Position Title: Cave and Karst Assistant
Park Unit: Great Basin National Park
Location: Baker, Nevada
Number of positions available: 1
Can this position be fully remote: NO

Duration: 20 Weeks (not flexible)
Start Date: 11/11/2024
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 SIP intern will be tasked with assisting with the resource protection and management of Lehman Caves in Great Basin National Park. Duties will include:

  • analyzing cave climate data over various years, possibly including temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, water levels, and drip rates
  • writing summaries of data analysis
  • helping with cave conservation by removing materials not natural to the cave
  • assisting with the organization and running of the annual lint and restoration camp;
  • conducting periodic air quality (temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide) readings in the cave and downloading dataloggers;
  • conducting cave invertebrate surveys;
  • writing articles for the resource management newsletter;
  • providing interpretation and outreach about caves, such as with the CaveSim trailer, website, and social media;
  • working interactively with other divisions;
  • monitoring cave resources in selected wild caves in the Park;
  • assisting with various cave research projects;
  • and other projects as assigned.

Lehman Caves is one of the most important resources in Great Basin National Park and is visited by about 30,000 people each year. This position will contribute toward the conservation, management, research, and interpretation of this and other caves which are part of the Park.


Specific projects, goals, and materials to be produced will be individualized for the intern. Possibilities include:

  • short paper summary of data analysis of cave climate data
  • graphs and well-organized spreadsheets
  • data collected for air quality and cave invertebrate surveys
  • at least one article written about a cave-related topic
  • bag of lint collected from the lint camp
  • outreach to the public about caves


  • Strong ability for data analysis of long-term datasets.
  • Interest in caves and comfortable working underground.
  • Works well with volunteers and other staff as well as independently.
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds and carry a 45-pound pack up to one mile.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Willingness to live in a remote area with limited services.

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.

This position will be split approximately 50:50 for office:field time. Field time will primarily be underground in a 50-degree Fahrenheit cave.

Lehman Caves is a two-mile long cave with a half-mile long concrete trail through it. Off-trail sections include some climbing and crawling. The cave is heavily decorated with speleothems, so that extreme care must be taken to move through the cave without damaging anything. The most remote parts of the cave take about an hour to travel to, requiring squeezing through tight spots, using cable ladders, and having a spotter so that delicate features are not touched.

The caving is considered moderate and will take place at a pace that is good for all participants and cave conservation. All off trail trips follow a job hazard analysis that includes caving with other people, having appropriate PPE (such as helmets, lights, kneepads, and gloves), and being prepared for any hazards. The park will provide training for work underground.

Great Basin National Park encompasses over 77,000 acres of the South Snake Range, located in east-central Nevada. It is considered high elevation desert. Winter temperatures are generally cold, with snow for part of the winter. Snow shoeing and crosscountry ski opportunities abound. The park’s resource management office is at 5,300 feet elevation, while Lehman Caves is at 6,800 feet elevation.

The nearest grocery store is 65 miles west of the park, in Ely, Nevada, about a one hour drive. The nearest large cities are Salt Lake City, Utah, 234 miles to the northeast, and Las Vegas, Nevada, 291 miles to the southwest. The park is surrounded by land managed by the Bureau of Land Management and private land.

Over 41,000 acres of the park consist of karst, a landscape that is capable of supporting caves. Forty caves are currently known.


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

Park housing is available and will be provided at no cost to the participant. Dorm or house with private room and shared kitchen, living, dining, and bathroom facilities. The SIP will need to bring bedding, towels, and toiletries. The housing includes stove, utensils, pots, pans, frig, washer and dryer, bathroom with shower, etc. Housing may be in Baker, across from the Resource Management office, or six miles away near the park maintenance area and within walking distance of Lehman Caves. No wifi or cable is provided.

data analysis, cave ecology, restoration, conservation, outreach

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.)