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River Research Intern

  • Type Internship
  • Degree Bachelor
  • Location Rotterdam, NetherlandsBatavierenstraat 15RotterdamNLRotterdam3014 JH
  • Posted
  • Start date
  • Deadline -
  • INTERNEngineeringEngineering

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The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technology to extract, prevent, and intercept plastic pollution. In 2018, The Ocean Cleanup initiated the largest cleanup in history by launching the first cleanup system; System 001 ("Wilson").

We are a young organization with a mission to tackle a global problem of an unprecedented scale. What we are aiming for is not easy, and we know we need to push the limits of current technological boundaries to reach our goals. Working at The Ocean Cleanup isn’t for everyone, but we believe that through optimism, perseverance, and ingenuity we can succeed.

We are recruiting a diverse team of bright, high-performing people, who feel comfortable going off the beaten path, and who perceive setbacks merely as necessary obstacles to be taken on the route to great and lasting achievement.


The Ocean Cleanup’s river research team aims to provide global estimates of riverine plastic debris using a combination of (1) fundamental experiments, (2) targeted fieldwork and (3) modelling exercises. Understanding riverine plastic composition, transport, sources and sinks helps us to better predict the inflow of plastic waste into the ocean. We are looking for river research interns, year-round, to assist the current team. Tasks will include:

  • Collect and analyze plastic and hydrological data for specific rivers
  • Plan and execute field measurements
  • Help improve The Ocean Cleanup’s measurement methods for river monitoring
  • Report back upon your findings, including recommendations for future research

Current open specific assignments include:

  • Plastic transport model development to simulate the spatiotemporal variation of plastic transport along rivers
  • Observing and conceptualizing the vertical distribution of riverine plastic transport


  • Currently a student at a university (of applied sciences) in for example environmental sciences, hydrology, geosciences, water management or similar
  • Preferably experienced with planning and executing (hydrological) fieldwork
  • Experienced with finding, processing, analyzing and visualizing data
  • Ideally some experience with Python, R, or MATLAB
  • This internship can be combined with writing a BSc or MSc thesis
  • Available for 3 to 6 months
  • Starting date: October 2019
  • You have a valid EU study/working permit


  • Independent work ethic (and knows when to ask for help)
  • Problem solver
  • Practical (for example: you can fix your own bike and enjoy building things)
  • Strong command of English, verbal and written
  • Intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful goal

Please apply by sending your CV, motivation letter, potential starting date and preferred duration to

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