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NOAA Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology Internship

*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

NOAA Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is currently available with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), located in Charleston, South Carolina, at the Hollings Marine Laboratory.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) formed the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) in 1999 as the focal point for NOAA’s coastal ocean science efforts. NCCOS helps NOAA meet its coastal stewardship and management responsibilities, and provides coastal managers with the scientific information necessary to decide how best to protect environmental resources and public health, preserve valued habitats, and improve the way communities interact with coastal ecosystems.

Research Project: The environmental chemists and toxicologists within the Ecotoxicology Branch of NCCOS have served as professional mentors and are interested in helping scientists learn and enhance their technical proficiencies in environmental sample analysis, aquatic/eco-toxicology, eco-physiology, data analysis, data management, and the interpretation and communication of project data. Current laboratory efforts that the intern will participate in include research that focuses on the determining the fate and effects of microplastics (MPs) and chemicals of environmental concern (CECs) in estuarine systems. This research will be in support of the NCCOS priority of Detecting, Monitoring, and Mitigating Impacts of Chemical and Biological Stressors.

Learning Objectives: This internship with NCCOS will provide an opportunity for the selected participant to develop skills and gain experience in the field of environmental toxicology and chemistry. The student will learn exposure methods, sampling procedures, and operational techniques for researching with MPs and CECs in mesocosm systems. The student will discover how to detect effects in estuarine organisms exposed to these stressors within the mesocosms. The student will also learn analysis techniques for detecting MPs and CECs from the mesocosm simulations. The student will develop the skills to produce enhanced scientific reports and communications.

Mentor: The mentor for this opportunity is Paul Pennington ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor.

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: June 2024.  Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment Length: The appointment will initially be for four months, but may be renewed upon recommendation of NOAA and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of Participation: The appointment is full-time.

Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.

Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens.

ORISE Information: This program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and NOAA. Participants do not become employees of NOAA, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

Questions: If you have questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.



The qualified candidate should have received a master's degree in one of the relevant fields or be currently pursuing one of the degrees with completion by May 31, 2024. Degree must have been received within the past two years.

Preferred skills/experience:

  • Interest in environmental chemistry and toxicology; pollution or water quality
  • Course work in general chemistry, organic chemistry or instrumental/quantitative analytical chemistry, introduction to statistics, general biology, and physiology
  • Experience in a laboratory setting, using pipettes, and maintaining a clean laboratory workspace
  • Experience in field research and/or simulated ecosystems
  • Ability to communicate well with others in oral and written formats
  • Ability to perform research independently and in a group setting

Eligibility Requirements


  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: Master's Degree received within the last 24 months or anticipated to be received by 5/31/2024 12:00:00 AM.