Ocean Internship: Columbia Riverkeeper Water Quality Technician

Columbia Riverkeeper (Riverkeeper) is a successful nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the Columbia River watershed. Riverkeeper has offices in Hood River and Portland, Oregon.

Riverkeeper is a leader in high-profile campaigns to protect our region from fossil fuel infrastructure, toxic pollution, the Hanford Nuclear Site, and other threats facing Columbia River communities and salmon habitat.

Location: Portland, OR

Status: Paid Internship (part-time, temporary, non-exempt)

Hours & Duration: 10 to 15 hours per month from May through September 2023. The internship is independent and the schedule is flexible.

Position Description: Help promote healthy river contact and inform the public on safe places to swim. Riverkeeper seeks a responsible individual to serve as the Water Quality Technician from May to September (10-15 hours/month) in Portland, OR. Technicians will become experts in E. coli and harmful algal bloom monitoring techniques and sampling methods. Prior experience with E. coli or algal bloom monitoring is not required. Attention to detail and ability to work independently is a must. Experience gained through this position will greatly benefit persons looking to further a career in water resources.


  • Collect water samples from Columbia River sites twice monthly to test for E.coli
  • Process samples at Riverkeeper’s Portland, OR, office
  • Follow a strict sample collection and processing protocol
  • Monitor for harmful algal blooms
  • Enter data and manage Riverkeeper’s E. coli database
  • File accurate and timely data report with the Water Quality Director
  • Post-up-to-date results on Riverkeeper’s Swim Guide app


  • Ability to swim and cognizant of safety precautions when wading in the river
  • Work independently and with limited oversight
  • Detail-oriented regarding equipment, field protocols, and data entry
  • Passion for rivers and clean water
  • Represent Riverkeeper in a positive manner
  • Valid driver’s license, access to a car, and willingness to drive to multiple sites along
  • the Columbia River to collect samples
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, particularly Microsoft Excel

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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