Vegetation Monitoring Intern

Expected Dates
July 27, 2020 to December 20, 2020
Sonoran Desert Network
Position ID
This position will assist us in completing a season of our long-term ecological monitoring in National Parks in Arizona and New Mexico. This information is critical for us to understand the current status and trends in the health, diversity and resilience of the park ecosystems.

The intern will conduct vegetation sampling for long-term vegetation monitoring protocols. Work will include both re-visiting previously established sites  and establishing a few new vegetation and soils permanent sampling plots. Ideally the intern will have strong background or strong interest in botany and plant sciences.
Sampling methods on permanent plots include line-point intercept to measure plant cover, plant frequency, soil stability testing and biological soil crust identification and columnar cacti density. You will use sophisticated field sampling equipment including handheld GIS/GPS systems and ruggedized laptops;  use database programs to maintain digital records of monitoring activities in the office. Work time will approximately be 80% field work and 20% office time. Intern would work as part of a 4-5 person team. Most sites are off-trail in the rugged back-country, so hiking and carrying equipment is necessary.

Compensation amounts:
  • $200 - weekly living allowance
  • $1,100 - one time RT travel allowance
  • $1,612- AmeriCorp Education Award
  • $325 - Health Insurance (if elected)
  • Housing included in position

*All allowances subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes

  • This position will be based out of the Sonoran Desert Network office in Tucson, and the intern will travel with crew to 7 different southern Arizona parks to conduct field work.
  • Training will be provided in plant identification, soils sampling and multiple field data collection methods related to measuring vegetation.
  • The intern will work alongside professional level NPS staff and cooperators who will take advantage of the field sites to teach local ecological knowledge.
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
competent with supervision
Field Research
some experience
Plant Identification
competent with supervision