East Texas Forest Ecology: Paid Internship
June-August 2018, Texas Conservation Science, Austin, TX
Texas Conservation Science, Inc. (TCS), a 24-year old nonprofit corporation in Austin, seeks internship applicants in ecological field research. The focus is flood-inundation dynamics within riparian forests. The primary tasks are quantitative forest-plot inventory, native plant identification, and data entry and analysis. Field research is within riparian research stations established within the middle Trinity River (near Navasota) and Little Cypress Bayou (near Jefferson) basins of east Texas. Related tasks include, but are not limited to, GPS, tape-and-compass surveys, and tree-core sampling to measure riparian forest productivity.
DUTIES: The overall project quantifies out-of-bank river flows needed to sustain riparian forests and floodplains. Since 2009, TCS has developed tools to quantify environmental-flow requirements to sustain floodplain habitats and processes. The empirical methods involve wetted-surface classification of Landsat imagery, habitat mapping, vegetation inventories for long-term riparian forest monitoring, and related hydrological and dendrochronological analyses. Prior work on the project includes the Brazos, Guadalupe, Trinity, Cypress-Caddo, Sabine, and Neches river basins in Texas. With State and private funding, the TCS riparian research network currently totals 17 long-term research stations within the first four of these river basins.
CONDITIONS: The work week averages 40 hours for 2-3 months starting early June 2018. To avoid inclement weather, a flexible field schedule is necessary. Field trips, normally 5-7 days long, are physically demanding, and may require carrying a 30-40 pound pack all day in hot, humid, rainy, and/or buggy weather. Overnight accommodations include lodging at national wildlife refuges, and camping at state parks or remote backcountry sites. Though flexible, charge hours are usually eight per day in the field, to account for down time when accessing remote sites, etc. If pre-approved, charging more than eight hours per day is normally compensated by paid leave.
Interns are TCS employees subject to federal tax withholding and employer FICA match. The hourly intern wage is $11-12, depending on experience. Liability insurance is provided, but not health insurance and other benefits for short-term positions.
EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE/SKILLS: Undergraduates, graduating seniors, college graduates, and others are encouraged to apply. Experience in east Texas native plant identification is preferred, but not required. However, a strong interest in forest ecology and quantitative field methods is necessary. Successful applicants will be conscientious self-starters with excellent communication skills, who demonstrate independent work and timely project completion.
Email applications are required. Please apply immediately, since applications have priority in order of receipt. As soon as possible, we expect to fill 1-2 forest-ecologist internships to start early June 2018. Due to a large number of applicants, TCS may only respond to those who are well qualified.
Please email cover letter, resume, and contact information for three technical/academic references to Dr. Tom Hayes (Tom@TCScience.org).