friends@therouge.org | 734-927-4900 | Fax: 734-927-4920

Graphic, Friends of the Rouge Interships

Biological Monitoring Intern

Title: Biological Monitoring Intern
Department: Public Involvement
Status: Part-Time Temporary Position
Reports to: Monitoring Manager
Work location: FOTR office in Plymouth, MI
Stipend: $500/month

Friends of the Rouge (FOTR), founded in 1986, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoration and stewardship of the Rouge River ecosystem through education, citizen involvement and other collaborative efforts. The Rouge River is one of the nation’s most polluted waterways and is located in the Metropolitan Detroit area of southeastern Michigan.  The Rouge has been the focus of intensive federal, state and local restoration efforts.

Program Overview

Friends of the Rouge’s Monitoring Programs engage watershed residents in collecting data about the health of the Rouge River watershed.  Residents learn how to sample for benthic macroinvertebrates, listen for frogs and toads or sample for fish and more.  Data is used by state and local agencies to track restoration progress and screen for problems.  Through the experience, residents learn about the river and what is needed to clean it up.

Benthic Macroinvertebrate Monitoring: FOTR trains volunteer to collect and identify benthic macroinvertebrates who then lead teams of volunteers on group sampling days three times a year including a Spring and Fall Bug Hunt and a Winter Stonefly Search.

 Frog and Toad Survey: Volunteers attend a two hour training workshop and learn to identify the breeding calls of our seven local frogs and one toad.  They are assigned a quarter square mile survey block near where they conduct surveys on their own on damp warm nights by listening for the calls.

Position Purpose

The Biological Monitoring Intern will assist with the Monitoring Programs.

Job Duties & Responsibilities

  • assisting with promoting and holding public training workshops
  • tracking volunteer registration and participation
  • working with volunteers to assign frog and toad survey blocks
  • checking forms and specimens and inputting data
  • organizing and maintaining equipment
  • assisting in monitoring
  • other duties as assigned by Monitoring Manager, to include some meetings and staffing the FOTR display at events


  • Prefer a student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in environmental/biological sciences or related discipline
  • Must have basic computer skills including spreadsheets and data entry, Microsoft Access and ArcGIS experience preferred
  • Good written, online and verbal communication skills and some experience working with volunteers or the general public
  • Must be willing to work a flexible schedule including some evenings and weekends
  • Must have a valid Michigan driver’s license and have reliable transportation
  • Must be in good physical condition, able to wear waders and move about for extended periods of time and tolerate a wide range of weather conditions

Position Timeframe

  • January 2020 – April 2020
  • ~8 hours/week
  • flexible schedule but MUST be available some week nights and Saturdays for programs

Application Instructions

Application:  send cover letter, resume and three references to spetrella@therouge.org

Deadline for submission: Friday, Dec. 6, 2019.