Students in lab coats doing scientific research

Internships & Research


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Program faculty have long-term connections with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the University Hygienic Laboratory, Nature Conservancy, Iowa Geological Survey Bureau, Trees Forever and the University of Iowa's Environmental Engineering program. As a result, there are many internship opportunities for you to explore a variety of career options.

In addition to research opportunities with faculty, Coe’s entire campus is an Urban Field Station with opportunities to study interaction of the city with the environment.

  • Study the impact of Coe’s solar installation on our carbon footprint.
  • How much water do our permeable patios, parking lots and rain gardens divert from the storm sewers in a year? What is their impact on water quality?
  • Do Coe’s plantings of native plants have a measurable impact on pollinators? On bird populations?

To answer these questions, Coe's environmental science program features state-of-the-art equipment for use in the field and in the laboratory.

Laboratory Equipment

  • Coy Anaerobic Glove Box — for culture of anaerobic microorganisms
  • Geographic Information System laboratory built on ArcMAP
  • Dionex ICS 1000 ion chromatograph with AS40 autosampler — for analysis of nitrate, chloride and sulfate
  • Lachat QuikChem 8500 Series 2 Flow Injection analyzer — measures dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP, orthophosphate) down to the part-per-billion level
  • IDEXX Colilert 18/Quanti-tray system for measuring E. coli in water.
  • Perkin Elmer Optima 7000DV ICP for analysis of total phosphorus and metals
  • TitraLab AT1000 Series Potentiometric Titrator for hardness and alkalinity

Field Equipment

  • Geographic Positioning System (GPS) units
  • YSI 556 and YSI ProPlus Multi-Parameter Systems (measures dissolved oxygen, temperature, conductivity and pH) with a 10m cable and flow-through cell
  • Multiple YSI Dissolved Oxygen meters
  • Hach 2100Q and 2100P turbidimeters
  • Turner field fluorometers for in vivo measurement of chlorophyll
  • Thermo Niton XL3t handheld XRF analyzer for measuring metals in solids (such as soil)
  • Sontek FlowTracker2 Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (for wadable stream flow measurements)
  • Teledyne RDI Stream Pro - Acoustic Doppler Profile Velocimeter (for higher flows)