Summer Science Internship

We are hiring!

Summer Internship Deadline: March 1st, 2021.

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Each year the Great Pond Foundation engages the services of high school and college interns to assist with our Ecological Monitoring Program. GPF is committed to scientific data collection, much of which involves assessing water quality at 12 stations around Edgartown Great Pond twice weekly. In addition to water sampling, interns will help monitor eelgrass (Zostera marina) beds and survey for invertebrates such as shellfish, jellyfish, and tunicates. In summer 2021, we will be starting a Biodiversity Monitoring Program, where we will study species composition and abundance of fish, zooplankton, and phytoplankton in the Pond by conducting tows with beach seine and plankton nets. Additionally, GPF will host socially distant outreach activities with stakeholders of all ages. GPF Summer Science Interns are expected to assist with these outreach activities.

We are looking to hire two college students for our Summer Science Internship. The ideal candidates should have an interest and enthusiasm for marine biology, environmental science, and science communication. Candidates must be capable of conducting repetitive tasks and spending long hours in the sun, with field days starting just after sunrise. Ability to collect and record scientific data accurately is required. Experience operating small boats and knowledge of New England coastal habitats and commonly found species is a plus. A typical week will be 20-30 hours, but occasionally up to 40 hours/week, with 3-4 work days each week. Housing may be available if needed but is dependent on the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic both locally and nationally, and the distribution of the vaccine.

Meet the 2021 Summer Interns

This year, GPF expanded their Ecosystem Monitoring Program to include Chilmark Pond, Tisbury Great Pond, and Crackatuxet Pond, in addition to Edgartown Great Pond. We are thrilled to have two Summer Science Interns, Maggie and Kendall, to help with data collection in these ponds. Additionally, we started a new internship to help facilitate our MV CYANO program, which monitors the presence of cyanobacteria in our coastal ponds. Becca is our first Public Health Intern, who uses data from both the Ecosystem Monitoring Program and MV CYANO to inform local Boards of Health of potential health risks within our ponds. Our extensive monitoring programs would not be possible without these three interns, and we are very lucky to have such talented young scientists on our team!

GPF’s Summer Science Interns: Maggie and Kendall

Maggie Sandusky recently graduated from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry with a degree in Conservation Biology focusing on Marine Science and Environmental Writing and Rhetoric. She has strived to access research opportunities throughout her college experience and has assisted in two research labs during her undergraduate career. One focusing on Humpback Whale Dive Behavior and Southern Right Whale call frequency and the other investigating the relationship between hypoxic conditions detected via Manganese concentrations in the inner ear bone of fishes and parasite load. In addition to research, Maggie has experience in education via working for the Maria Mitchell Association on the neighboring island of Nantucket. She has a love for brackish systems due to her childhood on Cape Cod exploring the salt marshes and tidal ponds near her home. Joining the GPF team allows her to give back to these ecosystems that instilled her passion for biology and conservation.

Kendall Rudolph is junior at Iowa State University majoring in Animal Ecology, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. She has been coming to Martha’s Vineyard every summer since she was 3 weeks old. During her time on the island, Kendall developed a deep appreciation for the aquatic ecosystems on and around the island. She has taken classes at Iowa State like Fish Biology, Natural History of Iowa Vertebrates and Aquaculture and is looking forward to apply what she is learning in her classes as a Summer Science Intern at the Great Pond Foundation. In Iowa, she works as the Aquatic Specialist at a local pet store maintaining over 75 freshwater and marine habitats. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her friends and caring for her two guinea pigs and chameleon.

GPF’s Public Health Intern: Rebecca (Becca)

Rebecca Eyrick is an upcoming junior at Purdue University in Indiana studying Public Health with a concentration in environmental health. Rebecca has always cared about nature and environmentalism, participating in several college clubs and organization focused on climate change and nature conservation. She grew up in Indiana with yearly trips to the Vineyard which deepened her passion for nature and environmental biology. She is excited to work with GPF and help contribute to the health of the Great Ponds of Martha’s Vineyard.

Meet the 2019 Field Team

Great Pond Foundation made a further commitment to our scientific program with the addition of Julie Pringle, Field Science Coordinator, to our year-round scientific staff on April 22nd, 2019, Earth Day.  A most fortuitous day to start!  We feel extremely lucky to have such an intelligent, hard-working, and committed field team in 2019 and we cannot wait for you to meet them. 

GPF’s Field Science Coordinator: Julie Pringle

We are delighted to introduce Julie Pringle, who recently completed her Master’s degree at University of Connecticut Avery Point, where she studied biological oceanography. At UConn, Julie’s thesis focused on coastal ecology, specifically age and growth patterns of the Atlantic silverside, a small but abundant fish that plays an important role in the food web. Prior to graduate school, Julie worked as the Water Resources Intern at the Martha’s Vineyard Commission and as a Laboratory Assistant at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. As an undergraduate, Julie attended Tufts University, where she received a B.S. in biology. Julie has all of the academic qualifications and experience she needs to succeed as a field biologist, but it is her ability to solve problems, think one step ahead, and her careful attention to detail that make her the ideal Field Science Coordinator. 

As a native Islander Julie developed a passion for anything water-related from an early age. Her childhood spent sailing and swimming led to a curiosity about the creatures living under the surface, which grew into a desire to protect this wildlife from the many threats they face. Julie hopes to draw on her prior research and work experiences to further expand the science initiatives at the Great Pond Foundation. She is excited to work with the growing dataset of water quality measurements to quantitatively analyze how pond health has changed over time. If you see her out on the water this summer say hi!

GPF’s Summer Science Intern: Justine Cassel

Welcome Justine Cassel, a 2017 graduate of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and a native islander, to the GPF team as our Summer Science Intern.  After graduation, Justine spent the summer interning for Friends of Sengekontacket, where she worked closely with local shellfish departments. Justine then served for six months with AmeriCorps – American Conservation Experience in Arizona. In Arizona, Justine worked on trail maintenance and restoration to help promote environmental stewardship. Currently, Justine is a sophomore at the University of New Hampshire pursuing a dual major in Freshwater, Estuary, Marine Biology and Sustainability.   Justine is mature beyond her years and combines an incredible level of poise and professionalism and is a hard-working and intelligent young scientist.  Justine, we are so glad you decided to join our team!

Meet the 2018 Interns

Summer brings many wonderful things to Edgartown Great Pond, chief among them the people. This year the Great Pond Foundation is well-staffed with an enthusiastic and dedicated field team. It is our pleasure to introduce Spencer Goldsmith, Great Pond Foundation’s High School Intern, and to welcome back Sam Hartman for his third summer. Congratulations to Sam on his high school graduation in June of 2018! Sam grew up along with our water sampling program and we are excited for him to assume a leadership role as our College Intern.

Spencer Goldsmith

Spencer Goldsmith is a ninth grader at Falmouth Academy. His interests include space exploration, photography and travel, and he hopes to find a career that incorporates all three. Born and raised on the Vineyard, Spencer enjoys learning about and caring for his local ecosystems. He brings his attention to detail, and his experience with our summer STEM Camps, to the team.


Sam Hartman

Sam Hartman recently graduated from the Newman School in Boston, and will attend Clark University in the fall. His interests include marine biology, hiking and going to the beach. Now entering his third year with the Great Pond Foundation, he looks forward to taking on more responsibility as the Senior Intern, as well as increased eelgrass research. During his senior year, Sam analyzed data that he helped collect during his first two field seasons. Through his internship this year he hopes to more fully understand the wildlife and health of the Pond. Learn more about Sam’s 1st internship experience…