Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

Duration: May 20, 2013 – August 2013 (potentially longer if students are interested in continuing on - Start and end dates are flexible based on student’s availability at the end of the Spring semester and start of the Fall semester)

Location: Internship will be performed at PVPC’s office at 60 Congress Street, Springfield, MA. Intern will need to deliver samples to lab in Greenfield on Thursdays, possibly collect water samples at sites where volunteers are unavailable, and perform other site visits relative to public outreach tasks.

Position Title: Connecticut River Water Quality Monitoring and Outreach Coordinator

Housing: Housing will not be provided. Students are responsible for finding their own housing.
For more info:    
Visit to learn more about the water quality monitoring program and our outreach program.

The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) is seeking a summer intern to assist in the coordination and oversight of the Connecticut River Bacteria Monitoring Program. Water samples are collected by a core of volunteers at eight locations along the main stem of the Connecticut River each Thursday morning. Samples are delivered to the lab for analysis of E. coli bacteria. Results are posted within 24 hours to the project website for recreational users to view and use to make informed decisions about how safe the river is for swimming and boating that weekend. As the program enters its 6th monitoring season in 2013, we have several new initiatives under development for this season including expansion of the project website to display the data, a broad public outreach campaign involving radio and newspaper PSAs, and engaging river users identified as “environmental justice populations” in outreach and awareness about river bacteria issues and fish consumption warnings related to toxins.

Intern responsibilities will include:

  • Weekly coordination of volunteer samplers including reminder email with quality control assignments and updates;
  • Receive water samples from volunteers Thursday mornings between 8-9:30 at PVPC’s office in Springfield, ensure quality control plan followed;
  • Collect river samples for unavailable volunteers;
  • Deliver water samples to lab in Greenfield Thursday mornings;
  • Post lab results to project website Friday afternoons;
  • Track water quality trends and update website;
  • Develop expanded public outreach campaign to inform river users about availability of bacteria data including media postings (newspaper articles, social media, direct outreach to target recreation groups and facility owners; and,
  • Conduct outreach to environmental justice community about river use and associated E. coli bacteria risks; also notify about posted fish consumption advisories.

Educational background in natural sciences; commitment to conservation; comfortable working outdoors; prior experience with water quality monitoring and analysis desirable; interest and willingness to interact with the public, specifically river users, to conduct education and outreach about river monitoring program; valid driver’s license and car for transportation; Spanish fluency preferred.
Funding: $3000 available through the Center for the Environment Summer Leadership Fellowship Program; see application instructions. PVPC will reimburse interns for mileage and other travel related expenses.
Submit a cover letter, resume, three references, and one writing sample via email to Ruby Maddox at by Friday, Feb 22, 2013.

About the Organization:
The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) is the designated regional planning agency for the 43 cities and towns that constitute the Pioneer Valley region in western Massachusetts. PVPC works at both the local and the regional levels to define and direct solutions for economic development, transportation, environment and land use, community development, and historic preservation issues.