Water Quality Internship

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Water Quality Internship – Summer 2024

Harpeth Conservancy seeks a summer intern to work 15-20 hours/week from May to September (timing is flexible). Harpeth Conservancy is dedicated to protecting clean water and healthy ecosystems for rivers in Tennessee and the summer intern will support that mission through volunteer coordination, communications, water sample collection and coordination, data analysis, education, and other projects as needed. This position has a $500 stipend at the end of the summer.

About Harpeth Conservancy

Founded in 1999, the Harpeth Conservancy mission is to restore and protect clean water and healthy ecosystems for rivers in Tennessee by employing scientific expertise and collaborative relationships to develop, promote and support broad community stewardship and action. 

Program Overview

This position will manage the Harpeth Conservancy water quality monitoring program during summer 2024. The program consists of volunteers traveling throughout greater Nashville to collect water samples at various streams and rivers. The volunteers will transport water samples to Harpeth Conservancy offices where the summer intern will collect and record each sample as well as perform E. coli and turbidity analyzes on each sample. The intern will then need to record results 24 hours later.


  • Coordinate and schedule volunteer samplers
  • Organize data and analyze water quality models
  • Perform basic laboratory tasks to analyze water samples for E. coli and turbidity
  • Create educational content for public outreach
  • Assist with outreach and education opportunities and events as needed.

Desired Skills, Experience, and Qualifications 

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Willing to work indoors and outdoors
  • Experience performing laboratory tasks including basic microbial tests and water quality analysis
  • Coding experience in R or other statistics software would be a plus
  • Available Tuesdays and preferably at least one other day during the week, as well as one or two weekends throughout the summer
  • Experience working with data and statistics software
  • Experience coordinating volunteer efforts
  • Must be reliable, responsible, and flexible
  • Access to a car to travel to various sites in the greater Nashville area
  • Ability to participate within a multi-disciplinary team as well as act independently as needed
  • Interest in biology, wildlife, or environmental topics and issues is a plus

Internship Benefits 

  • Experience in water quality monitoring, environmental education, and volunteer management
  • Gain experience working with basic water quality analytical equipment
  • Environmental nonprofit work experience

Please send cover letter and resume to Ryan Jackwood at ryanjackwood@harpethriver.org with the subject line “Summer Water Quality Internship – 2024”