Position Title: Hydrology Assistant
Park Unit: Water Resources Division
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Number of positions available: 1
Can this position be fully remote: YES

Duration: 52 Weeks (not flexible)
Start Date: 10/07/2024
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.)

There are over 230,000 miles of rivers and streams that intersect the National Park Service (NPS) system. Park visitors gravitate to these waterways for their tranquility, beauty, and recreational opportunities. However, with visitor demand comes a need for infrastructure, such as campgrounds, boat ramps, picnic areas, and restroom facilities, and an obligation to ensure visitor safety. NPS policy necessitates that any proposed action in the river floodplain must evaluate flood hazards and associated risks to protect human health and safety, reduce risk to investments, and ensure the ecological functions of the river and floodplain are uncompromised. However, most flood-prone areas in the NPS are unmapped, leaving a gap in our understanding of where flood hazards exist and how park managers can mitigate the associated risk. To address this data gap, the Park Service is collaborating with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to evaluate the feasibility of using a variety of flood inundation mapping methods to determine flood risk on remote NPS lands with limited data availability. The purpose of this Scientist in the Park project is to compliment the USGS/NPS collaboration by developing products that characterize flood risk across the NPS. The work will include: 1) manipulating LiDAR derived high-resolution topography, 2) analyzing historic hydrologic data to determine the magnitude and frequency of large floods, and 3) performing a suite of geospatial analyses to determine the inundation extent for different flood magnitudes. Additionally, the SIP will assist with other river-related technical assistance projects across the NPS when opportunities arise.

This internship provides an exciting opportunity to work on a science-focused collaborative project with the USGS that will inform future floodplain management policy within NPS. The datasets produced by the intern will improve flood mapping and awareness and allow NPS to make wise decisions regarding infrastructure investment, ensure the health and safety of park staff and visitors, and preserve the ecological functions of rivers and floodplains. The SIP will build an understanding of service-wide flood-related risks that will transfer to more efficient and effective management of NPS floodplains.


The primary work products include geospatial database(s) of flood inundation mapping products and a final report and/or presentation synthesizing the work and findings of the project. Other products will be identified at the onset of the project and be tailored to the SIP’s strengths and interests.


Desired qualifications include the following: currently pursuing or recently completed a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Hydrology, Geology, Geography, Watershed Science, Environmental Science, Engineering or related fields with an understanding of river processes and surface water hydrology. Good GIS or geospatial analysis skills are necessary; basic programming skills (e.g. R, python, matlab) are desirable. Strong oral and written communication skills, good organizational skills, and ability to work independently are essential.

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.

The position can be based at the Fort Collins, CO duty station or remotely from Logan, UT, and work will take place in an office setting with the NPS Water Resources Division staff. Some travel may occur as part of the position. Fort Collins is located in northern Colorado, approximately 65 miles north of Denver, and Logan, UT is located in northern Utah, approximately 70 miles north of Salt Lake City. Fort Collins and Logan are university towns with a population of ~175,000 and ~60,000, respectively. Fort Collings is home to Colorado State University and Logan is home to Utah State University. Both locations experience all four seasons with plentiful sunshine and have abundant parks, natural areas, and extensive bike trails with great access to outdoor recreation including snow-capped mountains and beautiful rivers and lakes located in nearby public lands and National Parks.


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

Park housing is NOT available. The intern will be responsible for finding housing in the nearby area. SIP may be based in Fort Collins, CO or Logan, UT. Fort Collins and Logan are college towns and there are a wide range of housing options, including apartments, houses, and in-home room rentals. Rent costs start around $600-800/month and increase with size, furnishings, privacy, and amenities. We will do our best to help connect the intern with housing options. We recommend the applicant explore housing options before applying for the internship; if selected, we recommend the applicant pursue housing as soon as they accept the position.

Flood risk management, floodplains, hydrology, rivers

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.)