Position Title: Ecology Assistant
Park Unit: Water Resources Division
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Number of positions available: 1
Can this position be fully remote: YES
INTERNSHIP DATES AND LENGTH
Duration: 36 weeks
Start Date: 10/09/2023
Flexible Start Date: YES
LIVING AND RELOCATION ALLOWANCE:
Weekly Stipend: $625.00
Relocation Allowance: $400.00
The intern will support a nationwide ocean and coastal restoration initiative and develop materials to help inform coastal habitat resilience in the face of projected climate change. The restoration initiative aims to provide a comprehensive overview of restoration needs in parks nationwide, develop case studies of completed restoration projects, and compile information on baseline habitat conditions. The nationwide coastal restoration project provides a broad view of ocean and coastal park restoration needs across the country, and the restoration case studies aspect of the project is meant to provide critical information on restoration methods, costs, successes, and lessons learned to ocean and coastal parks nationwide. The intern’s work will build on these aspects of the project and will expand the information available (e.g., tools to assess likely future coastal habitat and species changes and information on relevant natural and nature-based features for coastal resilience). The results of this project will provide parks with the best available information and tools to facilitate more informed planning and development of pro-active management goals to support coastal resource resilience. Project results will also provide comprehensive information on data and resources available at park, regional and national scales to allow Ocean and Coastal program staff to assess needs and priorities at a national level and develop strategic planning to meet those needs in support of parks.
The National Park Service manages 88 coastal, ocean and Great Lakes parks, many of which are experiencing historic loss and degradation of coastal resources. Not surprisingly, NPS ocean and coastal parks identified coastal restoration as a priority topic and an area where parks were in critical need of assistance. Essential ocean and coastal habitats, like seagrass and kelp beds, coral and oyster reefs, salt marshes, and beaches/dunes have already been fragmented and degraded due to development, watershed alteration, pollution, disease, and other stressors. Sea level rise, intensification of storms, ocean acidification, increased water temperatures and other climate change impacts have also adversely affected parks and those impacts will increase in future years. Coastal and marine parks face many challenges in restoring degraded coastal habitats and in ensuring that their coastal resources will be resilient to future climate change (or recognizing that pro-active actions, incorporating concepts of climate change resilience and adaptation, may be needed to maintain the functions of these resources). The intern will assist with addressing some of these challenges by supporting the nationwide coastal restoration initiative.
Project deliverables include:
1) Written case study briefs and other science communication material focused on restoration projects that include proactive management actions to promote resilience to climate change/sea level rise
2) Maintenance and improvement of the NPS coastal restoration case studies spatial database
3) Maintenance and improvement of the NPS restoration inventory spatial database
4) Compilation and development of materials that will help parks build resilience and integrate climate change and SLR projections into their restoration planning and prioritization
5) Assist with project communication and outreach and post information on internal websites.
Examples include: working with sea level rise team to review park-specific SLR projections and likely storm surge scenarios to help parks assess how potential restoration actions will be impacted by rising seas; modeling likely pathways for marsh (and other habitat) migration to inform restoration planning and partnerships; developing a literature database focused on projected coastal biota range/distribution changes associated with climate change for use in considering needs to maintain/restore habitat for TES species and other critical ecosystem functions
DESIRED INTERN QUALIFICATIONS
Currently pursuing or completed a degree in Environmental Sciences, Marine Science, Biology, Ecology, Coastal Processes, or related field with a basic understanding of ecology. GIS skills and experience with ArcGIS online (managing, publishing, and editing hosted features, creating web maps); knowledge of MS word and excel. Must be good at written and oral communication, be self-directed, and be able to work well both independently and with others.
This internship will be based in the NPS office building in Fort Collins and/or from the intern’s home,
depending on the telework situation due to COVID-19; no field work is planned at this time. Fort Collins, CO is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains with great access to hiking, biking, fishing, skiing and other outdoor activities. Rocky Mountain National Park is about an hour drive from town. The weather in Fort Collins is cold in the winter with occasional snow, mild in the spring, and hot/dry in the summer. Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University and has great local restaurants, bike trails, parks, live music and entertainment, and an historic downtown area. This is an office position.
VEHICLE AND DRIVERS LICENSE REQUIREMENTS
No. Park housing is NOT availabe. The intern will be responsible for finding housing in the nearby area.
Rent costs in Fort Collins start at around $700/month and vary depending on furnishings, number of roommates, amenities, and location. Because Fort Collins is home to both Colorado State University and Front Range Community College, there may be sublet options available.
Ocean, coastal, restoration, sea level rise, GIS