Lauren McManus '18

Water Quality Internship at NYC Department of Environmental Protection, Summer 2017

I spent this summer interning for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Among many things, they run the water utility for the city and Westchester county, delivering over a billion gallons of water daily. I worked for the laboratory upstate in charge of monitoring the water quality for the watershed East of the Hudson River. This includes three main reservoir systems, six lakes and eight streams. New York City doesn't filter their water; both its watersheds are pristine enough that the water is drinkable with careful monitoring and U/V treatment.

I was the only intern in my lab and worked mostly with the field team. My duties included making runs all over the watershed to take water samples, collect data on temperature, pH and turbidity, measure stream stage and discharge, perform macroinvertebrate sampling, filter bulk samples of water to test for giardia, cryptosporidium and E. coli and monitor for potential algae blooms. I also worked in the laboratory maintaining and calibrating our robotic monitoring equipment - I even taught myself a bit of coding!

I learned a lot over my ten weeks from being a bit of a jack of all trades. I enjoyed the variety of hands-on work I got to do - I was outside almost constantly - and when I was in the lab I learned a lot about environmental policy and the different regulations we must comply with from the EPA, Clean Water Act and state DEC. It was a really great way to merge all of my interests and helped inform more what career path I might like to take after graduation.

New York City Department of Environmental Protection internships
For other opportunities, view the Geology Department's Summer Research and Internships page