Position Title: Ecology Assistant
Park Unit: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Heartland Network
Location: Brecksville, Ohio
Number of positions available: 1
Can this position be fully remote: NO

Duration: 52 Weeks (not flexible)
Start Date: 11/04/2024
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 position will work as a part of the Heartland Inventory and Monitoring Network (HTLN) wetlands team and assist with a wide array of field and office tasks. The primary focus of the SIP will be to help improve the scientific delivery of long-term monitoring data. After gaining a full understanding of HTLN monitoring protocols, the SIP will work towards developing strategies for communicating the data in various formats and may work with the network's science communicator.

Winter season work will consist of database management (data entry, quality control, data preparation), data analysis, field season preparation and planning (organizing field gear, reviewing protocols, updating maps etc.), and other various tasks such as reviewing and contributing to reports or standard operating procedures.

The field season kicks off in March and field tasks may include water level and chemistry sampling, invasive plant surveys, and vegetation surveys. The SIP will also have the opportunity to participate in other resource management projects as desired and as time allows. Most field work will occur in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, but some work may also occur in other Heartland Network parks, which would require some overnight travel.

This position will contribute to the success of long-term monitoring protocols of the Heartland Inventory and Monitoring Network (HTLN), which serves to monitor 'vital signs' of network parks. Monitoring data on wetlands and plant communities holds high value in the face of climate change and invasive species. Many of these datasets serve to guide management actions in network parks. The intern will be a much-needed asset to the current team of two full-time biologists as we streamline our program and update to new technologies.


The intern will be crucial to team success in achieving several important goals related to the wetland monitoring and invasive species monitoring protocols of network parks. In addition to the successful completion of field work, major deliverables to be completed individually or as a part of the team include: All wetland and plant datasets entered to date, quality-assured, and ready for analysis, exploratory statistics and figures generated for each dataset, Survey123 forms optimized for all field projects, and standard operating procedures updated to reflect latest available technologies.

The SIP will also create a science communication piece with a goal of timely dissemination of monitoring data to a broad audience. The science communication project may serve as a template for future communications.


Seeking a candidate with strong organizational skills and experience working in the biological sciences. Must have fluency using MS Excel. Experience using MS Access and/or R is preferred but not required. Experience with data management and analysis is preferred. Attention to detail, ability to follow protocols, strong written and verbal communication skills are essential. Must be able to tolerate adverse weather conditions, work in physically challenging environments, carry up to 20 lbs., maintain a positive attitude, and demonstrate situational awareness.

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 position will entail a healthy mix of office work and field work. Office work will take place in a shared office setting with the necessary tools and amenities.

Field work will occur during a range of weather conditions across the seasons. Although there will likely be some cold, wet days in spring, most of the field work will take place in summer and temperatures in Northeast Ohio can reach 90 degrees F with high humidity. Aside from heat, additional hazards to working in the field include ticks, mosquitos, poison ivy, and thorns. Some duties will require hiking for distances of several miles off-trail with possible steep slopes at times and trip hazards.

All of these hazards can be mitigated through proper preparation, and we often have great experiences in the field.


  • Applicant will not need to drive a government vehicle.
  • A personal vehicle is recommended for this position.

Park housing is available and will be provided at no cost to the participant. Park housing is available, and the intern would be given a private room in a shared house. Houses are charming and offer great opportunities to explore and recreate within the national park during off-hours. Several nearby towns offer groceries and other amenities, and Akron and Cleveland are both relatively close-by. Houses are furnished with necessary utilities and appliances including a full kitchen, bathrooms, and washer/dryers. Single beds come with a mattress and the tenant will bring their own sheets.

wetlands, plants, databases, monitoring, protocol

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.)