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USDA-ARS Internship in Soil Health Assessments in the Lower Mississippi River Basin

How to apply: In order to apply to any posting, you will need to make a profile account in Zintellect at Once your profile is made, you will be able to apply to postings.

A complete application consists of:
  • An application
  • Transcript(s) – For this opportunity, an unofficial transcript or copy of the student academic records printed by the applicant or by academic advisors from internal institution systems may be submitted. Click here for detailed information about acceptable transcripts.
  • A current resume, including academic history, employment history, relevant experiences, and publication list (if applicable)
  • Two educational or professional recommendations
All documents must be in English or include an official English translation.

Application Deadline

3/31/2023 11:59:00 PM Eastern Time Zone
*Applications will be reviewed on a rolling-basis.

ARS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is available with the Water Quality and Ecology Research Unit within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), located in Oxford, Mississippi.
The ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific in-house research agency with a mission to find solutions to agricultural problems that affect Americans every day from field to table. ARS will deliver cutting-edge, scientific tools and innovative solutions for American farmers, producers, industry, and communities to support the nourishment and well-being of all people; sustain our nation’s agroecosystems and natural resources; and ensure the economic competitiveness and excellence of our agriculture. The vision of the agency is to provide global leadership in agricultural discoveries through scientific excellence.

Research ProjectThe research mission of the USDA-ARS Water Quality and Ecology Research Unit is to study impacts of agricultural practices and conservation measures on water and soil quality, as well as ecosystem services. This research project is expected to advance knowledge of soil health from samples within the Lower Mississippi River Basin. The research will improve knowledge of soil nutrients and their transport to improve water quality in the Gulf of Mexico.
Under the guidance of a mentor, the selected participant will be involved in the following research activities:
  1. The participant will collaborate with USDA-ARS research scientists to collect and analyze soil and sediment samples from several field and watershed research sites. The participant will dry and grind samples and analyze for physical and chemical characteristics.
  2. The participant will be trained to conduct greenhouse gas emission sample collection and analyses to support soil health assessments.
  3. The participant will collaborate on a long-term agroecosystem study examining changes in soil health among fields with various conservation practices. 

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: May 23, 2022. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment LengthThe appointment will initially be for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of ARS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is full-time during the summer, part-time during the academic year.

Participant StipendThe participant(s) will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. 

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens only.

ORISE InformationThis program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and ARS. Participants do not become employees of USDA, ARS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. However, this position requires a pre-employment check and a full background investigation. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.
This is an equal opportunity program open to all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, mental or physical disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, or covered veteran’s status.

Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.


The qualified candidate should be currently pursuing (senior level) or have recently received a High School Diploma/GED. 
Preferred Skills:
  • Experience in biology or other core sciences courses
  • Time management: Punctual with the ability to devote the workday to assigned tasks due to the complexity of analyses and sampling protocols
  • Dependable: Thorough, trustworthy, with the ability to provide a high level of attention to detail. 
  • Ability to perform work independently in laboratory and field settings
  • Willing and capable of being trained in appropriate soil health assessment techniques

Eligibility Requirements

  • Citizenship: U.S. Citizen Only
  • Degree: High School Diploma/GED.

Reference Code