Summer intern search underway!

Education, Environmental, Sound Rivers

Posted on January 26th, 2023
Do you love being on the river? Want to gain more experience in the field and explore eastern North Carolina waterways? We’ve got the job for you!

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is currently accepting applications for this paid, summer-long Sound Rivers’ internship (see links to more information below).

“We’re looking for somebody who’s interested in working with people, exploring nature and improving people’s understanding of water quality,” said Sound Rivers Program Director Clay Barber.

What does a Sound Rivers internship look like?

Our interns are instrumental to the success of Swim Guide, a popular program that lets people know where it’s safe to swim all summer long at recreational sites in the Tar-Pamlico and Neuse river basins.

Swim Guide tasks include: recruitment, coordination and training of volunteer sample collectors, performing lab and field work, managing data and uploading to Swim Guide website, and communicating results to the public via social media reels and text alerts.

While leading Swim Guide is the primary focus, interns will also assist Riverkeepers and program director with special projects that could include research, data collection and analysis, aerial surveillance, investigating on the waterways, introducing water quality to children’s groups or assisting with stormwater projects such as constructed wetlands and rain gardens. Every day is different on the river!

Eligible students must be:

  • A rising sophomore, junior, or senior enrolled full-time in a four-year North Carolina college or university; OR
  • A rising sophomore, junior, or senior North Carolina resident enrolled full-time in a four-year accredited college outside the state; AND
  • Pell grant-eligible in the academic year in which they apply for NPIP. As a part of the application process, students will be asked to upload their Student Aid Report verifying their Pell grant eligibility. Students can access this document through their FAFSA login. Click here for further directions. Students ineligible for a Pell grant due to documentation issues or criminal conviction may be eligible and should contact ZSR fellow, Clare Bradshaw, at

Applications are due by noon on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. After the deadline, Z. Smith Reynolds staff will review applicants for eligibility and then provide applicant information and resumes for host organizations to review during the month of March. During this period, organizations will review received applications, conduct interviews, and make a final decision. Once an organization has decided on their intern, they will send the student a Program Agreement Form to complete and sign.

Students of color are encouraged to apply. 

Find out more about the Sound Rivers summer internship and/or apply here. Any questions can be emailed to Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation fellow Joanna Martinez.




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