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Research Project Description

Wetlands Monitoring and Assessment Program
Internship Program Opportunity
Office of Water
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Washington, DC

EPA Water 2014-315

Project Description:

An internship project is available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA), Office of Water in Washington, D.C. The internship will be served with the Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds (OWOW) in the Wetlands Division. 

The Wetland Strategies and State Programs Branch (WSSPB) in the Wetlands Division is responsible for wetland policy development and technical support activities that build State and Tribal program capacity in the areas of wetland monitoring and assessment, regulation, water-quality standards, and restoration.

The participant will be trained to conduct research and engage in educational opportunities related to the National Wetland Condition Assessment (NWCA), the first-ever statistical survey on the ecological health of wetlands nationally. A report detailing the results of field sampling conducted in 2011 is due at the end of this year and planning for the 2016 field season will begin this summer. More information on NWCA can be found at

Under the guidance of WSSPB staff, the participant will be involved in the generation, management and analysis of information for NWCA and other national wetland monitoring and assessment activities. The intern may be involved in the following projects:

  • Researching various indicators of wetland condition and stress, including biological indices, soil condition, and landscape disturbance.
  • Analyzing indicator and stressor data from field sites.
  • Reviewing field and lab practices from the 2011 NWCA and investigating potential areas of improvement that can be incorporated into the implementation of the 2016 survey.
  • Using predictive models, GIS, and/or other statistical programs to analyze wetland assessment data.
  • Developing outreach materials (technical reports, fact sheets, web content) to effectively communicate the results of the 2011 NWCA to a wide range of audiences through a variety of media platforms.

The participant will learn how EPA conducts large-scale, scientifically-based assessments of the nation’s water resources. Specific skills learned through participating in activities on this project may include:

  • Use of various methods, protocols, and tools to assess the ecological condition of wetlands (including GIS, R statistical packages, and ecological modeling)
  • Statistically-based analysis of biologic, chemical, and physical data collected in wetlands
  • Communication of scientific analysis results to diverse audiences of wetland scientists, managers, and policy makers

The participant will gain an understanding of EPA’s Clean Water Act programs and observe how EPA coordinates with states, tribes, and other federal agencies to meet national water quality goals. S/he will have the opportunity to interact with well-respected wetland monitoring and assessment scientists and managers from across the country. S/he will be involved in generating reports, analyzing data, creating outreach materials, and will have opportunities to submit research and project results to national wetland publications and peer-reviewed journals.


Applicants must have received a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in in biology, ecology, environmental engineering, or other environmental science within five years of the desired starting date, or completion of all requirements for the degree should be expected prior to the starting date. An understanding of wetland ecology is desired.

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 can also hold an appropriate visa status, however, an H1B visa is not appropriate). The intern must show proof of health and medical insurance. The intern does not become an EPA employee.

This appointment is full-time for one year and may be renewed for up to an additional three years depending on the availability of funding. The annual stipend will range from $42,000 up to $77,813 dependent on educational level. Funding may be made available to reimburse the participant’s travel expenses to present the results of his/her research at scientific conferences. No funding will be made available to cover costs for pre-appointment visits, relocation costs, tuition and fees, or a participant's health insurance. The participant must show proof of health and medical insurance. This can be obtained through ORISE. The participant does not become an EPA employee.

Technical Questions:

The EPA mentor for this project is Gregg Serenbetz (


How to Apply:

An application can be found at Pleasereference Project # EPA Water 2014-315 when requesting information.