Protecting Northern Michigan's ​Water Resources

Internship Opportunities

2023 Internship Opportunities

Organization Description: Founded in 1979, the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting Michigan’s lakes, streams, wetlands, and ground water. Based in beautiful Petoskey, Michigan, the Watershed Council works on local issues in the watersheds of Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, and Emmet Counties, as well as state, federal, and binational policy. Hallmarks of the Council’s work include respected advocacy, watershed planning, innovative education, technically sound water quality monitoring, thorough research, collaboration, and empowering others. For more background information, check out www.watershedcouncil.org.
Intern Summary: This intern reports to the Watershed Protection Team. The intern’s actual work will depend on scheduled field and office priorities, but may include some of the below listed experiences:
Volunteer Monitoring Programs:  The Watershed Council coordinates three volunteer-based programs to monitor lakes, streams, and for avian botulism. Interns work with our Watershed Protection Team staff to organize and carry out volunteer activities, including recruiting volunteers, trainings, field data collection, laboratory analyses, quality assurance, and attending work bees.  Interns are also expected to help with data input, data analyses, developing graphics (charts, graphs, etc.), and assisting with reports.
Field Surveys, Inventories, and Restoration Projects:  Interns get their feet wet in the water resource management field assisting in collecting water quality data, performing shoreline surveys, conducting invasive species inventories, assessing streambank and shoreline erosion, developing and coordinating rain garden projects, and much more. Interns also help in the lab with calibration and maintenance of field survey equipment, water quality monitoring instrumentation, sampling gear, and GPS.
GIS (Geographical Information System), Database, and Office Tasks:  GIS is used extensively by the Watershed Council for a wide array of projects, including lake shoreline surveys, impervious surface studies, stormwater drainage basin delineation, land cover assessments, and land protection prioritization.  Interns assist staff on the GIS front by using ArcCollector and Survey123 on iPads, processing field GPS data, developing GIS data layers, producing display maps, performing spatial analyses, and ground-truthing in the field. In addition, interns provide further support to staff by developing and populating databases and performing miscellaneous office tasks.
Outreach and Education:  One of the most important functions of the Watershed Council is to educate and inform shoreline residents, government officials, businesses, and the general public about various water-related topics.  Topics include, but are not limited to, lake and stream ecosystem management, aquatic invasive species, best management practices that protect water quality, permitting, dam safety, and issues like pipeline awareness. Assistance with educational efforts ranges from help with mailings to event coordination. This may include staffing a mobile boat washing station to educate boaters about aquatic invasive species issues. Regarding events, interns help organize, but also participate in lake and river clean-ups, lake association meetings, and local water-related festivals. Interns also help Watershed Council staff with informational articles, brochures, and press releases by gathering information, researching water resource topics, and writing reports.
This full-time internship earns an hourly pay of $12 for up to 40 hours a week, housing assistance if needed, and may also be eligible to obtain college credit. Individuals must be pursuing a degree in natural resources, environmental studies, or equivalent; possess strong written and verbal skills; and have a valid driver’s license and a vehicle. Proficiency in swimming and paddling (kayak and canoe), as well as the ability to work 10+ hours/day, is required for fieldwork. Occasional work on weekends is required for events. Prior experience with GIS, plant identification, water quality monitoring, macroinvertebrate identification, and event organization is a plus. Strong computer skills are also required, including familiarity with Microsoft Office software such as Access, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Preferred candidates will possess a positive attitude and be highly motivated. Anticipated work dates are early-mid May through mid-August. Number of hours per week is 35-40. Interns are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as defined by the CDC upon start date, unless there is a basis for an exemption based on disability/medical conditions and/or religion. The Watershed Council has partnerships with the University of Michigan Biological Station and the Little Traverse Conservancy, both of which have housing options if needed.
Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for two professional references to apply@watershedcouncil.org. Please put “2023 Internship” in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed as received. Interested candidates should submit your application as soon as possible. Our goal is to fill all intern positions by April 1, 2023.