Microbial Sampling and Data Analyses

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Mount Allison University Published: March 8, 2018
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Hours per week
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Microbial contamination of the recreational and clam harvesting shores of the Northumberland Strait shores of NB, NS and PEI is a pressing concern to the region, generating intense citizen and media interest each summer. Harvesting and beach closures are disrupting community lifeways, and tourist numbers.  In response to citizen demand in 2016/17 we assembled a large retrospective dataset of microbial counts from the Northumberland Strait shores.  During this effort we formed initial working partnerships with local stewardship and community groups. We seek an intern to work with these community groups to identify and sample under-studied stretches of the Northumberland shores, incorporate the counts into our growing database, and connect the database to Graphical Information System presentations of patterns and trends of contamination.

We thereby seek  to inform future practices and policy on these shores and watersheds to manage and mitigate microbial contamination events.

Duties and responsibilities

i) Obtain microbial counts from uncovered stretches of the Northumberland coast, in particular the under-served Baie Verte/Tidnish shoreline, which have distinct development histories.

ii) Obtain microbial counts extending up key watercourses from the coastal recreational and development strip, to distinguish contamination flowing down watersheds, from more direct inputs in the coastal recreational and development zone.

iii) Work with an experienced data manager to present and communicate the results using Graphical Information Systems and correlational analyses with other datasets.


Knowledge and skills

i) Experience in clean sampling and microbiological techniques.

ii) Ability to drive.

iii) Ability to gather and communicate knowledge, data and concepts with stakeholders and community groups using clear oral and written material. Ability to communicate in both French and English will be a strong asset given our geographic area.

iv) Demonstrated experience with data management and Graphical Information Systems.

v) Ability to work autonomously in both the field and the lab.

Education required

Applicant will require B.Sc. or M.Sc. in Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences or equivalent.

Applicant will require a program certificate in use of Geographic Information Systems, or demonstrated independent experience in connecting databases to GIS.

Certification required


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