Wildlife Biology Intern (DHA-RA) – Latino Heritage Internship Programs

Cabrillo National Monument
Published
December 4, 2020
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Cabrillo National Monument (CABR) recently completed a program review of its herpetofauna monitoring program, part of the NPS Inventory & Monitoring Division’s “vital signs” program. Herpetofauna, including lizards, snakes, and amphibians, comprise a major part of the wildlife at CABR, which is an ecological island located at the end of the Point Loma Peninsula. 25 years of monitoring data from 16 pitfall arrays were recently organized since data was collected by multiple agencies (USGS and NPS). This rich dataset provides an opportunity for a wildlife biology intern to analyze the data and answer various questions that will help park management maintain biodiversity.

These issues include anticipating impacts of a new proposed trail (that will split a large, uninterrupted patch of habitat), understanding how herpetofauna population dynamics may change with climate, and potentially providing more information on how re-introduction of a locally extinct species (coastal horned lizard) could impact the ecosystem.

The intern will have some latitude with which management question they hope to answer using the dataset. The intern is expected to spend 65% of their time working on the dataset to produce a brief report for an audience of natural resource managers and the park management team summarizing patterns and trends that may be useful to inform decisions on a new trail or how the park should manage its herpetofauna under climate change . The intern will spend 20% of their time on fieldwork and conducting the actual monitoring to give them an understanding of how the data is generated and limitations and challenges in the field. We anticipate the intern will be able to assist with two sampling periods, each period being five days of fieldwork. Finally, the intern will spend 15% of their time on mentorship, and skills development, including how to communicate their findings to the general public.

The park is excited to support an intern who is interested in continuing to build skills in data analysis (R & Excel preferred). No previous experience with wildlife required, only an interest in learning about ecology and natural resources management.

This position is offered through the National Park Service's Latino Heritage Internship Program in partnership with Environment for the Americas.

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