MERI Announces Second Year of Summer Internship Program



BLUE HILL — Following the popularity of the first Coastal Science Junior Intern program, the Marine Environmental Research Institute (MERI) will run it again this summer in July and August. This is an opportunity for high school 14-18-year-olds to explore the challenges surrounding marine environmental issues through a two-week marine study program at the MERI Center in Blue Hill, which is located on the shore of marine-rich Blue Hill Bay.

The junior interns will work closely with the MERI coastal monitoring program to collect data on Blue Hill watershed health, bacteria and phytoplankton levels and intertidal biodiversity.

Students will be introduced to water chemistry, basic oceanography, marine ecology and biology through Blue Hill area field trips and work in the MERI dry and wet labs. The 2010 interns had the opportunity to participate in a harbor seal necropsy. MERI belongs to the New England Stranding network and often responds to stranded seals in the area. MERI researchers operate a large marine tissue bank containing samples from deceased marine animals. In March, MERI provided expert scientific testimony to the Maine Legislature against the use of a new and untested flame retardant based on data generated from these tissue samples.

MERI participates in the International Census of Marine Life through a consortium of New England marine educators and the junior interns will be invited to share their research and attend the 2011 Teen Ocean Summit at the New England Aquarium in Boston on Oct. 1.

The internship is a two week program, Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Session one runs from July 18 to July 29 and session two from Aug. 1-12. The fee is $250. The application deadline is June 1. There are scholarships available for local students.

Contact MERI Education Director Martha Bell at [email protected] or (207) 374-2135 for more information.

For more maritime news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

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