POSITION DETAILS
Position Title: Natural Resource Management Assistant
Park Unit: Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
Location: Skagway, Alaska
Number of positions available: 1
Can this position be fully remote: NO

INTERNSHIP DATES AND LENGTH
Duration: 12 Weeks (not flexible)
Start Date: 10/06/2024
Flexible Start Date: YES

LIVING AND RELOCATION ALLOWANCE:
Weekly Stipend: $565.00
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.)

POSITION DESCRIPTION
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (KLGO) was created to commemorate the gold rush that transformed the demographics, culture, and environment of Alaska and the Yukon. The park preserves the physical and biological processes and associated unique flora and fauna of the Northern Lynn Canal, where subarctic, alpine, coastal, and boreal ecosystems converge within the Taiya and Skagway river valleys. Many of these landscapes were significantly altered during the gold rush over 100 years ago and have naturally restored to their present condition. However, new stressors from human development, invasive species and contaminants are changing the landscape and may threaten the stability of these ecosystems.

This internship will provide the candidate with experience with fieldwork in biological monitoring and natural resources management, and with associated information/data management using several platforms. The internship is suitable for a candidate whose primary interest is information management but is curious about field biology, or a candidate whose primary interest is field biology with a desire for more experience with data management.

Amphibian monitoring

Amphibian monitoring has been conducted annually at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park since 2004 with the primary goal of monitoring long-term changes in amphibian distribution, abundance, reproduction, and survival at core breeding sites. The focus of the program is the boreal toad - the only widespread, but declining, amphibian in southeast Alaska. It is an important character in Tlingit indigenous culture, and a part of the combined Euro-American and Tlingit gold rush inception story. Data collected on KLGO’s amphibians is used to inform planning, compliance, and restoration work aimed at ensuring continued wetland health and ecosystem connectivity. As weather conditions allow, the intern will assist with surveys of breeding sites for boreal toads that will continue a long-term monitoring program.

Invasive exotic plant monitoring

Working closely with the Skagway Traditional Council, a federally recognized tribe, the intern will participate in the identification and control of invasive exotic plants determined to be a threat to the environmental integrity of the area. By combining park resources with tribal resources, we achieve a synergistic impact and promote cultural exchange.

Data collection

Field data will be collected using a variety of methods ranging from paper data sheets to Avenza georeferenced PDFs. Some projects may include GPS (Geographic Positioning System) with integrated data dictionaries, or GIS (Geographic Information System) coordinates generated from established NPS data sets.

Data management and analysis

Products such as spreadsheets, interactive relational databases, and GIS maps with associated attribute tables will be used to achieve digitization of data into forms that allow data investigation and analysis. Summary metrics will be generated for most projects, more in-depth analyses may be included.

Data reporting and curation

The intern will contribute to annual reporting requirements as appropriate to their skill level. Physical and digital documentation for curatorial archives will be included for all projects.

POSITION IMPACT
KLGO, like all National Park units, uses resource inventory & monitoring programs to fulfill our mandate to “conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife there in…unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations” (Organic Act, 1916). In order to calculate “impairment” we must first know what resources are present in the park (inventory) and how they are changing over time (monitoring).

For example, the monitoring program for amphibians is listed as a stewardship goal in the park’s Resource Stewardship Strategy. The intern’s work will contribute to baseline data used by park leadership to direct resource stewardship and park operations. The intern will conduct visual surveys of boreal toads, focusing on sites where breeding occurs, in order to inform management decisions about how to minimize disturbance to this sensitive species. This work will inform how KLGO should direct amphibian monitoring in the future and optimize our ability to detect declining trends before the species in jeopardy.

Another important goal is to foster cooperation and partnership with organizations such as the Skagway Traditional Council (STC), a federally recognized tribe. The STC and KLGO have overlapping objective to understand and protect natural and cultural resources. While concentrating on natural resources objectives, the intern will also have the opportunity for exposure to the archeological program which includes respectful collaboration between the park and STC for protecting and documenting tribal historic and prehistoric resources within the park.

DELIVERABLES

  • Natural resource report field summary
  • Annual report on sensitive amphibian breeding areas
  • Annual report on waterbird monitoring
  • Data management, QA/QC and summary statistics

DESIRED INTERN QUALIFICATIONS

  • Applicant must have a valid driver’s license and a good driving record. A driver's license is required for use of government vehicles to conduct field work. A personal vehicle is not necessary as it is possible to commute to housing and park offices and all areas within the town of Skagway by foot or bicycle.
  • Applicant must have valid passport that will allow entry into Canada.
  • Experience with data collection and/or management; or degree or pursuit of a degree in biological or physical sciences, natural resource management, ecology or similar fields; or a degree in information management, GIS, data analysis or similar fields with an interest in biology or Alaska environments.
  • Ability to focus and give attention to detail, with data management and with writing composition.
  • Ability to conduct moderately strenuous field work using hand tools.
  • Ability to carry a 30 pound backpack over challenging terrain and be comfortable in remote backcountry setting

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 12 Weeks in order to be considered and participate.

WORK SETTING
Skagway is a year-round community of 800 with a small town feel. The setting is dramatic as a coastal community nestled in a river valley surrounded by 5,000-foot mountain peaks. Ample trails provide recreation, a road into Canada provides access to larger communities (Whitehorse, Yukon).

Office work will be centered around the Natural Resources office in downtown Skagway. The SIP intern will have a dedicated desk in a shared space with a GIS specialist and the Natural Resource Program Manager (internship supervisor). Any fieldwork would take place in the Dyea area of the park, an 8-mile drive from Skagway to the Taiya River Valley.

Skagway, Alaska has a unique climate. It is sandwiched between the wet, temperate rainforest and the dry Yukon Interior. Tucked away at the northern end of the Lynn Canal, Skagway is considerably drier than its Southeast Alaska neighbors with only 26.1 inches of precipitation. In comparison, most communities in the region receive 50+ inches of precipitation annually. Summer high temperatures in Skagway are in the 50s and 60s°F. Temperatures are commonly in the 20s and 30s°F during winter time.

While other areas in the southeast are known for their damp climate, Skagway is famous for its winds. Windy days with sustained winds of 15-20 mph are common, and gusts of 40 mph are not infrequent

VEHICLE AND DRIVERS LICENSE REQUIREMENTS

  • Applicant must have a valid driver's license to drive a government vehicle.
  • A personal vehicle is not required for this position.

HOUSING
Park housing is available and will be provided at no cost to the participant. Park housing includes 2 people in a shared bedroom with shared bathroom, kitchen, and living areas. All park housing is within walking distance to park headquarters and community amenities such as restaurants, grocery stores, recreation center, library, and shopping.

KEYWORDS
Alaska, animals, plants, data, GIS

IMPORTANT NOTICES
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.)

LEARN MORE
https://www.scientistsinparks.org/