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Monitoring Climate Change Impacts to Freshwater Tidal Marshes in the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve, NY

Summary / Description

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Freshwater tidal marshes are globally rare, yet productive and significant habitats. Along the Hudson River, these ecosystems have been impacted by climate change stressors, particularly the effects of increased storms, including Tropical Storms Irene and Lee in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve (HRNERR) has established a series of permanent vegetation transects in the marshes to document storm surge impacts to vegetation density and marsh elevation. By participating in this internship, you will learn to identify and quantify emergent marsh and submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) using techniques including the point intercept method, PONAR grab sampling, and snorkeling for underwater photo documentation. Other internship duties include sampling Surface Elevation Tables (SETs), deploying tide gauges, assisting with elevation surveys, river water sampling (from shore or boat), assisting with laboratory processing of samples (filtering and weighing), calibrating instruments, and acid washing sample bottles. As interests and time allow, opportunities exist to explore other programs at the Research Reserve, including Restoration (sustainability of shoreline structures, restoration of SAV) and Education (American eel surveys using electroshocking and fyke nets, public canoe programs).

Skills Required

Prior course work in ecology and experience working outdoors, particularly from boats, is preferred. Applicants must be able to swim, must be able to lift up to 50 lbs, and must be willing to work in adverse field and weather conditions. The HRNERR field crew works as a team, and side projects and other creative contributions within the realm of the existing research are always welcome.

Other Information

Internship Location: Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve, located at the Norrie Point Environmental Center in Staatsburg, NY

Intern Supervisor: Sarah Fernald / Number of slots available: 0

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