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USDA-ARS Coldwater Finfish Recirculating Aquaculture Systems Internship

Application Deadline


4/12/2024 3:00:00 PM Eastern Time Zone



*Applications are reviewed on a rolling-basis.

ARS Office/Lab and Location: A research opportunity is currently available with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), located in Franklin, Maine.

The Agricultural Research Service (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 Project: The USDA-ARS National Coldwater Marine Aquaculture Center in Franklin, Maine, has a primary research focus on conducting genomic selection, nutritional investigations, and disease management investigations to enhance U.S. Atlantic salmon aquaculture. The facility operates multiple recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) to conduct this research. This project will give the participant direct experience with animal husbandry, RAS maintenance and design, and opportunities for contributing to ongoing nutritional, genomic selection, and disease management studies on Atlantic salmon. 

Learning Objectives: This project will also provide the participant direct experience in captive breeding for Lumpfish and investigating aquaculture techniques for that species. Skills acquired by the participant during this project are expected to include detailed understanding of RAS system maintenance, design, and disinfection techniques, Atlantic salmon biology and culture techniques, Lumpfish biology and culture techniques, automated feeder operation and utilization, effluent processing and recycling, live animal experimental study design, water quality assessment techniques, feed and feed components required for maintaining finfish health, finfish anesthesia, selective breeding strategies, captive fish breeding strategies, and familiarity with commercial Atlantic salmon production methods.

Mentor(s): The mentor for this opportunity is Mark Polinski ( If you have questions about the nature of the research, please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: When soonest available. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment Length: The 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 Participation: The appointment is full time.

Participant Stipend: The participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience.

Citizenship Requirements: This opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation.

ORISE Information: This 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. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

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 have received or be pursuing a degree in one of the relevant fields.

Eligibility Requirements


  • Degree: Any degree .