Summer Research Assistant - Air Quality - Lakes of the Clouds Hut
Appalachian Mountain Club - United States

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Appalachian Mountain Club

Title: Research Assistant

Location: Lakes of the Clouds Hut on Mount Washington in NH

Employment Period: Approximately Late-May to Labor Day.

The Appalachian Mountain Club Research Department operates air quality monitoring in the White Mountains and northern New Hampshire. These include a tropospheric ozone-monitoring site and a high-elevation acid precipitation site. AMC’s research is accomplished cooperatively with institutions and agencies such as White Mountain National Forest (WMNF), University of New Hampshire (UNH), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the New Hampshire Air Resources Department (NHARD).

Responsibilities The AMC Research Department hires two summer research assistants to manage the set up, operations and take-down of the four air quality monitoring sites, as well as to make measurements and to compile and analyze the resulting data. The summer research assistant at the Lakes of the Clouds Hut is responsible for daily operations of the cloud and rain samplers at the high elevation site. The monitoring site is located at 5,050 feet on the south flank of Mount Washington in New Hampshire and is only accessible by foot. Much of the monitoring equipment must be carried to the monitoring site. Weather conditions at the site may be extreme, for example, during the summer, the temperatures may fall below freezing, it may snow on occasion, and winds have been recorded over 100 miles per hour. The research assistant will live at the hut on a two-week schedule comprised of 10 days on and 4 days off. Room and board is paid by AMC.

Duties include the backpacking of equipment to the site at the start of the monitoring season, the set up of the site, daily set up and take down of samplers, data entry, coordination with hut naturalists on Mountain Watch program activities, laboratory analyses in the basement laboratory at the hut and final inventory and packing up of the site at the end of August/Early Sept. The summer research assistant will work closely with the research assistant located at Pinkham Notch in coordinating daily monitoring. The research assistant at the Lakes of the Clouds Hut will also provide nightly interpretive talks to the approximate 90 guests, describing the purposes and operations of the Lakes of the Clouds hut monitoring site and the air quality issues that face open spaces and public lands. To accomplish this, the summer research assistant will be responsible for research and study leading to an excellent and conversant understanding of the science and issues relating to rural air quality. The assistant will also study the results of AMC research undertaken since the early 1980s. The assistant will also update any public information available at the hut on air pollution and its effects and will assist the Pinkham summer research assistant in quality assurance and data entry as needed. The summer research assistant at the Lakes of the Clouds Hut will be required to collect stream water samples and other related duties.

  • Enrollment in or graduation from an undergraduate degree program in the sciences.
  • Strong oral communications skills.
  • Excellent physical fitness, flexibility and ability to backpack equipment to the hut.
  • Ability to work independently without close supervision.
  • Good attention to detail, ability to carefully collect and document data, and excellent organizational skills.
  • Basic first aid, and outdoor skills.
  • Able to carry at least 50 pounds for up to 1.5 miles over rugged terrain safely in all weather conditions.
  • Physical Abilities required: A portion of work is performed in an office setting. Must be able to stand, sit, walk, and operate standard office equipment.
Desirable :
  • A two year commitment to work at Lakes of the Clouds Hut in the first summer and as a senior intern in the second year coordinating all monitoring activities from the Research Department at the Pinkham Notch Visitors Center.
  • Personal commitment to environmental protection.
  • Background in chemistry and statistics.
  • Background in botany.
  • Desire to live in a mountain hut with the Lakes of the Clouds Hut crew.
  • Mechanical ability.


Georgia Murray

Staff Scientist

AMC Research Department

PO Box 298

Gorham, NH 03581

(603) 466 2721 , X 8111

Appalachian Mountain Club is an Equal Opportunity Employer. AMC values diversity in the workplace.

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