Available CONSERVE Internships
University of Maryland (College Park, MD)
Project Focus: Water quality analysis and outreach
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
College Park, MD // Supervisors: Leena Malayil and Rianna Murray
Position Description (In-person preferred) : The Maryland Safe Drinking WATER (Water Analysis and Testing for Education and Research) Study is an initiative to protect drinking water in underserved communities by characterizing the drinking water quality of both public drinking water systems and private wells using a combination of citizen science, field-based research, and laboratory analyses. The three main objectives of the study are: 1) preliminary screening of water from public and private sources; 2) chemical testing (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), antimicrobials, metals, and inorganic pollutants) of Maryland’s drinking water from public and private sources; and 3) evaluating the occurrence and concentration of viable and antibiotic-resistant bacteria in Maryland’s drinking water from public and private sources utilizing standard culture-based methods, DNA labeling, and metagenomics.
The duties of the student intern include conducting a preliminary survey to recruit participants; collecting water samples, processing water samples for chemical testing, filtering water samples, and extracting DNA (which will be used to profile the microbial communities present in the different water sources over time using 16S rRNA gene sequencing and shotgun metagenomics); entering data (water parameters, DNA concentrations, etc.), and completing preliminary data analysis.
About the Lab: The project is housed within the CONSERVE Center of Excellence at the University of Maryland School of Public Health. Specifically, the intern will be working in CONSERVE’s applied environmental microbiology lab, comprised of biosafety level II laboratories. The lab team includes undergraduates, graduate students, post-docs, and faculty.