DEP Home : Water : Internships & Volunteer Opportunities
Learn about water quality monitoring first hand by joining the County's monitoring crews on their field visits. Discover the many different species of fish, aquatic macroinvertebrates, amphibians, and reptiles that live in our County's watersheds. Learn how these organisms play a vital role in healthy and balanced stream ecosystems.
To get involved with the monitoring and protection of a specific Montgomery County stream that is significant to you, check this list of local watershed groups for volunteer monitoring groups in your watershed. If there isn't one, rally your neighbors to start one of your own! For help getting started, please contact the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) at email@example.com.
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If you are a volunteer monitor in Montgomery County, your water quality data could be incorporated into DEP's report on County-wide stream conditions. Please contact DEP at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have data to share.
The following are user-friendly DEP data sheets and associated protocols that volunteers may use:
Habitat Assessment (PDF, 64 pp, 5.7Mb)
Amphibian and Reptile Monitoring (PDF, 2 pp, 89K)
If you're looking for specific types of biological monitoring data, look at the DEP Web page listing the types of organisms DEP monitors. Then look through the data fields gathered for that organism. This will help you to make a specific data request.
The DEP Biological Monitoring Program offers an excellent opportunity to train with County ecologists as they assess the health of watersheds in Montgomery County. These are unpaid internship positions, although they might be eligible for credit at universities and colleges that require an internship to graduate.
Although duties differ seasonally, interns may work with stream monitoring crews to collect the biological, physical, chemical, and habitat data needed to assess stream health.
Field duties include fish monitoring, surveying, rapid habitat assessments, quantitative habitat surveys, and benthic macroinvertebrate subsampling. Field days are long, with lots of equipment to carry and manage. Protective clothing and training are provided.
Lab work includes database entry and management, benthic macroinvertebrate subsampling and identification, and instrument calibration.
Fish identification training in the field.
Interns learn how to set up a net at one end of the sampling site.
Interns must have completed two years of college course work (60 credit hours or its academic equivalent).
Applicants should demonstrate enthusiasm for, basic knowledge of, or experience with stream assessments. They should have a major in aquatic biology, ecology, environmental science, or a related field, or related experience.
Interns are trained in working with electroshockers and nets.
Interns are trained in fish identification from sampling buckets.
Stewardship of the environment is extremely important in order for us to improve our County and keep it beautiful. DEP offers many opportunities for residents to get involved in their community's watershed.
DEP welcomes any request to demonstrate water quality monitoring in a field trip setting for school groups and is also able to offer suggestions on environmental science curriculum.
Contact DEP at email@example.com to learn more about internship and volunteer opportunities.