2018 Summer Intern Noah tests a submarine in Lake Tahoe

The UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) is dedicated to research, education and public outreach on lakes and their surrounding watersheds and airsheds. Lake ecosystems include the physical, biogeochemical and human environments, and the interactions among them. The Center is committed to providing objective scientific information for restoration and sustainable use of the Lake Tahoe Basin.

TERC has two facilities in Lake Tahoe. The main office and lab space is located in Incline Village, NV, while a recently renovated field station is used by researchers and staff in Tahoe City, CA. Prospective interns would work primarily out of the Incline Village facility and conduct field work (depending on availability) in the Tahoe basin.

Potential and Example Internship Opportunities listed below:

Lake Measurements

Assist researchers in understanding how anthropogenic effects alter the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems in the mountains of California. Research will be conducted in Emerald Lake (Sequoia National Park), Castle Lake (Shasta-Trinity National Forest), and at other small mountain lakes located throughout the Sierra Nevada. Applicants should have considerable backcountry experience and the ability to carry heavy (50 lb.) loads extended distances over steep and uneven terrain.

App Development

Work with a team from TERC to develop a Citizen Science App to assess the condition of lakes in the south of Chile.

Data Analytics

Analyze citizen science data and learn what people like and dislike about Lake Tahoe

Chemistry Lab (in Davis, CA)

Student will perform Total Kjeldal Nitrogen analyses for lake water samples from Lake Tahoe. Student may also perform Phophorus extractions from sediment core samples from Clear Lake.  Each analysis requires set up, glassware cleaning, sample inventory, standard preparation, SRM preparation, reagent preparation and final reading on the spectrophotometer.  The data will then be assessed by the QA/QC standards set up by the Limnology lab.  Once the data is passed, it will become a part of the long term data set of Lake Tahoe.    

Forest Ecology

  • Assist in assessing how forest management influences carbon dynamics and forest health in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
  • Field studies will include: bark beetle monitoring, soil moisture measurements, sap flow yield collections, basic forest mensuration, carbon (above and below ground) and forest health.

Education and Outreach

  • Educate the public and special tour groups about the research conducted at Lake Tahoe at TERC’s education centers
  • Assist the education team in developing curriculum for environmental science programs for special events and field trips

How to Apply for an Internship:

Send the following documents to antoy@ucdavis.edu.

  1. Cover letter - Specify area(s) of interest, availability to commence and finish work
  2. Resume
  3. Unofficial College Transcripts
  4. Contact information for 3 references