Biological Science Intern: Exotic Plant Management

Expected Dates
September 1, 2014 to August 30, 2015
Vicksburg NMP
Position ID
Although established as a historic site, almost two-thirds of the present-day landscape of Vicksburg National Military Park (VICK) has reverted to a more natural state, comprised of the unique loess soil ridge-and-ravine habitat.  And, with the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, the park is now covered with mixed-hardwood forest and shrubby understory, comprised of some species now determined as invasive and detrimental to the VICK’s natural habitat.  The recently completed battlefield restoration project removed 90 acres of forest cover; however, the project also impacted approximately 7 acres of forested wetlands which now require mitigation efforts to compensate for these impacts.  To satisfy the wetlands mitigation outlined in the Cultural Landscape Report/Environmental Assessment (approved 2009), VICK is required to remove 22 acres of invasive Chinese privet along the Durden Creek watershed within park boundaries. 
VICK is seeking to fill two (2) bioscience internships, specializing in exotic plant removal with duties including (but not limited to):
  • Assisting in the treatment of non-native plant species within park boundaries (foliar/cut-stump herbicide application; manual clipping, etc.)  Such activities may also include inventory and assessment, habitat restoration, and threat mitigation;
  • Making field observations of plant conditions and providing preliminary determinations on conditions/problems to park staff for use in planning, protection and mitigation activities;
  • Recommending modifications to field activity procedures to accomplish project objectives;
  • Participating in re-vegetation activities such as site preparation, transplanting, seeding, and applying erosion prevention methods;
  • Conducting routine and recurring resource monitoring programs for evaluating vegetation communities, population dynamics, ecosystem relationships, and public health/safety issues;
  • Seeking assistance for situations not covered by instructions or guidelines;
  • Adhering to established control/quality assurance protocols and safety procedures.

Recommended Qualifications:

  • studying for or completion of a degree in biological sciences, ecology, natural resource management or related disciplines appropriate to the position;
  • good physical condition (climate and terrain can be extreme);
  • field study experience;
  • basic field techniques;
  • basic species identification (both fauna & flora);
  • herbicide use;
  • chainsaw/hand tool use;
  • data collection and entry;
  • writing/computer skills;
  • valid driver’s license.

Additional Information:

  • Housing will be off-site
  • Personal transportation required
  • Background check required
  • Vicksburg, MS, was an integral key to both the Confederate and Union armies during the Civil War, due mainly to its strategic location high on the ancient loess bluffs of the eastern Mississippi River shore. It was this natural terrain of the surrounding area that determined the important role of the city’s position on the river. Creating an almost impenetrable defense for the Confederate army, the land boasted high ridgelines bordered by steep ravines filled with thick tangle and scrub – formidable enough to daunt even the most gallant of the soldiers in blue.
  • species identification (both plant & animal), tool use including hand tools, chainsaws, etc., UTV safety & use, herbicide use and safety, first aid/CPR
  • 1. attending park interpretive programs
    2. walking/jogging/biking
    3. hiking on park primitive hiking trail
  • Yes
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Chain Saw Skills
competent without supervision
Hand Tools
competent without supervision
Plant Identification
competent without supervision
Trail Maintenance
competent without supervision
All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
competent without supervision