Position Title: Biology Assistant
Park Unit: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Location: Three Rivers, California
Number of positions available: 1
Can this position be fully remote: NO

Duration: 20 Weeks (not flexible)
Start Date: 10/07/2024
Flexible Start Date: YES

Weekly Stipend: $565.00
Relocation Allowance: $400.00

CURRENT NUMBER OF APPLICANTS: Under 75 (This posting will close after receiving 75 complete applications or at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, 16 June, whichever occurs first.)

The internship at Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks will primarily help support on-going research and monitoring of meso-carnivores of conservation concern in the southern Sierra Nevada. In particular, efforts will focus on learning more about fishers in the parks, but the intern may also have opportunities to assist with learning more about Pacific marten, 2 squirrel species (Douglas, Humboldt flying), and/or Sierra Nevada red fox. In fall and winter, primary tasks involve using remote cameras to detect fishers and other wildlife, setting traps to catch fisher and attach (or remove) radio-collars, and use telemetry to monitor radio-collared individuals through a combination of remote triangulation, GPS downloads, and hiking in to identify resting habitat. This field work can be challenging due to the terrain and elusive nature of fishers, but is also very rewarding as we continue to learn more about fisher habitat use in and around recent fire footprints and planned fuels treatments and survey portions of the park with little to no prior survey effort. Interns will receive training to assist trained personnel in safe trapping and handling methods, navigation with GPS, communication by radio, and other safety related skills. In addition to helping the SEKI wildlife biologist learn more about fishers in the field, the intern may also assist with entering associated data, reviewing photos from remote cameras, help with gear preparation, and revisit some locations to gather additional information on habitat. Other potential field and data opportunities that the intern could assist with include collection, summary, and/or organization of other wildlife data including California spotted owl, great gray owl, Sierra Nevada red fox, tree squirrels, songbirds, bats, etc. While assisting with fisher-focused field work is a key part of this internship, some flexibility in tasks is possible depending on the individual intern's interests, skills, and future goals.

This work meets the NPS mission by preserving special status wildlife species. The distinct population segment of fisher in the southern Sierra Nevada was recently (2020) listed as endangered under the ESA. Fishers occur in mid-elevation dense old forests, which are at high risk for catastrophic fires and fishers are an indicator of forest ecosystem integrity because they require specific habitat structures associated with older forests that a lot of time to form (e.g., large live trees and snags with cavities). In Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (SEKI), studying the elusive fisher is a high priority because collecting new data in a changing landscape can help facilitate conservation of the species and because improved availability of local fisher data can facilitate completion of other important park management activities (e.g., fuels reduction, prescribed fire) while minimizing impacts. As we are navigating the path of restoring the forested landscape in areas impacted by wildfires while also using fuels reduction tools to improve resiliency of remaining green forest, improving our understanding of how fishers are navigating and using our current altered landscape can help park managers find ways to balance multiple objectives. SEKI wildlife biologists are collaborating with Yosemite NP, USFWS, USFS, CA Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon State University, and others to contribute new information to conservation strategies for fishers in this region. Additionally, depending on timing of field work and the availability of the intern, we also anticipate that this position may be able to support survey and data sorting efforts for 2 other rare meso-carnivores: Pacific marten and Sierra Nevada red fox (endangered).


The primary deliverables for the fall / winter wildlife intern position at SEKI are data associated with individual fishers collected in the field at remote cameras (e.g., photos, genetic hair samples) and/or associated with radio-collared individuals (e.g., GPS data download, rest site, trap site). Additionally, depending on timing the intern may assist with capture and monitoring of Pacific martens and/or remote camera surveys / photo sorting for Sierra Nevada red fox. Ideally, an intern will have the opportunity to follow data collection and summary through the entire process from setting up a camera or trap to detecting or catching an individual fisher and then entering those data into a database for ultimate summary and analysis. Depending on the interests and skills of the intern and needs of the project at the time, we would also plan for at least 1 additional specific deliverable or product that meets a SEKI wildlife program need: creating a presentation for other NPS staff, visitors, or partners on our fisher findings to date (for someone with data summary or educational interests), assisting SEKI wildlife biologist with cleaning up older location data for fisher and other target wildlife species in the parks (for someone with GIS or database management interests), creating of maps, shapefiles, and/or basic GIS analysis relative to fisher use of areas with different fire severity (for someone with GIS interests).



