Public Science Intern Ithaca, NY 


The Community Science Institute (CSI) is a nonprofit environmental organization based in Ithaca, New York. We partner with dozens of volunteer groups to monitor water quality at over 250 locations on tributary streams as well as the shoreline of Cayuga Lake and other Finger Lakes, analyzing thousands of samples a year in our nationally certified water quality testing lab (NYSDOH-ELAP ID# 11790) for nutrients, pathogenic bacteria, HABs toxin and other parameters and posting results in our free public online database at

The CSI lab also serves as a major provider of fee-based, certified drinking water testing services for the Tompkins County Health Department, Cornell University, businesses, and private homeowners throughout the region. This provides a valuable service to our community while earning fees that help support our nonprofit mission.

This year we are launching a new Public Science Internship program to give a student an opportunity to join us in conducting science that is rooted in local communities and that generates long-term data sets to inform the protection and sustainable management of water resources.  

The Public Science Intern will provide administrative, customer service, laboratory and outreach support to CSI’s five-member staff.

Duties will include some combination of:


  • Providing support for CSI’s potable water testing services such as answering clients’ questions about tests, accepting samples and payment, and writing test reports
  • Accepting and logging in stream samples from volunteers, washing sample bottles, and assembling kits of sample bottles to give to volunteers
  • Assisting with 4-H2O youth education program events
  • Assisting with coordination of HABs Harrier volunteer monitors on Cayuga Lake
  • Performing selected lab tests (depends on background)


Dates and compensation:

June-August, 2021, 30 hours/week, hours negotiable down to 3 days (24 hours)/week. Stipend $1,200/month for 30 hours/week, pro-rated if less than 30 hours/week and/or less than a full  month.



  • One year of college chemistry, microbiology, biology or related discipline including one semester of lab
  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work productively in a small team environment
  • Comfortable interacting with the public



Please email your resume and a cover letter stating why you are interested in the Public Science Internship to: Dr. Stephen Penningroth, Executive Director, Community Science Institute, [email protected] by April 23.

Applications will be reviewed and Zoom interviews scheduled on a rolling basis. A follow-up in-person interview and visit to our lab may be scheduled if mutually agreeable.

A hiring decision will be made by May 7 or sooner with the goal of a June 1 start date.