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Ocean Acidification Lab Fall Intern

Downeast Institute Beals, ME



The Intern will work in DEI’s Ocean Acidification Laboratory to assist with an experiment focused on the impacts of changing seawater chemistry and varied substrate on the settlement, growth, and survival of the soft shell clam (Mya arenaria). Additionally, the intern will participate in field monitoring of local mudflats to contribute to a long-term data set documenting porewater chemistry.

This position is well-suited for undergraduate students or recent graduates with a stated interest in marine science research or marine carbonate chemistry. You will be working closely with the lab team, and have the opportunity to learn about experimental chemistry methods, the process of ocean acidification, and general shellfish hatchery operations. There is a great opportunity for mentoring within the lab and connecting with other DEI staff. You will gain skills in general shellfish hatchery operations (spawning, tank conditions, grading, etc.) and using specialized carbonate chemistry equipment.

Duties May Include:

  • Operation and calibration of the ocean acidification experimental system
  • Draining, cleaning and maintenance of experimental tanks
  • Assisting with marine bivalve larviculture
  • Counting larvae under compound microscope
  • Quantifying larval morphometrics using a microscope and ImageJ software
  • Chemical reagent creation and carbonate chemistry analysis including alkalinity titrations
  • Safely handling hazardous chemicals including mercury and formalin (PPE will be provided)
  • Occasional carbonate chemistry sampling and data collection on mudflats
  • Organizing and maintaining lab space
  • Assisting with other duties or functions as needed

Position Location:

The University of Maine at Machias’ Marine Science Field Station at DEI in Beals, Maine. Off-campus field sites as determined by research needs.


The Ocean Acidification Lab Intern reports to the Ocean Acidification Lab Manager.


Rate of pay is $16.00 per hour, and housing is provided. A personal vehicle is highly recommended due to the remote nature of the field station.

Position Duration:

13-week appointment, September 11th to December 8th (some flexibility in start/end dates). Workweek is a minimum of five days and may include weekends. The workday is 9 AM to 5:30 PM, or as designated by the Lab Manager for specific project needs.


  • Bachelor’s degree (or undergraduate pursuing a bachelor’s degree) in marine science, biology, environmental science, chemistry, or related fields
  • Basic comfort with marine carbonate chemistry principles, experience in a chemistry lab and interest in learning about chemistry equipment
  • Competency in the operation of a compound microscope, mass balance and pipetting instrumentation
  • Computer proficiency including Google Suite, Excel and willingness to learn chemistry specific programs
  • Dedication to scientific precision and attention to detail
  • Ability to work closely with a small team
  • Ability to lift 35 lbs and to walk on mudflats
  • Willingness to live in a remote location
  • Flexibility to work occasionally early mornings and evenings
  • A valid driver’s license

While these skills are recommended, those that may not possess all of these skills but have a willingness to learn about ocean chemistry and an enthusiastic attitude are encouraged to apply.

Application Requirements:

  • A cover letter describing your interest in the position
  • A detailed resume or CV specifically highlighting experience relevant to the stated requirements

Please combine these materials into a single document (.docx or .pdf) and email it to the OA Lab Manager, Abby Tripler at [email protected]. Applications will be reviewed beginning August 17th, 2023 and will continue until the position is filled.

The Ocean Acidification Lab is committed to a positive, inclusive work environment where all team members’ perspectives are valued regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability status. We believe diversity is essential to the advancement of science and are committed to a culture of respect and tolerance. We are an equal-opportunity employer.