Upper Coosa Swim Guide and Data Mapping (Rome, GA)

abstract white deign with CRBI lettering

Applications due February 11, 2024 by 5pm EST

Apply: Click here to apply


Coosa River Basin Initiative

Project Webpage(s):


Project Lead(s):

Jesse Demonbreun-Chapman

Project Work Location(s)*:

5 Broad St, Rome, GA 30161

*Interns are required to live in or within commuting distance from this location, unless otherwise noted.

Project Workdays and Hours:

Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm


Water Sampling, Mapping, Writing

Project Description:

CRBIs Summer Internship project consists of three major components. First, interns will support our Swim Guide program (weekly bacterial monitoring across the upper Coosa River basin at 30 popular recreation sites). Interns will either serve in the role of Field Tech (sample collection) or Lab Tech (sample processing) depending on experience and goals. We will also have our interns work on improving automation of data to flow to the Swim Guide smartphone app. The second component of our program is to combine separate sampling data we have collected as well as open source data in ArcGIS in order to create interactive maps that show trends for specific pollutants, demographics, critical habitat for endangered species, etc. After combining the data in one map, we will develop story maps for specific issues to live on our website and create static maps that can be used for static print materials on specific education initiatives. Third, we place a lot of value on individual experiences in the environmental field. Interns will help write blog content on specific issues and posts on their own experiences in order to tell human stories about what this work entails. Depending on the background and/or skillsets of applicants, these goals can be adjusted to accommodate specific interns and their learning goals.

Intern Contributions:

CRBI will provide interns with a unique opportunity to work on complicated environmental issues in a more rural setting. CRBI excels at inclusive messaging that makes a place for everyone to sit at the table of environmental conservation. Our internal office culture is incredibly open, transparent, and welcoming. Far beyond what we hope to gain from the efforts of our interns, our primary goal is to create a meaningful and memorable experience that will help guide young professionals on their desired career path.

The two interns would contribute to the success of the project through the following activities:

– Swim Guide: Collect and process water samples for E. coli weekly. Develop improved data automation for migrating results to website and smartphone app.

– Mapping: Pull together sets of data from previous sampling projects (bacterial, chemical, PFAS, etc.) and public data (demographics, NPDES outfalls, land use, threatened/endangered species range, etc.). Generate interactive story maps on specific issues in conjunction with CRBI staff to help educate the public on specific water issues (PFAS impact on drinking water, bacteria levels in relation to heavy rain events, etc.).

– Writing: Complete at least two blog posts. One on a water issue of specific interest to the intern (to be determined with staff) and one on the personal experience of working on water protection.

Capacity and improved information! We are a small nonprofit working on a large watershed. These interns will allow us to continue to streamline our Swim Guide program while improving how we educate the public on complicated water issues. We always attract students interested in interning, but PIN allows us the unique ability to attract interns outside of our immediate sphere of influence. With a broader pool to select from, we can attract a more diverse team for our Summer programs, and their personal statements will help build the sense of acceptance to others who may be reluctant to work in the environmental field.       Since we are a smaller nonprofit, the interns will have more access to leadership in the organization than at larger organizations. They will frequently work with the Executive Director who oversees programs far beyond the boundaries of this internship project. We always set aside time each week for more informal conversations about various water issues (emerging contaminants, policy work/lobbying, environmental justice, history, etc.). When interns have interests or career goals that stretch outside of the Summer Intern Project, CRBI staff will work to add in experiences that align with interns’ goals and connect them to professionals in the field who can serve as mentors in the future.

Project Learning Goals:

– Detailed lab processes and data automation

– Mapping and manipulation data to tell compelling water stories

– Breaking down and writing about complicated water issues for a layperson audience.

 Top Required or Desired Intern Skills, Knowledge, and/or Majors:

– Prior GIS experience for mapping work.

– Some marginal experience working on sample collection following QA/QC protocol is preferred butt we can train anyone for Field Tech role.

– This experience is a requirement for Lab Techs (if interested in gaining the experience, we let Field Techs work underneath our Lab Manager to learn the processes).

Intern Deliverables**:

– Weekly results for Swim Guide posted online each Friday by noon.

– A comprehensive “master” map with all data layers

– 2-3 Story Maps that cover specific water topics impacting the upper Coosa River basin.

– 2 blog posts as described above.

**All interns are required to attend two in-person events, the PIN Summer Internship Opening and Closing Ceremonies:

– Opening Ceremony in Macon, GA on Friday, May 10th.

– Closing Ceremony at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA on Friday, August 2nd.

Applications due February 11, 2024 by 5pm EST

Apply: Click here to apply

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