Plastic Monitoring Intern



The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technology to extract, prevent, and intercept plastic pollution. Our goal is to initiate the largest cleanup in history by mid-2018.

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 is executing river research to provide global estimates of riverine plastic debris using a combination of (1) fundamental experiments, (2) targeted fieldwork and (3) modelling exercises. According to recent model estimations, the Rhine is one of Europe’s most plastic polluting rivers. To assess the plastic emission into the ocean from our own backyard, these model simulations must be validated. Field measurements will give insights into the quantities, transport mechanisms and composition of plastic waste in the Rhine, which will allow model validation and more accurate plastic emission assessments. We are looking for an intern who can dive into monitoring plastic waste in the Rhine. Your tasks will be to:

  • Apply and improve TOC’s measurement methods for monitoring the Rhine;
  • Plan and execute field measurements in and around the Rhine river;
  • Collect and analyze existing data from other research groups;
  • Compare riverine plastic data with hydrological data, such as rainfall, discharge and flow velocities;
  • Report back upon your findings including recommendations for more research and testing.


  • Currently a student at a university (of applied sciences) in for example environmental sciences, hydrology, geosciences, water management or similar
  • Skilled in planning and executing (hydrological) fieldwork
  • Experienced with developing and/or improving measurement methods
  • Experienced with data processing, analysis and visualization
  • Some exposure to using programs such as Python, R, or MATLAB for data processing


  • 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
  • Ideally ‘fieldwork proficient’ in Dutch
  • Intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful goal

Please apply by sending your CV and motivation letter to For questions please email to