  • Capacity to follow field protocols, attention to detail in data collection, and a strong work ethic
  • Ability to collaborate and communicate positively with others
  • Willingness and ability to work/hike in steep terrain and carry moderate to heavy backpack and traps (wire cage trap with attached wooden cubby)
  • Possess valid driver’s license
  • Current covid vaccine (due to handling of endangered species - no exceptions)


  • B.S. in biology, wildlife ecology, natural resource management, GIS, or related discipline
  • Some experience setting and checking remote cameras
  • Some experience using telemetry to locate animals, especially in mountainous terrain
  • Some animal-handling skills
  • Ability to navigate in the field using GPS and maps; prefer some GIS experience
  • Experience collecting and managing field data and organizing field samples
  • Experience working in snowy/icy/cold conditions - including working, hiking, snowshoeing, driving
  • Current rabies vaccine (if no rabies vaccine, project will cover the cost to receive one - but the applicant must be willing to be vaccinated for rabies to participate in animal handling)

The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. legal permanent resident (“Green Card holder”). Prior to starting this position, a government security background clearance will be required. The applicant must be available to participate for 20 Weeks in order to be considered and participate.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are home to some of the world's most spectacular trees (giant sequoias), and tallest peaks (Mount Whitney), but also an incredible diversity of wildlife that occur in a mix of habitat from oak woodlands in the foothills, to mixed-conifer forest at the mid-elevations, to alpine meadows at high elevations. While the landscape is beautiful and amazing to explore, the field work involved in studying park wildlife can be challenging. In particular, one can expect to encounter steep slopes, brushy or rocky terrain, forests with logs and dense understory, as well as rain or snow during winter months, comfortable temperatures in fall/spring, and hot temperatures in summer. Depending on season and location, interns may also encounter black bears, mountain lions, rattlesnakes, biting insects, and poison oak. Interns will receive training on navigation and safety, but will also need to feel comfortable hiking with a backpack, carrying gear such as remote cameras and large traps, and driving 4x4 vehicles on roads that can have ice or snow during winter months. Three Rivers is the closest small town to park headquarters (~10 min drive), and has several restaurants, a small grocery store, and some opportunities for recreation. Visalia is a larger town (~40 min drive) with more options for groceries, other shopping, and other amenities. If arriving by plane, the Fresno-Yosemite International Airport is the closest option (~90 min drive). We anticipate most of the intern's time will be spent in the field (80%), with some time spent in the office (20%); if a candidate is particularly interested in gaining more experience with GIS or other data analysis and has appropriate skills, more office time is possible.


  • Applicant must have a valid driver's license to drive a government vehicle.
  • A personal vehicle is recommended for this position.

Park housing is available and will be provided at no cost to the participant. Shared housing within the parks will be provided. Intern will most likely be based in Ash Mountain (park headquarters). Exact housing cannot be determined in advance, but generally involves a single room in a house with 1-3 other park staff. Bathroom and kitchen space are shared. Cell reception varies by carrier and housing location. Wi-fi is currently limited in housing, but available near office locations. Pets and other occupants are not permitted.

wildlife, meso-carnivore, fisher, Sierra Nevada, forest, conservation

This posting will close after receiving 75 complete applications, or at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Sunday, 16 June, whichever occurs first. Once you begin applying for a position, the application must be completed in one sitting. You cannot save and return later to complete it. Applicants can apply for up to five Scientists in Parks Intern positions per winter. You need to complete a separate application for each position in order to be considered. You should receive a confirmation email after successfully submitting an application. Sometimes institutional email filters/settings can redirect or block emails related to the application. We recommend watching spam, junk, and promotional email folders in case your service delivers messages there. Please visit How to Apply for additional resources and information about applying (i.e., learn what materials to have ready for applying, find a worksheet that previews application questions, etc.)