing and measuring krill, decapods, mysids and fish; recording all data on a datasheet; and entering data. The intern may also have the opportunity to participate in ACCESS at-sea cruises where they will assist in performing net tows, collecting hydrographic data, and conducting seabird and marine mammal surveys.

Preferred Experience and Capabilities: Experience with microscopes, ocular micrometers, microscope cameras, and imaging software a plus, but not required. Knowledge of California marine ecology, zooplankton, and using identification guides a plus. Experience with Excel is necessary. Intern should enjoy working independently and have plenty of patience for long hours spent looking through a microscope to identify zooplankton.

Skills Gained: The intern will gain knowledge of different zooplankton species common to Central California waters and their importance in the marine ecosystem. Specific skills include knowledge about different zooplankton taxa, important anatomical features of zooplankton, and how to use identification guides and common laboratory equipment.

Eligibility / Requirements: Internships are geared toward upperclassmen (juniors/seniors) and science graduate students. Valid California State driver’s license and must have your own vehicle since transportation is not provided. Interns must be 18 years or older. Intern must have education/training in biology, ecology, and laboratory research techniques.