Visitor Use Survey and Data Collection

Expected Dates
October 10, 2019 to October 24, 2019
Site
Resource Systems Group, Inc.
Position ID
PO-00728636
Be a part of a cohort of SCA interns conducting visitor use and social science research at Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park.  Interns will work alongside PhD and Master’s level researchers to assist with social science research and data collection.  This is a very short-term project lasting two weeks.    

Interns will engage in multiple steps in the social science research process. Data topics include administering surveys to park visitors, conducting unobtrusive observations of visitor use volumes, tracking visitor use patterns, and deploying, maintaining, and downloading data from automated trail counters.

In addition to field research experience, interns will gain valuable experience with a nationally-recognized research consulting firm (RSG, Inc.), providing a look into private sector career paths in parks and protected areas management, as well as knowledge of visitor use management and capacity planning in parks and protected areas.  Each workday is expected to be 8-9 hours long and will be outdoors.

A two day Training in data collection methods and systems will be conducted at Shenandoah NP (or in nearby facility tbd) prior to the start of the visitor survey component.  


Desired Skills and Abilities:
  • High degree of personal accountability to ensure timely, systematic, and consistent conduct of data collection tasks.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • Attention to detail and a good sense of quality control in the data collection process.
  • Good note taking skills, particularly to document unusual or unexpected circumstances that can affect data collection tasks.
  • Ability and desire to work outdoors through a range of potentially challenging weather conditions (heat, rain, etc.).
  • Ability to walk short distances (less than 1 mile one-way) on consecutive days on potentially varied terrain.
  • Previous experience with data collection of other aspects of scientific studies is desirable, but not necessary.
  • Willingness to learn the ins and outs of protected areas social science research methodology from start to finish.

Due to the short duration of the project/position, this position is not eligible for an AmeriCorps Education Award.
Tag: SCA1957

  • Shenandoah National Park lies along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in north central Virginia. The park consists of more than 197,000 acres of mountains, forests, meadows, and streams. The park protects and preserves the natural scenery and cultural heritage of this section of the Blue Ridge. The major access route through the park is the 105-mile long Skyline Drive which provides opportunities for outstanding views of the Shenandoah Valley and the Piedmont from the Drive’s numerous overlooks.
  • A two day Training in data collection methods and systems.
  • Hiking and other various outdoor activities in Shenandoah NP and the surrounding Virginia highlands.
  • Team members will work alongside Ph. D. and Master’s level researchers to assist with social science research and data collection in parks throughout the National Capital Region. Members will engage in multiple steps in the social science research process. In addition to field research experience, team members will also gain valuable experience with a nationally-recognized research consulting firm, providing a look into private sector career paths in parks and protected areas management, as well as knowledge of visitor use and transportation planning in parks and protected areas.
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Surveying
Education, Training & Skills Expected
Social Sciences
some coursework or experience
Communications
some coursework or experience
Data Entry
some experience
Field Research
some experience