NSRWA Estuarine Ecology Internship

Hi Sarah – I’m Peter Kelly-Detwiler ’83 (used to be just Detwiler, before I got married and hyphenated) and I’m currently President of the Board of the North And South Rivers Watershed Association, a not-for-profit, science-based organization in southeast Massachusetts. We hire interns every year for a variety of projects in the watershed.  So when I saw your email, I sent it along to our chief scientist and executive director and they developed the attached job description.My wife and I live in a large home with multiple guest rooms so the intern could spend the summer with us (the candidate would need to have a vehicle).

NSRWA Estuarine Ecology Internship


The NSRWA works on multiple projects throughout the watershed of the North and South Rivers to monitor and restore instream and estuarine habitats.

Among the projects planned for summer 2015 are mussel enhancement, vegetation and loosestrife beetle monitoring, stream continuity assessment, and salt marsh monitoring.

  • Mussel enhancement – The NSRWA is looking to conduct research to investigate the feasibility of increasing the mussel population in the North and South Rivers.  Work would include setting out mussel spat collectors, moving the spat to culture bags, and evaluating mussel growth and survival on docks and intertidal/subtidal hard substrate.
  • Vegetation and loosestrife beetle monitoring – The intern would assist NSRWA staff in assessing vegetation in the former Mill Pond impoundment on the Third Herring Brook in Hanover/Norwell. This effort would include conducting field surveys of vegetation within and abutting the ponds and assisting with surveys of purple loosestrife, including assessment of purple loosestrife control by Galerucella beetles.
  • Stream continuity assessment – This work includes adding to our already substantial culvert database through field surveying of additional culverts and data collection using a datasheet from University of Massachusetts.  Work also includes data entry into state and our own databases.
  • The NSRWA also has multiple smaller monitoring projects such as the Riverwatch water quality monitoring program, marine invasive species surveys, and horseshoe crab spawning surveys, which the intern could participate in. There may also be additional projects that become necessary within the next few months.


Required: Be willing to work independently, be willing to work in wet/slippery/muddy conditions, use of Excel

Helpful:  Experience with GIS mapping, basic knowledge of riverine/estuarine/marine ecology, ability to use a kayak, ability to use a small motorboat

Skills gained:  Field data collection, experimental design, identification of marine invertebrates, wetland botany, public interaction,

This internship would entail 75% (30 hours/week) field research and related duties as described above. Due to the nature of our organization, we anticipate that the intern may also spend up to 25% (10 hours/week) of their time assisting with outreach and event support.

The intern will be required to have their own vehicle but will be reimbursed for mileage. Housing will be provided by an NSRWA board member.


Contact: Sara Grady, NSRWA Watershed Ecologist, 781-659-8168, [email protected]