Student Research Opportunities

Every year, we bring thousands of dollars of federal funding to support New York students in doing field-based, community-driven researchOur ability to connect students, funding, and places makes the Hudson River Research Reserve a hub for the next generation of New York’s environmental science workforce. With the help of our partners, high school, college, and graduate students from more than 90 institutions have conducted research on the Hudson over the past 35 years.


Student Research Opportunities at the Reserve

Student Research ProgramNumberTimeframeTarget grade levelAmountPartner
Margaret A. Davidson Fellowship12 academic yearsMasters and doctoral$41,000/yearNOAA
Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship Program12 academic yearsUndergraduate$9,500/yearNOAA
Mark B. Bain Doctoral FellowshipUp to 61 academic yearDoctoral$19,000/year + research budget of up to $1,000 Hudson River Foundation
The Institute Discovering Environmental Scientists (TIDES)15-18SummerHigh SchoolHourly rateHudson River Estuary Program
NOAA College-Supported Internship Program1SummerUndergraduate$3,800NOAA
Tibor T. Polgar Fellowship8SummerUndergraduate$5,000Hudson River Foundation
Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program~30SummerHigh School$3,000American Fisheries Society
McKeon Student Research GrantNot specifiedSummerHigh School and UndergraduateUp to $1,000Hudson River Environmental Society

The Institute Discovering Environmental Scientists (TIDES)

TIDES is a paid summer field research and laboratory science experience where High School and College students conduct field research projects along the banks of the Hudson River and in local streams.

NERRS Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Research Fellowship

This two-year graduate research fellowship brings a student to the Hudson to conduct research that addresses a key coastal management question. The work helps scientists and communities understand coastal challenges and impacts to influence future policy and management strategies. Our current fellow, Clara Chang of Columbia University, is exploring the impact of sea level rise on the Hudson’s marshes through sediment core research.

    Hollings Scholarship

    The Hollings Scholarship Program, funded by NOAA, provides undergraduate students with hands-on, practical experience in science, research, technology, policy, management, and education activities. Awards include academic assistance for two years of full-time study and a 10-week, full-time paid internship during the summer at a NOAA facility.

    Mark B. Bain Doctoral Fellowship

    This 1-year fellowship brings a doctoral student to do research on the Hudson River and Watershed, focused on topics related to the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of the River, or address social, economic, or public policy issues, including issues related to environmental justice.

    Polgar Scholarship

    In cooperation with the Hudson River Foundation, the Polgar Fellowship provides funding for eight students each summer with small stipends for advisors. The program aims to broaden participation with the Hudson River’s diverse student population and facilitate mentorship and opportunity for students historically underrepresented in the environmental sciences.

    past projects

    • Corey Rundquist was a 2018 Polgar Fellowship recipient from Hamilton College. He collected data at Norrie Point for his project titled “Detecting Cyanobacteria in the Hudson River Using Fluorescent Sensors Suitable for Real-time Deployment.”

    • Sophia Courtney was a 2019 Polgar Fellowship Recipient from Drexel University. She collected data from Piermont Marsh for her project titled “Is Sea Level Rise Altering Wetland Hydrology in Hudson River Valley Tidal Marshes?”

    College Internship

    NOAA partners with select colleges to provide undergraduate students college-funded summer internship opportunities. At the Hudson River Reserve, these students assist research staff with summer field work in freshwater tidal wetlands, water sampling, and laboratory processing. Students must be in their second or third year and apply through their college.

    Hudson River NERR Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Research Intern, Summer 2023

    Hudson River NERR Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Research Intern, Summer 2023

    Available Slots: One

    Internship Focus: Research


    The Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve (HRNERR) seeks a student intern to assist with a trail planting of water celery (Vallisneria americana), a species of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV). Water celery is valued for providing habitat for fish and for improving water quality. The cover of water celery was greatly reduced in the Hudson River following storm events, and areas that have not recovered naturally have been mapped. HRNERR has started a project where water celery has been cultivated in a greenhouse. By participating in this internship, the student will help plan and implement an experimental design for planting this cultivated water celery within a freshwater tidal Hudson River Research Reserve site. The student will also gain experience with standard protocols used to collect water quality, nutrient, and weather data. In addition, this position may support tasks including how to safely store, handle, and dispose of chemicals, clean glassware, and prepare chemical standards. Other potential internship duties include river water sampling (from shore or boat), assisting with laboratory protocols (filtering and weighing), and calibrating instruments.


    Required Skills:

    Eligible applicants must be comfortable working in and around water and able lift up to 50 lbs. Experience with environmental field work and standard laboratory procedures is beneficial. For all tasks, ample training will be provided, and the work will be performed alongside full-time staff. Responsibilities will be delegated with the goal of developing the intern’s skillsets and knowledge to provide a valuable, early-career experience.


    Internship Location:

    Norrie Point Environmental Center, 256 Norrie Point Way, Staatsburg, NY 12580



    We can connect potential interns with local housing options, including an on-site dormitory.


    Supervisor Contact Information:

    Sarah H. Fernald

    Research Coordinator, Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve

    Division of Marine Resources, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

    Norrie Point Environmental Center

    256 Norrie Point Way, P.O. Box 315, Staatsburg, NY 12580

    P: (845) 889-4745 x111 | F: (845) 889-4749 |

    Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program

    The Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program is an eight week paid summer internship and mentoring program for high school students sponsored by the American Fisheries Society (AFS). Our vision is to stimulate interest in fisheries and aquatic science among underrepresented groups in the profession today. Participating students receive a $3,000 stipend and an all expense paid trip to the Hutton Scholars Summit (University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff). Through our network of mentors, we can place students in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico within a 45 minute commute of the student’s home. 

    McKeon Student Research Grant

    The McKeon Research Grant is available for High School and Undergraduate student research on environmental issues in the Hudson Valley. Grants of up to $1,000 will be given to help defray the cost of summer field work.