Position Title: Natural Resource Management Assistant
Park Unit: War in the Pacific National Historical Park
Location: Hagatna, Guam
Number of positions available: 1
Can this position be fully remote: NO

Duration: 52 Weeks (not flexible)
Start Date: 01/27/2025
Flexible Start Date: YES

Weekly Stipend: $665.00
Relocation Allowance: $1,050.00

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.)

Coral reefs are in decline worldwide due to climate change. More than half of War in the Pacific (WAPA) NHP’s lands are underwater, and much of this submerged and is home to coral reef communities. Over 400 coral species, including four threatened or endangered species, are found within Guam’s waters, and WAPA’s marine diversity is far higher than any other US national park. Guam’s reefs have been severely impacted by warming ocean waters, ENSO-related low tides, acidification, pollution, and overfishing. Since 2013, prolonged periods of elevated sea surface temperatures have resulted in significant coral bleaching and mortality on a near-annual basis.

As a result, Guam’s shallow reefs have suffered 37% reductions in live coral cover, including major losses in WAPA’s waters. To combat coral loss, WAPA staff and partners are starting a new large-scale coral reef restoration project in the park’s Agat unit. The first phase of this reef restoration project involves building a coral nursery and stocking it with roughly coral fragments representing a minimum of 5 species. Multiple types of nursery structures will be used to accommodate species with various growth forms. Once the nursery is stocked, corals must be monitored regularly for bleaching, disease, predation, and other health issues. Regular maintenance of nursery structures, primarily removing algae and replacing unhealthy corals, will also be necessary. After a growth period, nursery corals must be pruned or re-fragmented to provide outplanting material for nearby denuded reefs.

In addition to the reef restoration project, the park also conducts long-term coral reef health monitoring. Since 2015, WAPA staff and volunteers have used the community science methods of CoralWatch to monitor coral bleaching within the park’s waters. Since 2017, the park has deployed underwater data loggers to collect water qualify information within the park. In 2020, WAPA began a reef monitoring project using CoralNet, an online tool for benthic image analysis that uses deep neural networks to semi-automate image annotation. in 2021, the park started monitoring the shallow water coral reef flat areas. Taken together, these methods provide a comprehensive view of the health of WAPA’s corals reefs.

Intern duties include:

  • Assist with the construction and installation of coral nursery structures
  • Collect coral fragments from around the island of Guam and transplant them to the nursery
  • Perform maintenance (such as algae removal) on nursery structures and outplants
  • Conduct regular health checks on nursery corals and outplants
  • Assist with outplanting activities
  • Collect data using standardized methods
  • Perform data entry and validation
  • Analyze data and write reports on findings
  • Assist with other natural resource management efforts as needed (e.g., reef flat surveys, debris cleanups, brown tree snake removal, stream surveys, etc.)

War in the Pacific NHP is tasked with conserving both the cultural and natural resources of our lands and waters. Guam’s coral reefs have declined significantly in recent years, and WAPA’s coral reef restoration project is an ambitious effort to preserve and protect the park’s unique resources for the future. Building and maintaining a coral nursery is a labor-intensive undertaking, and accurately tracking the growth, health, and survival of nursery-grown corals and outplants is time-consuming but necessary to understanding the project’s efficacy. WAPA’s natural resources division needs help to ensure the project’s success. The SIP intern’s assistance will allow park staff to build and stock the nursery more quickly, measure coral growth and health more frequently, and analyze data more efficiently. Reef flat surveys, coral monitoring, and water quality data all help determine the health of the reef over time and are vital for managers to make informed decisions.

For the SIP intern, this internship will provide a high-quality work experience focused on career development and hands-on learning. The SIP intern will gain experience in all aspects of project implementation, data collection and analysis, and report writing.


The SIP intern will produce quarterly reports on nursery conditions for internal distribution to park management. These reports will be focused on the growth and health of coral nursery corals, water conditions (using underwater logger data and remote sensing data), and summarizing the work completed in that quarter.

The SIP intern will also conduct bleaching surveys, reef flat monitoring, and collect water quality data. The intern will analyze data and help write reports on their findings at the end of the internship.


Candidates must have completed a course of study at an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor’s degree in biological science, natural resource management, or a related discipline. Basic knowledge of coral reef biology is preferred.

Applicants from underrepresented groups in STEM, including people who reside in the Pacific Islands, are encouraged to apply. Local applicants are preferred. Candidates who are not local must be willing to relocate to Guam; there is no remote option for this position.

Strong swimming and snorkeling skills are required as access to sites require long swims offshore. Interns must pass a swim/snorkel test before they will be allowed to participate in marine fieldwork.

SCUBA diving certification is required for coral nursery work. Interns must pass a basic SCUBA skills test before they will be allowed to participate in SCUBA-based fieldwork; a diving certification alone does not guarantee participation. Certified SCUBA divers with an Advanced Open Water certification (or equivalent) or higher and 25+ logged dives are preferred.

Please include in your resume:

  • diving certifications
  • number of lifetime dives logged
  • number of dives logged in the last year
  • experiences with coral survey techniques on SCUBA or snorkel (e.g., point-intercept transects, Reef Check, CoralWatch, REEF Roving Diver Technique, CoralNet photo annotation, etc.)
  • experience with MS Excel, MS Access, R, or GIS applications

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.

War in the Pacific National Historical Park is located in Guam. The park encompasses both natural and cultural resources, with a focus on WWII history. Park headquarters are located in downtown Hagatna (the capital of Guam), conveniently near restaurants, banks, grocery stores, and shopping malls. Guam has modern amenities and the park is fairly urban. Guam has a tropical climate. Daytime temperatures generally range from 80-88°F, with high humidity and a wet season from July to November.

The intern will be based in the park headquarters with other natural resources staff. Fieldwork will be conducted on shallow reef flats and coral reef areas, in water ranging from 1-30 m deep. Most in-water fieldwork is conducted by snorkel or SCUBA, and water temperatures are generally warm, around 82-84°F. Strong swimming skills are required as currents can sometimes be strong; however, park staff do not enter the water in foul weather (e.g. lightning storms) or during marine weather warnings (e.g. high surf advisories). Rip currents have been known to form in the waters around Guam. Venomous animals, including cone snails, stonefish, and jellyfish, are occasionally encountered but pose little threat unless bothered or handled. Sun exposure can result in serious sunburn so sunblock and protective clothing (including gloves and UV-protective long-sleeve shirts) are recommended. The intern may also have the opportunity to assist with other fieldwork including monitoring plants in the jungle, conducting hikes in the badlands, conducting stream surveys, and assessing cultural resource sites.


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

Park housing is NOT available. The intern will be responsible for finding housing in the nearby area. Guam is a small island with convenient access to all amenities. Furnished short-term rentals or apartment sharing with university students are options. Local candidates are preferred, but if the candidate is not a local resident, WAPA staff will assist the intern with finding affordable housing.

Coral reef, reef flat, coral restoration, fish, research

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.)