Forest Inventory Intern- Grants Pass

Expected Dates
April 3, 2016 to September 24, 2016
Pacific Northwest Research Station
Position ID
The U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station is seeking an intern to collect forest inventory data in Southwest Oregon. The intern will work alongside a Biological Scientist and will gain valuable experience in applied ecological inventory practices as well as insights into the operation of the Forest Service and its research activities. Primary responsibilities will involve measurement of ecological indicators including: tree growth and mortality; forest pathogens; downed woody material structure and composition; vascular plant structure and composition; and forest disturbance and treatment histories. These measurements will be taken at a series of permanently established research plots located on a systematic grid. Inventory work is conducted on all land ownerships and is not limited to National Forest units  Training will primarily be provided through on the job experience, although there will be an initial week of group training for new staff in Oregon.  A successful intern must be motivated, adaptable, and come with some previous experience working in the woods.

Forest Inventory data will be collected by a three person field crew led by a Forest Service Scientist.  This position will be based out of the Grants Pass, OR duty station.  Approximately 60% of field work can be completed while based out of Grants Pass while travel to remote sites is required for the remainder.  Travel will include hotel stays, camping, and other lodging options.  This position may also be required to move around the region at any time depending on the needs of the program. The Grants Pass field crew will participate in several extended backpacking trips and will spend a significant amount of time in seldom-visited wilderness areas. Ninety percent of the assignments will be in the field and excellent physical conditioning is a must. The field crew routinely hikes off-trail for multiple miles over steep and brushy terrain to reach remotely located research sites.  The crew also spends a significant amount of time driving to reach these remotely located research sites.

There will be ample time to explore recreation and personal development opportunities in Grants Pass and throughout the region. A Forest Service vehicle will be provided for work related driving but it is required that the intern bring a personal vehicle for commuting purposes. A personal vehicle will also allow the intern to take full advantage of recreation opportunities during their time-off.

Field work requires extensive on and off-trail hiking, with daily hiking distance sometimes exceeding 15 miles. At times, hiking to research sites includes several thousand feet of elevation gain and loss in a single day. Each individual will be required to carry a backpack weighing between 35 and 50 pounds into the backcountry. Terrain encountered will include cliffs, steep slopes (>100% at times), loose and rocky soils, and uneven/unstable surfaces. Interns who are unable to meet the physical demands of the position will not be successful.

Qualified candidates will be contacted to schedule interviews.
  • Grants Pass is a small town, population of 35,000 on the Rogue River surrounded by mountains and excellent recreation. It is about 20 miles from the larger city of Medford, with a population of over 100,000. The work area covers SW Oregon from Diamond Lake and the Cascade Crest to the California border, including wild and scenic rivers and the spectacular southern Oregon coastline. This region includes a large wilderness area and covers douglas-fir, ponderosa pine, white fir, red fir, mixed conifer, tan oak, and canyon live oak forest types. Work in Grants Pass requires overnight travel up to 50% of the time, some backpacking and car camping trips, and involves daily driving to reach work locations. The Grants Pass crew completes 2-5 multi-day backpacking trips each season. A successful candidate will be comfortable hiking off trail over steep or uneven terrain and be able to work through potential hazards such as extensive poison oak, wildlife encounters, steep slopes and inclement weather. Government housing is not provided.
  • Orienteering, GPS Training, Plant Identification, Forest Mensuration, First Aid, CPR, 4WD, Radio Communications, Wildlife Safety, Wilderness First Aid
  • Interns will learn about forest mensuration principals, local ecology and botany, and about the research operations of the US Forest Service. Recreational activities such as hiking, camping, backpacking, and kayaking are numerous and easily accessible.
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
competent with supervision
Data Entry
competent with supervision
Field Research
competent with supervision