The Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium (LADCO) is hiring a summer intern to help develop conceptual models for ozone pollution within the Great Lakes region. This project will involve both examination of the scientific literature and new analysis of environmental datasets.

Applications are due on May 26 @ 5:00 Central.

Project Description

Ground-level ozone is a major component of photochemical smog. Ozone is formed through chemical reactions of other pollutants in the presence of sunlight. Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems, including reducing lung function and aggravating asthma. Ozone is one of six common air pollutants identified in the Clean Air Act as “criteria air pollutants” and regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) via the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) program. There are currently a number of areas in the Great Lakes states that are not meeting the ozone NAAQS. LADCO is working with its member states to reduce ozone concentrations in the region to attain these standards.

The emissions of the chemicals that form ozone have decreased dramatically in the last few decades. As a result, the chemistry of ozone formation has likely changed over time such that findings from studies conducted over five years ago may no longer be relevant. LADCO will benefit from a review of more recent research on the current chemical conditions and drivers of ozone across the Great Lakes region.

The LADCO summer 2021 intern will refine and describe conceptual models for ozone formation in different areas of the Great Lakes region. These models will describe the conditions under which high levels of ozone form in the area, including the meteorology of high-ozone days and the importance of transport of ozone and ozone precursors into the area from upwind regions. To do this, the intern will:

  • Review, catalog, and summarize existing resources, including scientific publications, policy documents, and existing LADCO analyses, to describe what is already known about ozone formation in these areas.
  • Analyze air quality and meteorological data for the areas to further develop the conceptual models. Analyses will likely focus on long-term monitoring data for ozone, ozone precursors and meteorology at sites around the region.

The final products for the internship will be a technical resource library and a document describing the conceptual models for the different areas. The resource library will be a bibliography of literature sources that describe studies conducted on ozone formation in the Great Lakes region with the past decade. The document will form the basis of a website LADCO will develop describing the conceptual models in the different areas. The intern will also give an oral presentation of their work to staff from LADCO and LADCO member states.

Position Requirements

You must be a college or university student who will have completed their sophomore, junior or senior year. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must have a valid and current student or work visa. Preference will be given to students majoring in a scientific field (including but not limited to atmospheric science, environmental science, biology, chemistry, engineering, geology, mathematics, meteorology, and physics). Students should have completed some environmental course work. Additional requirements:

  • Familiarity with and ability to program in R
  • Access to online library databases (e.g., Web of Science) and electronic scientific journals
  • Experience reading and using information from scientific publications
  • Experience analyzing and interpreting complex datasets, ideally focused on environmental data


  • Term: 8 weeks in June – August 2021 (exact timing is negotiable)
  • Hours: 20-30 per week
  • Location: Virtual
  • Stipend: $1,500 paid in two installments
  • The intern will work remotely under the supervision of the LADCO Data Scientist


Applicants should submit the following materials via email to the LADCO office manager ( by May 26 @ 5:00 Central.

  • Cover letter that Includes a 1 page statement describing your interest in the internship and your qualifications for the position. This statement should describe your experience reading and applying information from the scientific literature, analyzing environmental data or other complex datasets, and using R.
  • A resume or CV that includes your full contact information, and describes your academic background, GPA, course work, academic honors or awards, and any relevant research or work experience.
  • Two reference letters. Letters should address your academic abilities, accomplishments, work habits, potential as a researcher, and ability to participate in and benefit from an internship program in air quality science. Recommendations generally come from your professors or supervisors. Please include your reference letters with your application.

About LADCO:

LADCO is an air quality research and planning organization located in Chicago. We work with state, local, and tribal air agencies in the Great Lakes region to fulfill their commitments under federal clean air regulations to improve air quality in the region. The LADCO region includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

LADCO provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

About Author

Zac Adelman
Zac is LADCO's Executive Director. He's an environmental scientist with 20+ years experience in emissions and air quality modeling.