Science Communication and Resource Monitoring Intern

Website Dinosaur National Monument

Start Date: July 16th, 2023

End Date: September 30th, 2023

Compensation: $640 a week paid every two weeks. Travels costs to the site and back home are covered by the program. 

Car is required

Application Due: February 6th, 2023

The Latino Heritage Internship Program seeks to engage ethnically and racially diverse young professionals in natural resource careers..

All interns must be fully vaccinated for covid-19 prior to the start of their internship.

Please Apply HERE

Position Details

This internship will provide opportunities to observe, develop, and practice science communication strategies through a multidisciplinary project that combines interpretation/education with invertebrate research at Dinosaur National Monument (DNM). The interpretation/education component of the internship focuses on researching, developing, and presenting interpretive programs that integrate citizen science into the visitor experience. Interpretation at DNM includes well-established programs to communicate topics of geology, paleontology, and dark skies to a variety of audiences, especially children. This internship will include participating in the established interpretive schedule of providing visitor services and public programs at the Quarry Visitor Center, Quarry Exhibit Hall, and Campgrounds alongside other interpretive staff. This internship will also include developing new interpretive programs or products that support a natural resource study on pollinators that began in 2019. 

The natural resource monitoring and research component of the internship focuses on a status assessment of pollinators, in particular monarch butterflies and bumblebees. The intern will be responsible for conducting field surveys to collect baseline data on monarch butterfly and bumblebee occurrence and habitat preference. Surveys will occur at both established/designated plots and in “opportunistic” plots at both DNM and the greater Uinta Basin. Standardized citizen science-based protocols will be used for milkweed and nectar plant surveys, egg and larvae, and adult surveys, and tracking parasitism and survival.  The intern will be paired with other dedicated pollinator interns and seasonals provided by the Bureau of Land Management (Vernal Field Office) and U. S. Forest Service (Ashley National Forest) to assist other local, federal, and state agencies with similar data collection as requested. The intern may also have the opportunity to collaborate in person on pollinator monitoring and outreach projects with other LHIP interns also studying pollinators at other NPS locations. Past examples of joint projects include published articles, public butterfly tagging events, habitat restoration, and school presentations. The primary final products will be the submission of observation, tagging, and parasite data to Utah Division of Natural Resources (via Utah Pollinator Partnership app), Southwest Monarch Study (https://www.swmonarchs.org/) and Project Monarch Health (https://www.monarchparasites.org/). Other final products include a summary report of monarch and bumblebee activity for DNM resource management archives and a presentation of findings to partners and staff. The monarch is currently listed as “warranted but precluded” under the Endangered Species Act. DNM continues to collect information on monarchs in the Uintah Basin to provide the USFWS data on the monarch’s range, population numbers, habitat, breeding success, and threats in preparation for upcoming species status reviews. Very low monarch wintering and breeding numbers in 2020/2021 remains a cause for concern and underscores the need for continued trend monitoring. While monarchs in the eastern United States are well understood, less is known about monarchs west of the Continental Divide. Of specific interest is understanding where western monarchs migrate to for the winter and what route they take. DNM is located in the easternmost portion of the western monarch population’s range. DNM began limited monitoring of monarchs in 2017 as a result of a new partnership with Southwest Monarch Study. A comprehensive monitoring program began in earnest in 2019 with the award of an LHIP intern for the last four years. This 2023 internship will continue the foundational work completed since 2019, with the possibility to expand surveys to more locations throughout eastern Utah, the Uinta Basin, and on private lands.

Intern Qualifications:

Interns selected for the NPSCF Program should possess:

  • Demonstrated leadership skills and experience
  • Strategic thinking ability
  • The ability to self-start/work independently
  • Flexibility/resourcefulness
  • The ability to adapt new skills and ideas to the public sector

Applicants should have a strong desire to work with a wide range of public audiences, especially children. Public speaking skills or a background in education or interpretation is not required. Candidates who are able to balance the careful following of protocols with creative thinking are encouraged to apply. Field work will involve using a butterfly net, field guide, camera, Samsung tablet, GPS unit, and binoculars. Successful applicants do not need to be an invertebrate expert, but will have basic field work experience and a strong interest in applied species conservation. Applicants should be able to hike short to medium (up to 2 miles) distances over easy to moderate terrain and be comfortable moving about independently in front country environments. Limited backcountry field work may occur but will always be with a companion. The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent legal resident (“green-card-holder”) between the ages of 18 and 35 years old. Prior to starting this position a government security background clearance will be required.

Physical/Natural Environment: Dinosaur National Monument is a spectacular 211,000-acre medium-sized park with mega-park values. Dinosaur has the most complete geologic record of any national park area and an internationally renowned display of Jurassic era dinosaur bones. The rugged landscape provides diverse habitats that support a surprisingly diverse assemblage of plants and animals and critical habitat for endangered species. The whitewater rafting and magnificent scenery found in the canyons of the Green and Yampa rivers provide premier Western boating experiences. The Yampa is the only remaining large tributary in the Colorado River system that retains its free flowing character. Dinosaur is over 90% recommended wilderness. The area receives an average of 8-10 inches of precipitation annually. Temperatures range from -20 degrees to 105 degrees. The communities of Rangely, CO and Vernal, UT host small Latino communities and offer all amenities (hospital, schools, grocery, etc.). Both towns are within commuting distance (20 miles) of headquarters located in Dinosaur, CO and the Quarry visitor center located in Jensen, UT. Please visit our website at www.nps.gov/dino for more information.

Work Environment: The work is split between the field (70%) and office (30%). Field work can include exposure to extreme weather conditions and terrain, biting insects, domestic livestock, and wild animals. DNM regularly hosts summer interns and volunteers for projects such as trail building and maintenance, cultural surveys, various natural resource projects, paleontology research, and general visitor and interpretive services.

To apply for this job email your details to internships@environmentamericas.org

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