CLM Internship with Joshua Tree Genome Project

Chicago Botanic Garden
Boulder City, NV
Job Category
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
The interns will assist in implementing the field research component of the Joshua Tree Genome project. This research is a collaboration between multiple institutions, aiming to: 1) identify physiological and genetic expression responses to climate variation and heat stress in Joshua trees, 2) test for effects of climate on Joshua tree fitness and demography, and 3) identify locally adapted genes, test relationships between predicted population trait values and demographic status and compare drivers of local adaptation. The interns will be stationed and directly mentored at the US Geological Survey field office in Boulder City, NV. The interns will provide ongoing care of plants in four common gardens representing a range of temperature and rainfall conditions within the Mojave Desert in Nevada, California, and Utah, and will travel to these gardens on a biweekly to monthly basis. In addition, the interns will assist with greenhouse propagation of Joshua trees and other native species for planting into common gardens and germinate and transplant seedlings of Joshua trees into a growth chamber for a laboratory experiment designed to understand differences in the performance of the various ecotypes. The interns will also collect leaf tissues at multiple populations across the ecoregion so the tissues can undergo genetic analyses by university partners. Interns will gain skills in greenhouse propagation (35% of time), field sample collections and measurements in the common gardens for determining local adaptation (35% of time), and care and watering of plants in common gardens (10% of time). The interns will also interact with ecologists and technicians performing research on desert restoration and rare plant conservation as well as other projects on desert ecology (20%). This research experience will help prepare the interns for entry-level Botany, Plant Ecology, Natural Resource and Environmental positions and guide their path toward graduate school. Greenhouse work will entail maintaining and assessing growth and survival of seedlings in the greenhouse; field trips will be spent assessing survival and growth and maintaining seedlings at four common gardens across the Mojave Desert. Interns will also collect and document leaf tissues for genetic analyses. In the field, the interns will work in remote desert settings with occasional camping under primitive conditions. Candidates with interest in working in a desert ecosystem, conducting research, and experience making detailed measurements and exercising attention to detail when measuring plant traits are desirable. A valid driver’s license is required and experience driving 4WD while towing a water trailer on unpaved roads is highly desirable. The interns will periodically help maintain climate stations, remove weeds and ensure common garden fencing remains intact. The interns will also enter data into electronic databases, produce data summaries, and process plant samples in the laboratory.
- Undergraduate or Advanced Degree (2- or 4-year institution; includes community colleges, tribal colleges, etc.) in Biology, Environmental Sciences, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Natural Resources Management, Botany, Wildlife Biology, or related fields. - Have a current and valid drivers license - Have enthusiasm, independence, strong work ethic - Have interest in land management and applied conservation practices - Be a United States citizen
Contact Person
Chris Woolridge
Contact eMail
Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.