ALTON – The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center is currently seeking applicants for its 2014 Summer Internship Program. Interested students can apply online at The application deadline is Sunday, Feb. 16.

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Since the beginning of NGRREC’s Internship Program in 2003, 255 interns have participated, and 31 organizations have provided advisors. Each 10-week paid internship is managed by a faculty member, who is responsible for instruction, supervision, and mentoring of the intern, as well as the design of the summer project. Students receive a $4,000 (pre-tax) stipend for the 10-week program.

Interns enjoy environmental learning experiences during an orientation week, which includes a hiking tour of the Palisades Nature Preserves, river sampling at China Creek and boating on the Mississippi River, where interns and scientists collected fish in nets and tested water quality.

After orientation week, each intern travels to meet with their research advisor, where they will conduct their specific research throughout the summer. Locations differ each year according to where the advisors are located. To see this year’s projects and locations, go to

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“The internship program is a great way to gain practical skills and job experience and network with students and faculty,” said former intern and current NGRREC staff member Ted Kratschmer. “I know my NGRREC internship gave me a leg up when I was applying for jobs in environmental science after college. I was able to land a job that I would not have been otherwise qualified for as an undergraduate.”

Placement locations are offered primarily throughout Illinois, but often stretch into Missouri and Wisconsin and have even included sites in Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma. Common placement areas in Illinois include: Alton, Edwardsville, Godfrey, Havana, Springfield, and Urbana-Champaign.

At the end of the internship, the interns and advisors gather for a two-day symposium, where each intern will give a formal presentation outlining their project outcomes. To see examples of past internship projects and presentations go to and click “Read the 2013 internship proceedings.”

NGRREC’s scholars and scientists study the ecology of the big rivers, the workings of the watersheds that feed them, and ties to the river communities that use them. NGRREC aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education and outreach related to the interconnectedness of big rivers, their floodplains and watersheds and their associated communities.

The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center is a partnership of Lewis and Clark Community College, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Prairie Research Institute’s Illinois Natural History Survey. For more information about NGRREC visit To view photos of the 2013 orientation week, visit NGRREC’s Intern Week 2013 photo set on Flickr at

Caption: NGRREC Aquatic Scientist John Chick, far left, examines a fish caught in the Mississippi River by NGRREC interns during Orientation Week 2013. Photo by Louise Jett, L&C Media Specialist

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