NEFSC’s Atlantic Salmon Ecosystems Research Team Internships for University of Maine Students
Studying Pathways to the Gulf of Maine
NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center and the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture are pleased to announce the continuation of a work study/internship program, available to students at the University of Maine. These paid work opportunities will introduce undergraduates to careers in fisheries science through active involvement in research projects and mentoring by NOAA scientists, in conjunction with the University's School of Marine Sciences and other natural resource programs.
NOAA Fisheries is the federal agency responsible for providing scientific advice used in the management of the nation's living marine resources. The Maine Field Station, located in Orono, is specifically dedicated to the study of sea-run fish and their ecosystems. While Atlantic salmon is a primary focus, researchers work on a suite of species such as alewives, blueback herring, rainbow smelt, American shad, Atlantic tomcod and Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon. These fish occur throughout Maine's watersheds and their life histories connect our coastal rivers with the Gulf of Maine and the oceanic waters from Florida to Greenland.
Historically, US Atlantic salmon were abundant in rivers from the Canadian border to Long Island Sound, but now the only naturally spawning populations are found in Maine. These Gulf of Maine salmon are at great risk of extinction and are listed as an endangered species. This decline can be attributed to both natural and anthropogenic factors with primary threats being decreased marine survival and habitat loss. Evaluating contemporary marine survival by tracking Atlantic salmon with telemetry and following growth patterns using fish scales are two methods employed to assess marine threats. Evaluating the impacts of dam removal and habitat restoration are also ongoing efforts by Maine Field Station staff, and have been a focus of the Northeast Salmon Team, which works to promote the recovery and future sustainability of the native sea-run fish community.
Students will have an opportunity to work 40 hours per week, up to 12 weeks over the summer, in collaboration with staff at NOAA, UMaine, and the Maine Department of Marine Resources Division of Sea-run Fisheries and Habitats. DMR opportunities will be available at the Department's Augusta, Bangor or Jonesboro Offices. Interns will be involved in different aspects of collaborative efforts to protect and restore diadromous fish populations. Experience could include but is not limited to the following:
- Monitoring fish trap and river passage facilities for diadromous fishes
- Learning to identify fish, learning proper fish handling techniques and how to prepare Atlantic salmon and river herring scales for ageing
- Activities will involve all aspects of DMR's field sampling programs including electrofishing assessment, fishway inspections and fish monitoring
- Cutting edge field and lab techniques for environmental DNA tool development
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NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation's living marine resources and their habitat through scientific research, management and enforcement. NOAA Fisheries Service provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public. Join NOAA Fisheries on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.
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