• Open
  • Closing date: 18 July 2022


In our mission to rid the world's oceans of plastic, we rely on a thorough understanding of the ocean plastic pollution problem. The research team at The Ocean Cleanup aims to refine our understanding of the sources, transport, and fate of ocean plastics. We are working towards closing the tap of ocean plastics by deploying Interceptors in the world's most polluted rivers worldwide and investing in extensive observational research to understand and quantify plastic emissions. In 2021, we published a new numerical model globally predicting inputs of plastics from rivers into the ocean. The geospatial analyst intern will be responsible for updating and maintaining our numerical model with newly available layers of data and integrating the results into an interactive geospatial visualization that can be used as a decision-making tool. 

"We are thrilled to welcome a new student to keep developing our global river plastic model. Your findings will directly support the River team by providing valuable inputs to prioritize polluting rivers around the world. You must be a map lover!" -Laurent Lebreton, Head of Research.


Responsible for updating our global river plastic model with new geospatial input layers, including topography, formal and informal land use, mismanaged waste generation, surface wind, and rain.

Other responsibilities include: 

  • Familiarizing yourself with our current global river plastic model and implementing model runs using cloud-based computational resources
  • Reviewing literature and open access geospatial datasets used to predict plastic waste inputs into freshwater environments
  • Building a database of global watersheds with a range of predefined indicators
  • Integrating analysis results into an online interactive geospatial visualization


  • Bachelor's degree, pursuing post-graduate science education
  • Successful completion of geospatial information system (GIS) courses
  • Good knowledge of Earth Sciences and Hydrology
  • Experience with programming for geospatial data manipulation.
  • Ability to produce meaningful visualizations
  • Experience with plastic pollution research is a plus
  • Fluent in spoken and written English


  • Be able to get to the essence of a technical challenge quickly and investigate the most relevant/essential aspects to get to a solution
  • Curious, creative, and determined to deliver 
  • Flexible team player 
  • Ability to work independently 
  • Strong organizational skills and verbal communication skills 
  • Intrinsic motivation to work towards our ambitious and meaningful goal 

Note that the candidate needs to be enrolled at a University (MSc program) during the duration of the internship. If applicable, the internship can be combined with an MSc thesis project.  

STARTING FROM May/June 2022 - Duration: 6 months 

Starting from:
May/June 2022
Work permit needed:
European Union