Intern sought to collect samples from Little Manistee River

LAKE COUNTY — The Mason-Lake Conservation District is looking for an intern to collect samples from the Little Manistee River this summer.

As part of the Little Manistee Watershed Conservation Council management plan, the water quality intern will help with macro-invertebrate sampling and water quality sampling along the river.

The management plan, approved by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy in 2020, includes short- and long-term goals and activities for the Little Manistee River, such as physical improvements and community education on water quality, according to a news release announcing the internship.

In efforts to start work on some those activities, the LMWCC has partnered with Mason-Lake and Manistee conservation districts. In addition to the internship, the conservation districts have assisted LMWCC with a grant application that would allow an employee to be hired and further facilitate actions related to the watershed management plan," the release stated. This request for proposals was offered through EGLE, but results have yet to be announced.

HOW TO APPLY

According to the job post on the Mason-Lake Conservation District's website, the internship will be 20 hours per week from early-June through mid-October. Time will be split between the office, based in Scottsville, near Ludington, and in the field collecting samples.

Intern should have have at least 60 college credits in a bachelor's level environmental conservation or biology-related program. College credit may be available. Additional qualifications and a list of responsibilities may be found at mason-lakeconservation.org.

To apply, submit a cover letter, resume, college transcripts and list of three references by email to Dani McGarry at the Mason-Lake Conservation District at dani.mcgarry@macd.org. Please list “water quality internship” in the email subject line. For questions about to the position, email or call McGarry at 231-757-3707 ext. 102.

WHY MACRO-INVERTEBRATES?

The goals of the Little Manistee Watershed Conservation Council (LMWCC) are to “restore, protect, and preserve the natural character of the watershed by communicating resource problems and then offering and implementing problem resolution,” according to the news release.

One of the ways it does this is by monitoring water quality through macro-invertebrates.

"Macro-invertebrates are small insects that live in the river or along stream edges and serve as indicators of water quality, depending on the diversity of species that are found and their quantities," the release said. "Water quality sampling looks at physical parameters such as bacteria levels, nitrogen or phosphorus levels, which provide insights on the health of the water itself as well as fish habitat."

According to the release, LMWCC has been monitoring these parameters to identify any trends or changes in river health. The monitoring has been done in tandem with MiCorps, a statewide program for citizen scientists to monitor the health of streams annually.

The Little Manistee River is a 60-plus-mile tributary of the Manistee River that cuts through northern Lake County and ends in the Manistee Lake on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. To learn more about LMWCC, visit lmwcc.org. To learn more about the Mason-Lake Conservation District, visit mason-lakeconservation.org.