2019 Student Intern Opportunities

Hunting for a Capstone or Thesis Project?

Actual Natural Resource Work Experience?  

Find it at the Adopt A Stream Foundation’s Northwest Stream Center

Sorting scales from juvenile salmon for DNA analysis 

The mission of the Adopt A Stream Foundation (AASF) is “to teach people how to become stewards of their watersheds. To expand its mission capabilities, AASF has developed the Northwest Stream Center: a regional environmental learning facility with stream and wetland ecology & fish and wildlife habitat restoration as its central themes. Here, visitors learn the interconnections between forests, wetlands, streams, fish, wildlife, and people.

AASF has a variety of internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at the Northwest Stream Center. Unfortunately, these internships are unpaid. However, often we receive private contracts to do stream restoration work and hire qualified student interns as temporary employees when needed. Last year’s interns were paid for approximately 1/3 of the summer months.

For those interested in forest, wetland, and stream ecology research, the Northwest Stream Center provides an excellent location on more than 20-acres next to North Creek, a tributary to the Sammamish River. This site also lends itself well to wildlife research in an island of good quality habitat surrounded by commercial and residential development. Intern opportunities for 2019 require a minimum commitment of two 8 hour days per week.  

Opportunities are outlined below:

Stream Restoration

Maintaining riparian zone plants during summer months

Restoration Interns will work side-by-side with AASF Ecologists and Technicians completing a variety of salmon stream restoration tasks ranging from removing and replacing fish migration barrier culverts, stabilizing eroding stream banks using bio-engineering techniques,  installing large log in-stream fish habitat structures, and maintaining riparian restoration sites.  In addition Interns may be participate in fish excluding projects.  Experiences gained: stream restoration construction techniques, invasive vegetation control techniques, and use of electro-shockers as part of dewatering and fish exclusion efforts required of in-stream restoration work.  The majority of this work will take place during the week.

Wetland Restoration & Native Plant Landscape Maintenance

Become a wetland steward by maintaining a three-acre wetland that was resurrected from a gravel parking next to the Northwest Stream Center Visitors Building. Become part of a team to develop a plan to select bio-remediation plants and create and implement a planting schedule.  

Maintain the beautiful native plant landscape next to a 1/2-mile long Elevated Nature Trail that winds through very complex 20-acre wetland and forest area riparian next to North Creek.

Participate in managing a native plant nursery that is one source of plants for AASF’s riparian restoration projects.  Management activities include developing a database of plants by type/size, schedule and implement re-potting as needed, ensure plants are properly watered,  and recruiting/training volunteers.  Assist in managing the Trout Stream Exhibit riparian zone.

Experiences gained in: wetland/riparian zone landscape enhancement and restoration benefitting both fish and wildlife (most mammals, amphibians, and birds found in western Washington), landscape design for bio-remediation, and stream riparian zone management.

The majority of this work will take place during the week.

Trout Stream Exhibit Aquarist

Assist in the management of a 160-foot long Trout Stream Exhibit that flows into a groundwater fed pond with a surface area of approximately 1/3 of an acre. Ground water from that pond is re-circulated upstream to the headwaters via an electric pump. That exhibit was designed to provide habitat for a self-sustaining population of Cutthroat trout, sculpin, brook lamprey, signal crawfish, fresh water mussels and clams, and a diverse population of aquatic insects.  Aquarist may be involved in offsite capture of aquatic species for transfer to the Trout Stream Exhibit.

Experiences gained include: monitoring water quality; evaluation of aquatic residents (trout, sculpin, brook lamprey, crawfish, fresh water mussels, fingernail clams, benthic macroinvertebrates); maintaining a balance of desirable aquatic vegetation, and creating new fish habitat.

Some snorkeling/scuba diving may be involved for Interns with a NAUI or PADI certificate. Potential research opportunities include: determining the affects that increasing fresh water mussel populations will have on water quality; affects of selectively increasing pond depth has on trout; affects of increasing large organic debris in the stream channel has on stream geomorphology; and affects of creating shade from log floats and/or other means on water temperature.

Some activities outlined above take place 7-days-a week.

Docent Naturalist

After completing a two-hour orientation and a five-hour full training period completing several reading assignments and a practical exam on stream/wetland/forest/ and stream ecology, Docent Naturalist (nature trainers) will lead interpretive tours past the Trout Stream Exhibit onto the Elevated Nature Trail at the Northwest Stream Center. Candidates must be able to share complex scientific information to small audiences of up to 10 adults and youth – we will teach you the science, but you must enjoy speaking to diverse audiences. Docent Naturalist must also commit to a minimum of two shifts per week during the internship period and successfully complete a background check. 

The majority of tours will take place Thursdays through Sundays.

Duties and Responsibilities Vary By Position However expect the following:

•Planting and maintaining riparian vegetation around the streams and associated wetlands, managing invasive plants

•Installing log grade control structures to prevent gravel from flowing downstream and or to create fish habitat

•Monitoring stream flows

•Monitoring changes in the biota (vertebrates and invertebrates) in the Trout Stream Exhibit and at stream restoration sites at various locations

•Monitoring temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity and other protocols as required

• Maintaining Trout Stream Exhibit systems including: Cleaning water re-circulation intake screen; Cleaning Viewing Windows; Removing invasive vegetation from the adjacent Entry Trail

•Harvesting aquatic plant growth in the Exhibit’s pond

•Monitor wildlife use of the Trout Stream Exhibit stream and wetland complex

• Capturing fish from nearby North Creek and transferring fish to the exhibit per AASF’s permit from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (use traps, nets, seines, and an electro-shocker)

• Create topographic maps using transit and level

•Analyzing data

•Other duties as required

Qualifications

Students enrolled in an accredited two or four-year college or university; graduate students; and new or old grads are encouraged to apply.

Must be able to work under strenuous field conditions, be able to carry up to 40 pounds of materials, and comfortable work in stream and wetland environments.

Must be able to follow stringent monitoring protocols.

Must be experienced with computers for information entry and retrieval, and developing data spreadsheets and graphs. Must be proficient with Microsoft Excel and Word. Experience with statistical analysis desirable. Competency with both MAC and PC preferred.

Should have course work in natural resources with emphasis on stream/wetland ecology/restoration, and/or fish and wildlife science. Knowledge of NW botany is desirable.

Must pass a background security check.

Nice to have qualification, but not required: Qualified interns may be requested to make occasional shallow dives in the Trout Stream Exhibit headwater pool to clean viewing windows, and make occasional dives into the downstream pond. To perform this function, you should be a certified diver (PADI or comparable) and have your own wet or dry suit and snorkeling gear.

Attention students: An Internship with the Adopt A Stream Foundation may provide the ingredients necessary to complete a Capstone or Thesis project. It may also qualify for interdisciplinary credits; check with your faculty advisor.

Application Process:

Send an email to aasf@streamkeeper.org with Internship Review Committee in the subject line. Describe your interests in becoming an intern for the Adopt A Stream Foundation and your availability; attach a brief resume that describes your qualifications and a current copy of your transcripts.