Summer 2024 Internship
Manomet, Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, College of the Atlantic
Opening posted: 02/07/2024 | Expires: 02/26/2024
Partners: Manomet, Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, College of the Atlantic
Duration: Summer 2024 for 8-12 weeks, depending on availability. Start date available as early as mid-May, end date mid-August.
Location and Housing: Location is flexible within coastal Maine (note that supervisory team based in Brunswick, Stonington, and Machias). A housing stipend is available. Housing may be available at the University of Maine at Machias on request.
Schedule: Full-time (40 hrs)
Notes: Candidates must have a valid driver’s license for the U.S. and preference for access to a car for field work.
Emily Farr, Manomet
Mike Thalhauser, Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries
The intern will work in collaboration with Manomet and Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries on several projects related to river herring, crossing natural and social sciences. One of the primary areas of focus will be the development of survey and interview tools to document the role of community stewardship.
River herring is a term used to describe two sea-run fish – alewives and blueback herring – that spend most of their lives at sea but return to streams and ponds to spawn. River herring are a keystone species in freshwater and marine systems, connecting communities and ecosystems upriver with ecosystems and food webs in the ocean. In Maine, these fish are collaboratively managed by towns and the state, and are important ecologically, economically, historically, and culturally to many different stakeholders.
The Gulf of Maine River Herring Network brings together diverse stakeholders working to support river herring restoration, research, and management. The network’s goal is to advance collaborative research and co-management of river herring through improved communication and trust, and to build capacity along the coast by bringing together researchers, managers, non-profits, fishermen, and community volunteers around shared goals. The network is co-facilitated by Emily Farr (Manomet) and Mike Thalhauser (Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries – MCCF).
This is an exciting opportunity, as we are currently expanding the network with new capacity and projects. This is an opportunity for a real interdisciplinary experience, with possibilities to work on social and biological science with a great team.
The intern will work closely with MCCF and Manomet and several faculty, students, and University staff actively participating in the network. The primary project will focus on developing survey and interview tools to understand the role of community stewardship in maintaining the health of river herring runs. This will include scoping interviews with river herring harvesters, community members, and local organizations, development of a survey instrument, and some literature review. The intern will also have the opportunity to participate in community-driven monitoring activities, ranging from collecting data on environmental parameters such as temperature, water quality, and streamflow to documenting juvenile alewife density and emigration. The intern would also support data management and analysis.
Specific projects/tasks may include:
● Supporting a new social science project documenting the benefits of river herring stewardship
o Assistance in developing and implementing a survey with a broad group of river herring harvesters and stakeholders
o Scoping interviews and some literature review
● Fisheries Research and Monitoring
o Participating in adult river herring run counts (schedule-depending)
o Monitoring juvenile river herring emigration
o Managing temperature loggers deployed in river herring runs
o Zooplankton sampling and analysis
● Support database development and building
o Collating information about lake/pond and stream habitat, weather information, and other available data
o Data entry and data management for a coastwide database for river herring and shad
● Supporting other community needs for monitoring/stewarding river herring
The river herring network members include federal, state, and tribal managers, researchers, harvesters, NGOs, and community groups/volunteers. The intern will have opportunities to engage with and learn from all these different stakeholder groups, and the co-mentors would focus on supporting networking opportunities that are of greatest interest to the student. In addition, the co-mentors and other members of the river herring network will be available to train the student in the field methods that will be used over the course of the internship.
Other considerations: The intern will be required to travel (drive) to support activities across the state. Applicants should be comfortable working outside in variable conditions and have the flexibility to conduct fieldwork at different times of day, including occasional work after dark, not a normal 8hr workday. Comfort around the water and shoreline is essential and some work may be physically demanding. Successful candidates will be highly motivated and able to work both independently and in a team. Past experience in environmental studies or marine science would be beneficial.