Position Title: Water Microbiologist
Student Name: Olivia Saliger
Major: Environmental Science & Studies
Type of Internship: Data & Analytics
City, State: Baltimore, MD
Hours: 30+ hours per week
Paid or Unpaid: Paid, hourly wage
How did you find this internship?
A friend referred me to this position.
What did you do as an intern at this organization?
I analyzed water quality of all fresh, brackish, and saltwater recreational beaches in Maryland to ensure safety of bathers. I quantified fecal coliforms E. coli and Enterococci using EPA certified procedures. I became highly proficient in pipetting, dilutions, lab sterilization, and time management.
What did you find most rewarding in your internship?
My favorite part about this experience was being able to shut down beaches when necessary. If samples came back too high in fecal coliforms I would notify the County and have them shut down the beach to undergo more testing.
What were the challenges you faced in your internship?
This particular internship required strict time management. Water samples arrived 20 minutes before their expiration time (you have to analyze water within 8 hours of the sample being taken). And we would often have to quantify the bacteria of over 120 samples within 20 minutes.
If another student at TU was interested in your internship next year, what skills would you recommend they develop in the coming semesters to prepare?
I would highly recommend taking chemistry classes as I was asked about those during my interview. It's also beneficial to have lab experience and water quality experience.
Learn more about the Maryland State Department of Health.