OHSU/SPH/ESHH Undergraduate Internship—Summer 2018


Project Title: Occurrence, Fate, and Remediation of Emerging Contaminants
Senior mentor(s): Paul G. Tratnyek (Professor), Tawnya Peterson (Assistant Professor), and Joseph Needoba (Associate Professor)
Location: Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road (main campus on Marquam Hill), Portland, OR  97239



A variety of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) have been identified in surface and groundwaters. One of particular interest is metformin, which is widely used in treatment of diabetes and has been found in Oregon river waters as part of a study lead by Profs. Peterson and Needoba. Another is 1,2,3-trichloropropane, which is widespread in agricultural areas due to its presences in soil fumigants, very toxic and persistent, and has been the subject several research projects lead by Prof. Tratnyek.

Internship Activities:

This are a variety of ways that summer interns could contribute to the on-going research on CECs at OHSU. A specific plan of research will be developed based on the intern’s skills and interests, availability of Ph.D. students or postdocs to serve as front-line mentors, and project goals and priorities. The interns activities could include collecting water or sediment samples from Oregon rivers, extraction and analysis of the samples for CECs and other environmental characteristics, laboratory experiments with the field samples, data analysis and presentation to research group meetings.

Proposed Outcomes/Broader Impact:

This work will contribute to a better knowledge of the distribution and fate of chemicals of emerging concern and of their potential significance for environmental and human health. The undergraduate student(s) will work with a graduate student or postdoc from OHSU and may participate in networking activities with local state and federal agency personnel working in the environmental sciences.

Intern academic experience and skill-set should include:

Applicants should be majoring in a natural science, with at least 1 year of college level chemistry and biology. Laboratory and/or field research experience is strongly preferred.


Email a cover letter and CV to Paul Tratnyek ([email protected]). Finalists will be asked for references and a phone interview.