Menu Directions Call Us

PAID Undergraduate Summer Research Internship

Otter Point Creek Component

Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve - Maryland

Application Deadline

Application deadline extended until April 24.


The Otter Point Creek Alliance and the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Maryland (CBNERR-MD) co-sponsor a summer research internship. Internships are open to qualified undergraduate students to conduct a summer research project within the Otter Point Creek Component of CBNERR-MD. The Maryland reserve is one of 29 Reserves throughout the country that serve as field laboratories for the betterment of coastal zone management through research, education, and stewardship.

Site Description

Otter Point Creek is one of three sites that comprise CBNERR-MD. It contains 704 acres of upland and riparian forest, tidal freshwater marshes, streams, creeks, submerged aquatic vegetation, and open water. Otter Point Creek is located in the tidal headwaters of the Bush River in Harford County, Maryland. Staff from the Anita C. Leight Estuary Center oversees all efforts and activities at Otter Point Creek. Students are encouraged to work with staff to coordinate the use of laboratories, field equipment, and other amenities (canoes, boats, storage space, etc.) in support of their research project. Students are also encouraged to incorporate education and volunteer opportunities, if applicable, in their research efforts.

Research Topics

Otter Point Creek is an ideal site for a broad range of research topics with a diversity of habitats. Students can work with the Park Manager to develop their own research project from the topics listed below:

  • Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) mapping or species cataloging/abundance.
  • State-rare wetland plant identification, surveys and study
  • Wild Rice and Phragmites mapping, an update to legacy surveys
  • Micro-plastics survey in tidal wetland and estuarine habitats
  • Pre and post storm water quality monitoring with a focus on turbidity/water clarity

Anita C. Leight Research Interns will receive research support and mentoring from trained personnel. They receive a stipend as well as access to research equipment and supplies.

For further information about the topic areas to develop a research proposal, you are encouraged to contact CBNERR-MD Research Staff:

Kyle Derby, or Becky Swerida,

For more detailed information about the projects, please contact Kriste Garman, Park Manager, at 410-612-1688 or via email at


Internships are open to qualified undergraduate students who are capable of working independently with minimal supervision. Students should be highly motivated self-starters, have good communication and writing skills, and be comfortable working in physically challenging environments. Kayak or canoe paddling skills are desirable in order to access research points.

Application Requirements

Qualified applicants should submit the following:

1) a short proposal (five or less single-spaced pages that includes a title, hypotheses, methods/procedures, objectives/goals of study, and references) see template and example

2) copies of unofficial transcripts

3) two letters of recommendation and

4) a one-page resume.

All applications must be received in full by April 24. Qualified applicants will be contacted for an interview.

Internship Requirements

The successful applicant is expected to develop an expanded detailed proposal, conduct independent research, and provide a final report, public presentation and newsletter article about their project for the Otter's Tale, within one year of completing their project.

Financial Support

The Otter Point Creek Alliance will provide a stipend of $4,000 in four installments. Final payment is made upon the receipt of the final report. In addition, CBNERR-MD will provide up to $500 for supplies. Interns should plan and be committed to working a minimum of 20 hours a week for a minimum of three months during the summer.

Send complete applications to:

Kriste Garman, Park Manager
Anita C. Leight Estuary Center
700 Otter Point Road
Abingdon, MD 21009

or email your complete application as a PDF with proposal, transcripts, recommendation letters and resume to Kriste Garman at 

For more information contact:

Kriste Garman at 410-612-1688 or



Monday thru Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m.



eco friendly parties click here


OPCA is a non-profit organization
which supports all the great opportunities and programs at the Estuary Center. Find out more click here.

Donate Now
Anita C. Leight Estuary Center / 700 Otter Point Road, Abingdon MD 21009 / 410-612-1688