Bat Cave Hibernacula Survey Internships

Expected Dates
January 13, 2023 to April 6, 2023
El Malpais & El Morro National Monuments
Position ID
Bats are an important component of North American ecology and play an essential role in the energy dynamics of lava tube cave environments. Bats are one of the most important wildlife we manage at El Malpais National Monument in northwest New Mexico. Conservation efforts are underway to understand their population dynamics, roost sites, and impacts on them from monument visitors, environmental changes, and white-nose syndrome (WNS). WNS, a fungal disease spreading westward and decimating many bat populations, is expected to arrive in New Mexico within the next few years. This makes the collection of pre-disease baseline data of bats in the monument essential for natural resource management decisions. The primary role for the intern will be assisting our staff in conducting bat counts in over 200 of our lava tube caves, look for indications of WNS, detect signs of disturbance using FLIR camera and acoustical monitoring devices, and collect cave microclimate data.  This basic information is critical for managing these unique and important animals. Interns may also also assist with mapping caves, terrestrial Lidar, photogrammetry, and condition assessments of caves.

Compensation amounts:
  • $1,100 - one time RT travel allowance
  • $400 - weekly living allowance
  • Housing
  • $1,678- AmeriCorps Education Award

*For SCA’s COVID-19 guidance, please refer to  

  • The monument’s National Park Service headquarters and our natural resource management office are located within the city of Grants, New Mexico. The office is a friendly, comfortable setting with a staff of around 20. The field environment can be physically taxing and requires the ability to work and hike over rugged terrain, high elevation(7-8,000 feet), and varying weather conditions while carrying 5-25 pounds of supplies and gear.
    El Malpais National Monument is in a fascinating geological setting, featuring a complex interconnection between recent volcanic activity and ancient sedimentary rocks. North of the monument, just a few miles past the city of Grants, Mt. Taylor reaches 11,305’. The Mt. Taylor uplands and the Zuni Mountains west of the monument support juniper, pinon, ponderosa, fir, and aspen stands. From the city of Grants to the south, the lava flows and cinder cones of El Malpais extend into high desert grasslands and shrublands home to pronghorn, mule deer and elk. The eastern boundary of the monument abuts the sandstone and slickrock cliffs of the Acoma Indian Reservation. The monument, along with the BLM’s surrounding National Conservation Area, protect more than 350,000 acres. Nearby attractions include cultural sites like Chaco Canyon, El Morro National Monument, Shiprock, and the Acoma Pueblo. The Albuquerque metro area is an hour’s drive from Grants to the east, and the natural wonders of northern Arizona are a few hour’s drive west of I-40. It is a wonderfully scenic area.
  • Interns will be trained in GIS, caving, backcountry and wilderness ethics, and bat biology.
  • New Mexico has a large number of areas that are famous for their cultural and natural resources. There are many areas in New Mexico and Arizona that provide opportunities for cave exploration and backpacking. Ski resorts in the Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and
  • Yes
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
degree minor or extensive experience
degree minor or extensive experience
Earth Sciences
degree minor or extensive experience
Recreation Management
degree minor or extensive experience
Resource Management
degree minor or extensive experience
competent without supervision
Field Research
some experience
competent with supervision
competent without supervision