Water Quality Intern (Asheville Office) – Summer 2021

MountainTrue and the French Broad Riverkeeper are currently seeking an intern to help with monitoring for E.coli and microplastics in our local waterways. Bacteria is one of the biggest pollutants within the French Broad River basin. We have two monitoring programs aimed at tracking its sources.  Our intent with these programs is twofold— 1). to alert the public of high E. coli levels to ensure safe water for safe recreation, and 2) pinpointing sewer/septic leaks and agricultural runoff problems in order to get them fixed. Microplastics are an emerging issue we are tackling. Not many studies have been done on microplastics on freshwater systems, especially on headwater watersheds. It is our goal to begin quantifying this pollution. 

Ideally, this intern would help facilitate both programs, 2 days per week.  It’s a paid position, and the experience is a particularly excellent opportunity for anyone who wants to demonstrate skills in science, leadership and project management with measurable outcomes. The ratio of inside to outside time is about 50:50.

The position involves coordinating sampling volunteers, performing lab and field work, managing data, conducting research, and distributing results to the public. The ideal candidate will possess charisma and leadership skills, and an above-average attention to detail. No prior knowledge or experience in water quality monitoring is necessary; training will be provided.  Special attention will be given to individuals who historically have been underrepresented in the environmental field. It is a paid internship, working two days a week.


  • Strong attention to detail and organization 
  • Ability to adhere to strict, but simple, Quality Control measures 
  • Ability to lift and carry cooler full of ice, bend over to collect sample up to 30 times per day, and maintain a steady hand in the lab 
  • Familiarity with Excel and ability to keep accurate records 
  • Ability to teach others 
  • Willingness to drive your own car up to collect samples (mileage is reimbursed at a rate of approximately $0.43/mile) 
  • Commitment to the goal of improving water quality through citizen science
  • Experience with communication around environmental issues preferred
  • Must be able to work 2 days a week, Wednesdays and Thursdays, running from approximately May 26 – September 2, 2021 (end date is negotiable).
  • This internship is a paid position and compensation will be discussed in the interview process.


Email a statement of interest and a resume to Anna Alsobrook at anna@mountaintrue.org. Deadline to apply is May 10.