Position Title: Ecology Assistant
Park Unit: Fire Island National Seashore
Location: Patchogue, New York
Number of positions available: 1
Can this position be fully remote: NO

Duration: 52 Weeks (not flexible)
Start Date: 01/05/2025
Flexible Start Date: YES

Weekly Stipend: $665.00
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.)

Coastal marshes provide essential ecological and socio-economic services and are at risk from a variety of threats, including increasing sea level rise rates and storm surge impacts. To proactively conserve these ecosystems and manage for climate change impacts, the northeast region of the NPS is assessing and implementing a variety of resilience strategies, including restoration of degraded marshes at several parks, marsh migration modeling, and development of other climate change adaptation strategies. In preparation for restoration activities, the intern will participate in pre-implementation surveys and monitoring of coastal marsh sites (e.g., mapping, vegetation, fauna, photo plots, etc.) at 1-3 parks. The intern will also work with NPS park and regional personnel, as well as research and management partners, to develop communications products for the broader marsh project, targeting a variety of audience types. These may include products ranging from podcasts, videos and story-maps to brochures and interpretive signage design. Because the intern will be stationed at Fire Island National Seashore, ancillary duties may also include assisting with ongoing monitoring of shorebirds, small mammals, and forest vegetation and participating in other park-specific tasks as time allows.

Coastal marshes in national parks and elsewhere are priority habitats, cultural landscapes, and recreation destinations that provide essential ecosystem services, including protection from flooding, erosion, and storm surge. They sequester carbon at over 40 times the rate of terrestrial forested ecosystems and provide habitat for imperiled wildlife and 75% of coastal fishery species. However, anthropogenic impacts have resulted in the loss of more than half of the original salt marsh habitat in the U.S. and much of the remaining coastal marshes in the Northeast are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts. The intern will be involved in important aspects of implementing and communicating the need for marsh restoration other climate-change adaptation techniques and science-based strategies, also informed by traditional knowledge. Failure to address these issues now will result in greater marsh loss and potentially irreversible impacts to park resources and the results of the intern’s work, from establishing baseline/pre-restoration conditions through on-site surveys and monitoring to communicating these important park management needs, can have a long-term impact on park resources as well as the public’s understanding of the importance of coastal marshes, how they are impacted by climate change and other stressors, and what the NPS is doing to address these issues.


The intern will assist in refinement of marsh restoration monitoring protocols and implementation of pre-restoration monitoring as well as documenting results in databases, including mapping of sites and other spatial databases in AGOL. Work will also include assistance with other park monitoring efforts as time allows. The intern will develop communication and outreach materials, as noted in the position description above, with specific products determined by and making best use of the intern’s creativity and skillsets. Intern will coordinate with NPS personnel and partners and review literature to develop case study summaries for several marsh restoration efforts at parks and to inform other communication products. Additional products may be included based on discussions with the selected intern and as they engage with parks and others throughout the internship.


Required: Ability to be self-directed and work independently, as well as part of a team; attention to detail; basic knowledge of climate change impacts and coastal marsh habitats; database, compass, GPS and GIS skills; ability to effectively communicate verbally and in writing; experience developing communication and outreach materials; proficiency in MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Physical Requirements: Applicants must be in good physical shape, as work will be conducted in locations where temperatures and conditions can be extreme. Candidate must be comfortable with hazards typical of the environment (sharp vegetation, driving a four-wheel drive vehicle, sand, extreme heat and cold). Must be able to follow all safety protocols to ensure safe navigation throughout the day. Interns are expected to use good judgment to stay safe and work efficiently. Preferred abilities: Experience and/or technical training in one or more of the following topics - sea level rise, salt marshes, wetland ecology, vegetation monitoring, wildlife biology. Additionally, advanced GIS skills and familiarity with geospatial data analysis are preferred. We recognize that the tasks outlined for the internship require a broad range of skillsets, which we do not necessarily expect applicants to possess. We will do our best to tailor the project tasks to the intern’s interests and skillsets where possible.

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 52 Weeks in order to be considered and participate.

Fire Island is a barrier island located off of the coast of Long Island, New York. Housing is located on Fire Island at Watch Hill. Most of Fire Island National Seashore's sites are only accessible by ferry, work boat, or a government issued 4-wheel drive vehicle. Fire Island is also known for having high densities of ticks and mosquitoes. The Fire Island Lighthouse Area (and adjacent housing) is accessible by personal vehicle and parking will be available for housing occupants and is located behind a gate. Park headquarters is located on the mainland of Long Island, in Patchogue, about a 45-minute drive from the Fire Island Lighthouse, and about a 30-minute boat ride from Watch Hill. The mainland of Long Island is a densely populated setting with access to a variety of amenities. Grocery stores, hospitals, restaurants, beaches, airports, and so much more are within a 45-minute drive.


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

Park housing is NOT available. The intern will be responsible for finding housing in the nearby area. Park housing is available for rental, ranging from dorm rooms to 2-bedroom apartments or a shared house with private bedrooms; availability of options can be discussed at time of offer.

Saltmarsh, restoration, monitoring, climate change, at-risk species

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.)