Undergraduate/Graduate Summer Research Internship

Application Deadline

Applications must be received by February 27th, 2017.

Term of Internship

The internship runs for approximately 12 weeks during the summer time: June – August, 2017. Exact start and end time of internship will vary depending on research project and intern’s availability.

Background

Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary is one of ten parks operated by the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks. It is also one of three sites that comprise the Maryland Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. It contains 1,700 acres of open water, tidal freshwater marshes, forested wetlands, upland and riparian forest, creeks, meadows, pine and sand barrens, and fields. Jug Bay is located in the tidal reaches of the Patuxent River (about 45 miles from the river’s mouth at Solomons Island). The Sanctuary’s mission is to increase awareness, understanding, and appreciation of estuarine ecosystems through outdoor education, research, stewardship, and volunteerism.

The Friends of Jug Bay (FOJB) is a non-profit organization that supports education, stewardship, and research programs at the Sanctuary. FOJB annually funds ≈two undergraduate/graduate summer research internships to advance the Sanctuary’s knowledge on topics of interest regarding its natural resources and social history.

Internships are open to qualified undergraduate and graduate students who will conduct a summer research project within Sanctuary grounds under the mentorship of a staff member or an associated researcher. Students are encouraged to work with staff to coordinate the use of office and laboratory space, field equipment, and other amenities (canoes, boats, storage space, etc.) to support their research project.

Research Topics

Students applying for the 2017 internships will submit a short proposal (five pages or less) on one of the topics/questions listed below, which were selected from a list of research projects of interest to the Sanctuary:

Monitoring Jug Bay Small Mammal Population: The intern will pilot and implement one or more of the mammal protocols developed in 2016 by students from the University of Maryland to answer a research question of interest to the Sanctuary. Protocols were developed for the following groups: coyote, flying squirrels, river otters, and small mammals. The internship will consist of developing a research question, doing fieldwork, gathering baseline data, and setting up a long-term mammal volunteer monitoring program for the Sanctuary. 

Mentors: M.S. Liana Vitali and M.S. Melinda Fegler, Naturalists (Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary).

Sediment Retention by Hydrilla, a Common Submerged Aquatic Plant Found in the Patuxent River: Develop a methodology to sample and quantify sediment retention by Hydrilla on the Patuxent River. The intern will do this through the growing season (June-August), and will compare areas where this aquatic plant grows in a monospecific stand vs under the canopy of other plants. Results from this study would provide evidence about the importance of submerged aquatic vegetation in improving water quality.

Mentors: Dr. Patricia Delgado, Wetland Ecologist (Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary).

Studying the Faunal Assemblage of a Native American Midden: The intern will study the faunal assemblage from a section of the Pig Point midden in the Patuxent River, used from about 1000 BC through AD 1300, and provide a list of species that are contained within that site. This would provide a sense of how animal species in the Jug Bay area have changed over the last 3,000 years and may help us understand in what season the Pig Point midden was used.

Mentor: M.A.A. Stephanie T. Sperling, Director of Archaeological Research (Anne Arundel County).

Patuxent River Coastline and Wetland Community Historical Changes: The intern will use GIS tools to determine historical changes of the Patuxent River coastline and Jug Bay’s wetland community. These types of analyses are an important tool to identify major environmental changes and to support restoration and protection efforts.

Mentors: Dr. Patricia Delgado, Wetland Ecologist (JBWS) and M.S. Chris Snow, Stewardship Coordinator (Maryland Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve).

Understanding Global/Local Connections in the Jug Bay Community:  Research at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary documents the connections between the local environment and global issues. Understanding these connections is crucial.  What does the local population understand about these connections? The local population is diverse including people working in agriculture, and people from diverse cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.  How do these different stakeholders understand the connections? The intern will conduct a study, using a survey, questionnaire, interview and/or focus group design (and possibly other methodological approaches), to construct common themes and report the findings.

Mentors: Dr. Daniel Levin, Science Education Researcher (University of Maryland) and M.S. Melinda Fegler, Naturalist (JBWS).

For more information regarding project topics/questions, please contact Patricia Delgado at 410.741.9330 or via email at rpdelg88@aacounty.org

Qualifications

Internships are open to qualified undergraduate and graduate students who are capable of working independently with mentor guidance. Students should be self-motivated, have good communication and writing skills, and be comfortable working in physically challenging environments.

Application Requirements

Qualified applicants should submit the following:

  1. A short proposal (five single spaced pages or less that include a title, introduction, literature review, methodology, and cited literature). See proposal template.
  2. One-page resume.
  3. Copies of unofficial transcripts.
  4. Two letters of recommendation.
  5. Applications must be received by February 27th, 2017. Qualified applicants will be contacted for an interview by March 17th, 2017.

Internship Requirements

The successful applicant is expected to fulfill the following requirements during the time of the internship:

  1. Develop an expanded, detailed research proposal.
  2. Conduct independent research with support from the project mentor.
  3. Develop a final report.
  4. Give a presentation at the Jug Bay’s Annual Volunteer Picnic at the end of August, 2017.
  5. Write an article for Jug Bay’s newsletter, “Marsh Notes,” or our website summarizing research findings.

Financial Support

The Friends of Jug Bay will provide a stipend totaling $4,000; two equal installments of $1,500 will be given during the first two months of the internship. A final payment of $1000 is made upon the receipt of the final report. Interns should expect to work approximately 12 weeks during the summer (June through August).

Housing: If needed, housing at the residence of a FOJB member will be available at no cost for one of the interns.

Transportation: Applicant must provide his/her own transportation.

Send complete applications to:

Dr. Patricia Delgado, Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary

rpdelg88@aacounty.org

For more information contact:

Patricia Delgado at 410.741.9330 or rpdelg88@aacounty.org