top of page

Seasonal Research Intern


Deadline:        Accepted immediately; first-come / first-served


Time:              Part-Time from May to August (later if available)

                      Hours and schedule will be negotiated with each intern


About Us:

Friends of Waterbury Reservoir is a Vermont non-profit organization committed to protecting, improving and enhancing the ecological, recreational, and community values of the Waterbury Reservoir. We accomplish this through stewardship, research, community involvement, collaboration with all stakeholders, and connecting people and place. Learn More


About the Internship:

Five college interns will spend the summer in the field (well, on and around the water) conducting Phase II of a Trash Data Study on the Waterbury Reservoir under the supervision of a local environmental analyst. Research interns will receive 2 hours of training and ongoing supervision throughout the season.


Internship Tasks:

  • At least 2 half-days per week, paddle via canoe or kayak on the Waterbury Reservoir. Exact schedule to be negotiated with each intern

  • Complete shoreline clean-up while keeping record on a data cards

  • Enter data into an Excel spreadsheet which is shared on Google Docs

  • Take part in data analysis to meet the goals of the Study



The Waterbury Reservoir is located in central Vermont at the crossroads of the world-class resort towns of Stowe, Bolton, and Suarbush / Mad River and yet offers a remote experience for users. It is fed by the Little River from the north and ultimately flows through the Waterbury Dam and into Winooski River which is a major tributary of the Lake Champlain Basin Watershed. The Reservoir a rich ecological and recreational resource bordered almost entirely by State forest lands, two State parks, with one private landowner. The Reservoir is recognized as a unique resource and important conservation and economic asset for the people of the State of Vermont.


About the Study:

The Waterbury Reservoir Trash Data Study is citizen-led science to inform management (VT Agency of Natural Resources) to make a place better and easier to use. To the best of our knowledge, there is no other project like it in the United States. Volunteers and State Park staff participate in trash collection and data reporting from May – October. The data will help answer the actual quantity of trash found on and around the Reservoir; whether water quality is being affected; whether there is a wildlife impact; where the trash is most often found and how / when did it get there; whether the trash is being re-distributed throughout the lake due to normal water currents or storm events; and whether there are other factors that influence the arrival, distribution, and re-distribution of trash. This ongoing and complex project is consistent with the research and stewardship components of our Mission, Vision & Core Values.


In addition to season-long clean-ups, Rapid Response Teams (RTT’s) are deployed immediately following a high-wind or severe storm event. To facilitate this deployment, FWRes maintains a list of approximately 20 individuals who may be available on short notice to conduct clean-ups in discreet and specific locations within a very short time frame, and report that trash data. Keurig-Green Mountain Coffee’s robust employee community service program is a rich source of ready volunteers for the RTT’s, and Umiak Outdoor Outfitters staff invest several hours a week on Reservoir and riverside shoreline clean-up.


Vermont’s annual Green-Up Day is the first Saturday in May and serves as an ideal launch date for the Trash Data Study. FWRes collaborates with the local chapter of Green-Up Vermont to recruit and supervise on-water and on-shore volunteers at the popular Reservoir clean-up sites so that they are trained and equipped to report trash data.


In August / September, FWRes will participate for the second year in the American Rivers River Clean-Up for which we expect to again partner with Friends of the Winooski River and Keurig-Green Mountain Coffee. In 2014, the two Reservoir sites cleaned were at the Cottonbrook region on the northern end and the Blush Hill Boat Launch. VT State Parks Floating Ranger and FWRes's President served as Site Captains. Volunteer crews collected over 600 pieces of trash, weighing more than 200 pounds in just 3 hours. The data collected from this one-day event is vital to our study, but perhaps as important, this was a valuable stewardship-building opportunity. In 2015, our goal is to expand the clean-up sites to include the locally-notorious “Elephant Rock”, a popular pedestrian-accessible informal day-use area.


For the first time, FWRes expects to partner with the Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean to participate in the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Clean-Up on September 19, 2015. Planning for this collaboration is underway in March 2015.



  • Interns must be at least 18 years of age and have access to reliable transportation

  • Access to a canoe or kayak is a plus, but arrangements may be made to borrow gear

  • Proven ability to safely operate a canoe or kayak

  • Personal flexibility and ability to adapt to changing situations

  • Ability to work independently a must


Position Benefits:

  • Complementary 2014 season pass to Waterbury Center State Park

  • Exposure to a variety of land management, recreation, habitat/wildlife professionals

  • Leadership and team participation experience

  • Great environment for building outdoor and environmental skills


How to Apply:

  • Submit cover letter explaining why a clean Reservoir is important, and describing what you see as the role of this study in the bigger picture of conservation, community involvement, or planning

  • Include a resume with including references

  • Send via email to

  • Deadline:        Accepted immediately; first-come / first-served

bottom of page