The Paint Rock Forest Research Center is dedicated to seeing diversity through the eyes of diversity, training a new generation in the national center of deciduous forest diversity, cave diversity and aquatic diversity.
Our center, located in the spectacular 450,000-acre Paint Rock ecosystem, attracts researchers from around the world. We have worked with The Nature Conservancy to dedicate more than 4000 acres of forests, savanna and river bottom habitat to scientific research and discovery,
The backbone of our effort is creation of a massive outside laboratory the size of some 120 football fields, where every stem larger than a pencil is identified, measured, mapped and followed for fifty years. It’s designed to be the largest and richest forest dynamics plot in the nation. Our work here will provide critical information on the future of forests throughout North America.
Research interns will engage daily with nature in all its forms. It’s often hard work requiring intense concentration, but it is full of surprises and for many is a life-changing experience.
What our program involves:
1. Nine months (March 15 through November) of participation in our live-in Field Science program, which is coordinated with the Student Conservation Association, and includes
— Supporting forest health and restoration through participation in the largest and most biologically diverse forest dynamics census in North America (~70% of the time);
—stream and forest restoration programs (~10% of the time);
—an additional research or communications project designed to give each research intern an opportunity to participate in and often supervise their own project (~20% of the time). This may include projects as varied as visual communications of natural history; working with an archaeological team; state of the art ornithological surveys using radar and auditory equipment; native bamboo research and restoration; DNA collections for determining new species and to better identify individuals likely to survive invasive species such as the emerald ash borer. Where possible, these projects will be designed to further interns’ career interests as well as scientific understanding.
2. Regular interface with some of the world’s top researchers from universities and institutions including UCLA, University of Georgia, University of Alabama, Morton Arboretum, Yale, Auburn, Clemson and many others. These meetings give students an unusual opportunity to explore careers in natural history and the sciences.
3. We provide on-campus accommodations for research interns for the duration, in our comfortable and attractive 7000 square foot residential, lab and lecture spaces.
4.Our program includes living and travel allowances equalling $600 a week.
5. Because of our affiliation with the Student Conservation Association, students will serve as members of the Americorps program, which converts hours worked into education awards that can be used at colleges and universities throughout the country..
6. We offer an opportunity rarely available through traditional colleges and universities: A chance to see and study working natural systems, every day, up close and intimately. This is an opportunity lost to most STEM students, who are channeled into pre-med, engineering or microbiology programs without ever being exposed to the surprises and complexities of natural systems.
7. Our goal with each student is to help them move up and move on, knowing the full choices available to them. We actively encourage and help research interns to further their education and to find appropriate careers in academia, with state and federal agencies like the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service, and in the private sector.
These positions qualify for an AmeriCorps Education Award.
*All allowances are subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes.
It is SCA’s policy that all AmeriCorps-required background checks must return cleared results prior to the position’s start; this includes being fingerprinted for the FBI check. Otherwise, the AmeriCorps award will be removed or the position’s start date will be delayed due to non-compliance.
Conditions of Employment
For SCA’s COVID guidance, please refer to www.thesca.org/covid.
Position ID: PO-00735217
Expected Dates: April 24, 2023 - December 17, 2023
3400 A County Road 10
Paint Rock, AL 35764
Training Provided: We actively encourage and help research interns to further their education and to find appropriate careers in academia, with state and federal agencies.
Educational/Recreational Opportunities: Regular interface with some of the world’s top researchers from universities and institutions, including UCLA, Yale, Alabama, Clemson and many others. Tens of thousands of acres of forest and rivers are open for hiking and canoeing.
Handicap Accessible?: No
Main Area of Focus: Natural Resources Mgmt
AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible
Driving Logistics: Recommended
While interns may in most cases have an opportunity to ride with others on the team, having your own vehicle offers some independence, and prevents an individual from being stranded when the rest of the team is away.
Housing or Stipend Provided?
A. Partner will provide suitable housing for the member
We provide on-campus accommodations for research interns for the duration, in our comfortable and attractive 7,000 square foot residential, lab and lecture spaces. Rooms are spacious, with two beds per room. All washing and kitchen facilities are provided.
US Citizenship: No