Summer Undergraduate Research Assistant

Project Description: Harmful algal blooms (HABs) caused by cyanobacteria are a public health concern. The exposure potential to cyanobacteria toxins, such as the liver toxin microcystin, by aerosols from lakes and farms is not well known. The goal of this project is to identify and quantify aerosolized cyanobacteria and microcystins from Shelburne Pond and a farm in Shelburne, VT. Results will provide data to determine and quantify the risk of exposure, if any, to communities in proximity to HABs in lakes and farming practices that may cause aerosolization of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins. We will collect aerosols from specified locations at potential sources (lake and farm field) and at specified distances from the source to determine how cyanobacterial aerosols, if present, may change over space and time under varying weather conditions.

Job Description: We are looking for a dedicated and enthusiastic student to assist with field and laboratory work. Field work will consist of setting up/taking down aerosol collectors, and collecting water samples and weather data. Laboratory work will include epifluorescent microscopy, running assays to test for toxins in aerosol samples, and data entry. Training will be provided as necessary.

Ideal Qualities: Competitive applicants will be responsible, detail-oriented, curious, interested in research, and interested in environmental sciences and/or public health.

Period of Work: Full-time starting May 14 and ending August 24, 2018. Potential for part-time work in fall semester. Position is based out of the Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory.

Eligibility: Student must be able to lift up to 20 kg and work full days outside when field sampling.

Salary: $10.50/hour

To Apply: Send cover letter, resume, and names/email addresses of three references to Natalie Flores at natalie.flores@uvm.edu before 5:00 PM on March 2, 2018.

For More Information: Contact Natalie Flores, PhD student (natalie.flores@uvm.edu).