Position Title: Hydrology Assistant
Park Unit: Death Valley National Park
Death Valley, California
Number of positions available: 1
Can this position be fully remote: NO

Duration: 20 weeks
Start Date: 10/30/2023
Flexible Start Date:

Weekly Stipend: $525.00
Relocation Allowance: $400.00

The Death Valley hydrology program has an extensive monitoring network across the park’s 3.4 million acres, and along critical groundwater flowpaths to the park. The hydrology program is also responsible for the park's air quality monitoring, off-highway Vehicle (OHV) prevention and restoration, and represents the park in all physical science matters. Death Valley Hydrology is expanding its monitoring program to provide better spatial coverage, and to respond to increasing threats to water resources from climate change and groundwater pumping. Longer and more detailed records of measurements allow park managers to more conclusively and convincingly demonstrate causal relationships between system perturbations (e.g. decreased recharge and/or increased pumping) and responses observed at monitoring sites. These data are also used to identify trends that will inform management decisions in Death Valley National Park. The intern will assist the Death Valley NP hydrology program at all levels; from measurements and data retrieval, calibration and maintenance of equipment, to data analysis and report writing. Duties will also include GPS mapping of wetland and riparian areas that are expanding as a result of spring restoration efforts, as well as repeat photo points and vegetation monitoring. The intern will experience a wide variety of activities related to park water, air and geologic resources management. The supervisor/mentor will encourage the SIP to develop a research project in their sub-discipline of interest. Projects should be designed to assess the changing hydrologic, meteorologic, geologic, or air quality conditions in Death Valley NP. Opportunities exist for cross-training in other programs, including ecology, planning/compliance, and interpretation/education as the intern’s interest and time allows.

This position supports the Death Valley National Park Strategic Plan to protect natural resources, specifically the management and research of the park’s hydrologic, geologic and air resources. This information will be used to support management decisions regarding specific resource concerns, including preventing off-road driving and repairing damage, addressing illegal marijuana grow sites, and protecting water resources and endangered species (especially Devils Hole pupfish).


Work products will include the data and field measurements collected as part of monitoring activities. The SIP will assist in the production of reports including: summaries of the settings, maps, descriptions of monitoring procedures and equipment, time-series graphs, explanations of trends and their potential causes, and some statistical analysis. The participant will also prepare riparian area maps using GPS and GIS. If the participant undertakes a solo project they will be encouraged to present their research in a park staff meeting or conference.


  • Suitable candidates will have at least two years of coursework leading to a degree in physical science.
  • Ideal candidates will be recent graduates in physical science.
  • All candidates should have experience mapping natural features using GPS and GIS, including ArcGIS online and have taken at least one course in GIS.
  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent legal resident (“green-card-holder”). Prior to starting this position, a government security background clearance will be required.

Death Valley NP is located in the Mojave Desert of southeastern California, within the Basin and Range physiographic province of the western US. Spring and Fall conditions are warm, with typical highs in the 80s and 90s. Winters are very mild. Expect extremely hot conditions (120+) during the summer. Approximately 70% of the work will take place in a climate-controlled office, and approximately 30% will take place outdoors. Death Valley is characterized by hot summer temperatures and rugged terrain. Field work may occur off trail, on uneven and steep ground. The park can experience extreme winds (gusts regularly reaching 30 – 50 mph) year-round, but especially in the spring season. The quantity of field work completed by the intern will depend on their level of interest and ability to engage with the elements. The work location is approximate 60 miles from the nearest town, Pahrump, NV and 120 miles from Las Vegas, NV.


  • Applicant will need a valid driver's license in order to drive a government vehicle.
  • A personal vehicle is RECOMMENDED but not required for this position.

Park housing is available and will be provided at no cost to the participant.
The intern will occupy a room in a dorm building (bathroom shared with one person of same gender) with common areas shared with other people. Housing is a short walk away from the office.

Hydrology, Air Quality, GIS, Physical Science