Position Title: Ecology Assistant
Park Unit: Biological Resource Division, Crater Lake National Park, Death Valley National Park, Glacier National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Great Lakes Network, Intermountain Region Office, Inventory and Monitoring Division, John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, Olympic National Park, Pacific West Region Office, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park
Location: Bozeman, Montana
Number of positions available: 1
Can this position be fully remote: YES

Duration: 52 Weeks (not flexible)
Start Date: 10/06/2024
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.)

Whitebark pine is a federally-protected threatened tree (USFWS, 2023) as well as an important keystone species in high elevation mountain ecosystems. Whitebark pine often grows in places inhospitable to other vegetation, but once established, it creates habitat favorable to other species, enabling forest succession to occur and supporting subalpine diversity. Whitebark pine have been declining in recent years across most of its range primarily due to non-native white pine blister rust, as well as mountain pine beetle outbreaks and increased severity and frequency of fire. Extensive efforts are underway to restore whitebark pine stands across its range, primarily focused on planting rust-resistant seeds and seedlings. The proposed Scientists-in-Parks project will help to advance microsite habitat selection for whitebark pine restoration activities across the range of the species via modeling focused on water balance variables (soil moisture, water deficit, evapotranspiration) at planting-level scales. These 'pivot point' assessment reports will cover 15 park units in the Cascades, Northern Rockies, and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges where whitebark pine exists. Reports will include a vulnerability assessment of whitebark pine stands within core areas related to drought, catastrophic fire (stand replacement) potential, mountain pine beetle / white pine blister rust outbreak sensitivity and probability of seedling establishment. Assessments will be based on park-identified whitebark pine core habitat polygons under two climate futures using R modeling by linking polygon-level sensitivity assessments to climate futures obtained from continental gridded water balance product. This individual will also be part of a team to help coordinate routine check-ins and discussions.

The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. Many recent advances in technology, including climate change modeling, are making it easier and more efficient to meet our NPS mission in the face of continuous environmental change. Modeling technology is becoming more available to parks to help inform restoration efforts, which can assist with targeting resources (funding, staffing, and seeds/seedlings) where they will have the largest benefit. Park units throughout the NPS system that contain whitebark pine often do not have expertise to run climate models specific to their local resource challenges. The proposed SIP project will support landscape-scale restoration initiatives for whitebark pine, utilizing advanced remote sensing and modeling techniques to help target microsite areas with the highest probability of successful outcomes. The project could also advance restoration planning for other high risk species across the U.S. by further developing the science of microsite selection where restoration planning is needed.


This project will complete microsite vulnerability reports for 10 Intermountain and Pacific West Regional park complexes affecting 15 park units. Whitebark pine vulnerability assessments will be provided to parks as well as a remote workshop for park staff which will assist with training park practitioners in understanding and interpreting model products and how this information can inform planned restoration efforts in whitebark pine habitat to reduce vulnerability to climate change and associated direct and indirect stressors.


A completed M.S. or PhD in ecology, GIS, geography, hydrology, natural resource management or related field. Strong writing, and oral communication skills. Very strong coding skills in R and experience with computer modeling including knowledge and experience in ArcGIS. A keen interest in climate change impacts, modeling and climate adaptation. The SIP candidate should be interested in field work, and able to work independently and as part of team. Backcountry hiking and camping experience is desired, but not required.

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.

This is a computer-based internship that is focused on modeling, analyses, and coordination that can be completed remotely. However, there may be the opportunity for occasional field work to participate in whitebark pine monitoring and ground-truthing of model outputs. Field work may include hiking in a variety of high elevation terrain on steep rocky slopes in forests with a variety of weather conditions in wilderness and remote areas. Work may include travel to several national parks.


  • Applicant must have a valid driver's license to drive a government vehicle.
  • A personal vehicle is not required for this position.

Park housing is NOT available. The intern will be responsible for finding housing in the nearby area. The intern will be responsible for finding housing in the nearby area if they chose to move to the work site.

analyses, climate sensitivity & vulnerability & adaptability geospatial, restoration planning, whitebark pine

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.)