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Research Project Description

Watershed Modeling in the Chesapeake Bay
Internship Program Opportunity
Office of Water
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Philadelphia, PA

EPA Water 2014-304

Project Description:

A postgraduate internship project is available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Region 3 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This internship for EPA Region 3 will be served with the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Team. Organizationally, the TMDL team is in the Water Protection Division, Office of Standards, Assessment and Information Management (OSAIM).

The mission of the Water Protection Divisions is to pursue protection vigorously for all in the Region by working closely with states and local communities to protect, preserve, and enhance our water resources to ensure that they are healthy and viable.

The TMDL program aims to work towards healthy watersheds by assisting states in meeting their water quality standards. Watershed models are often used when developing a TMDL. The models (GWLF, WASP, HSPF, etc.) are designed to simulate complex watershed systems and quantify the sources of impairment and predict the necessary reductions required to meet applicable water quality standards. A TMDL specifies the amount by which a specific pollutant must be reduced to meet water quality standards and allocates pollution control responsibilities among the sources in the watershed. The intern will be trained in the various models used to develop TMDLs in each state and may be part of group that will model a water body found within the Chesapeake Bay watershed and develop TMDLs for that watershed based on the model outputs. In addition, the team will update and format the Bay TMDL webpage, as needed.

The intern will be involved with a team who will look at TMDLs in the Bay watershed. That team will review and choose appropriate watershed models, gather data for that model, (stream flow, soils data, weather, monitoring data) input the data into the model, calibrate the model, and finally allocate pollutant loads. The intern will also be involved in in the following activities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed:

  • Reviewing various TMDL reports submitted by the states to assure consistency with technical procedures and EPA TMDL policy;
  • Reviewing model runs in TMDLs for accuracy
  • Preparing documents that support  EPA’s decisions to approve a TMDL;
  • Learning how to prepare for litigation, including researching paper and electronic files for inclusion in Administrative Records;
  • Updating and formatting the Bay website

This internship opportunity will provide exposure to a broad range of technical and policy issues surrounding water protection programs. The intern will be trained in:

  • The Clean Water Act as it applies to water quality Standards, TMDLs and monitoring;
  • Modeling using  “state of the art” models that are used to calculate pollutant loads in water systems and develop TMDLs;
  • The science behind water quality standards;
  • Hydrology of water bodies and its impact on pollutants;
  • Data management;
  • Web design


Applicants should have received a bachelor’s or master’s degree the computer sciences, engineering or other sciences (chemistry, biology) within five years of the desired starting date. Experience in modeling and web design is highly desirable.

The program is open to all qualified individuals without regard to race, sex, religion, color, age, physical or mental disability, national origin, or status as a Vietnam era or disabled veteran. U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status is preferred (but the applicant can also hold an appropriate visa status, however, a H1B visa is not appropriate).

The appointment will initially be for one year and may be renewed up to three additional years upon EPA recommendation and subject to availability of funding. The participant will receive a monthly stipend. The annual stipend will range from $42,631 up to $59,098 based on educational level. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. The participant does not become an EPA employee.

Technical Questions:

The mentor for this project is Jennifer Sincock (

How to Apply:

An application can be found at Pleasereference Project # EPA Water 2014-304 when requesting information.