Position Title: Natural Resource Management Assistant
Park Unit: Denali National Park and Preserve
Denali Park, Alaska
Number of positions available: 1
Can this position be fully remote: NO

Duration: 12 weeks
Start Date: 03/25/2024
Flexible Start Date:

Weekly Stipend: $525.00
Relocation Allowance: $1,050.00

This position is part of Denali National Park and Preserve's Road Ecology workgroup in support of park visitor use management and long-term planning. The incumbent will contribute to key aspects of data collection related to the park's expanding shoulder season visitation (mid-March to the end of May) and recreational opportunities. The park seeks to understand changing visitation patterns during this time of year, and this position will provide critically important data about how this use is affecting park wildlife. The incumbent will monitor how increasing visitor use affects wildlife and visitor experience. This project will contribute to other work and planning documents to help determine future management of the shoulder season to ensure public safety is maintained, visitor service needs are met, and park goals of stewardship are achieved. The incumbent SIP would receive mentorship in physical geography, data management, and park planning.
The incumbent will have two primary tasks:

  1. Data Collection: Working with the park Physical Scientist, the intern will use hand-held GPS (iPad) to record biological data such as animal sightings and animal behavior observations along the Park Road either by vehicle or bicycle. Additional visitor use observations will be recorded at open rest areas using GPS and vehicle-motion-triggered cameras. Some overnight travel into the park may be required (housing provided).
  2. Assist with Data Analysis and Report Writing: This position will work alongside a longer term SIP to compile data into a relational File Geodatabase and summarize camera data using existing software. Quality control and analysis will take place in ArcGIS and Excel environments. Data will be used as part of an adaptive management plan to provide off-season park access and protect wildlife during this sensitive time of year.

DENA has observed changes in visitation trends toward less traditionally visited times of year, particularly spring. This position will monitor a rapidly changing condition with relevant, timely data used to make critical decisions related to preventing negative human-wildlife interactions, resource protection, and high quality visitor experience maintenance.


Final work products will be furnished to both the Physical Scientist and the Outdoor Recreation Planner.

  1. Final database (i.e. quality controlled) of visitor use and animal observation statistics
  2. Presentation of interim findings to park management (e.g. science for lunch or management team meeting).


  • Excellent interpersonal skills, the ability to work independently, and a genuine interest in natural resource management are a must.
  • Candidates should possess curiosity, critical thinking skills, and a desire to explore data and make connections across disciplines and between datasets.
  • Candidates with coursework showing proficient use or theory of: (1) scientific and sampling methods, (2) intermediate-advanced Excel skills, (3) quantitative analysis skills, and (4) GPS and relational databases and who have demonstrated a high degree of attention to detail will receive first consideration.
  • Ideal candidates will also have excellent communication skills (oral and written).
  • It is preferable, though not mandatory, that the candidate possess EMT, WFR, or other medical certification.
  • Candidates with the following interests will be the most successful in this position: GIS, relationships between management decisions and visitor satisfaction, wildlife-human interactions, balancing park use and park preservation, relational data, data trends and patterns.
  • Successful candidates will have the physical ability to stand for long periods, walk across uneven terrain, and ride a bicycle up to approximately 20 miles on steep gravel roads.
  • 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.

Office work: a dedicated, dual-monitor work station (with a window) will be provided to the incumbent. The work area is in an open floor plan room down the hall from the supervisor in a climate-controlled, modern building. There may be other staff in the same room (with their own separate workstations).

Field work: A government vehicle will be provided for all work-related transportation needs (e.g. monitoring patrols) – sites may be 30 miles away. Data collection may require overnight stays in historic cabins inside the park. Some sampling may require biking on the Denali Park Road, a well-maintained, mountainous gravel road. Rest areas and the park road are exposed to the elements and cold. Hazards include icy driving conditions, cold exposure, and biting insects in spring. Incumbent must be prepared to face cold conditions. Most suitable clothing will be provided (i.e. coats, hats, pants). However, expect to provide other essentials (i.e. boots, socks, gloves or mittens, long underwear). If the incumbent does not have the appropriate outdoor clothing to provide for safe operations, the park may be able to provide it.

Denali headquarters is at latitude 63.7 N and is 1500' above mean sea level. The sun returns in force starting in March - a splendid month for getting outside. Aurora are active December-April. Temperatures can range from -45F to +45F during this time of year. Between 1-4' of snow typically accumulates during winter months. Moose, caribou, lynx, and snowshoe hares are the more common mammals seen during winter and spring months. Wolves might be seen. Typically, bears will become active in late April. Summer: sun is plentiful and glorious. Days are warm (60s-70s); 80F is uncommon but does occur. However, it can snow any day of the year. Typically, June is Denali's wettest month, but this has only been sporadically true the last 7-8 years.

Denali is fairly remote – more so in winter and spring as most seasonal services are closed. Healy (15-20 minutes north) has two restaurants, three gas stations, and a full-size grocery store. There is also a clinic, hardware store, and a library. Fairbanks (2 hours one-way north) has all amenities (e.g. several full-sized grocery stores, bulk groceries, dining options, movie theater, auto shops, and outdoor goods shops). More facilities open in summer: restaurants, bars, lodges, shops, food trucks, and convenience stores closer to park housing. During summer, there are typically several local lecture and educational series put on by the park, partners, or local environmental groups.


  • Applicant will need a valid driver's license in order to drive a government vehicle.
  • A personal vehicle is REQUIRED for this position.

Park housing is available and will be provided at no cost to the participant.
Housing is provided at C-Camp - a 6-minute walk from the offices. Cabins are 2-bedroom, 2-person (you have your own room), furnished, 20'x20', with a shared kitchen, living, and breakfast bar area. Cookware/utensils, heat, electricity, and Wi-Fi are provided. There is cell phone reception (some carriers better than others). Cabins are dry until water is turned on in June - a shared shower, bathroom, laundry (free), and dish washing (i.e. sink) facility is a short walk away. Filtered drinking water can be hauled in provided 5 gallon containers to have in the cabin. SIPs will need to bring all personal items including toiletries, laundry detergent, pillows, and linens. Typically, cabins do not have a microwave or toaster oven. Parking is available near cabins. If you bring a vehicle it would be helpful (but not necessary) if it is winterized (i.e. engine block heater, oil pan and battery warmers). Housing for overnight travel while on duty will be provided.

visitor use, planning, wildlife behavior, data collection, carrying capacity, road ecology, recreation management