Aquatic Ecology

Project overview:
Crystal Lake (~0.1 ha) and North Pond (~0.05 ha) are two small waterbodies located on Appledore Island in the Gulf of Maine, 6 miles off the New Hampshire/Maine coast. These waterbodies provide a unique opportunity to investigate freshwater ecology within a remote, marine context. The Aquatic Ecology Undergraduate Researcher will work closely with a Shoals Marine Laboratory mentor to conduct field research on the physical, chemical, and biological limnology of Crystal Lake and North Pond. The researcher will gain experience in field sampling methods for water quality monitoring, planktonic and benthic invertebrate sampling and taxonomy, and sediment sampling. Interns will prepare samples for laboratory analyses, including nutrients, heavy metals, and cyanotoxins. Database management skills and the ability to record detailed field notes and observations is essential. The researcher will be a part of the larger Shoals Undergraduate Research Group cohort and will participate in weekly discussions and lectures.

Appropriate coursework in aquatic ecology and/or limnology is required. Applicants with experience in biological and/or chemical monitoring in freshwater ecosystems are preferred. Previous experience at SML is preferred, but not required. Relevant SML courses include: Ecology & the Marine Environment, Coastal Habitat Field Research Methods, and the Shoals Research Apprenticeship.

Project Mentor:
Dr. David Buck (Associate Director, SML)

Dates: May 25 - July 29, 2022

SML Research Symspoium: TBD

Stipend: $200/week
Includes room & board for 10 weeks, and roundtrip vessel transportation from Portsmouth, NH to Appledore Island. Interns are responsible for their own transportation to/from Portsmouth, NH at the beginning and end of the program.

One researcher will be selected.


Photo of water sampling

Water sampling.


Photo of Crytal Lake on Appledore Island

Crystal Lake on Appledore Island (May 2015).


Aerial photo of Appledore Island with Crystal Lake and North Pond circled

Aerial photo of Appledore Island showing the two Aquatic Ecology field sites: North Pond and Crystal Lake.

To apply:

  • 2022 Application HERE
  • Application Deadline: February, 25th 2022
  • Applicants should be prepared to upload (as separate files): cover letter, resume/CV, and unofficial transcripts.
  • Request two letters of recommendation. At least one letter must be from a professor/faculty member. The second can be from a graduate student TA or employer.
  • Undergraduates in all majors may apply.
  • Priority is given to students who have previous SML experience.

Email Dr. David Buck