The National Park Service at the C&O Canal NHP is recruiting 1 to 2 research-based positions focusing on invertebrate/insect ecology:
Applicant will assist the Biologist in identifying collected invertebrate samples taken from rare Appalachian shale barren habitats along the Potomac River in western Maryland. These habitats are globally unique and only occur throughout the mid-Appalachians. Shale barren communities are known to be extremely dry, steep, and often contain a number of rare plant species specially adapted to survive in such an environment. Position will include identification of invertebrates collected in pitfall traps and some statistical analysis. Invertebrate data will be used to identify environmental factors important in determining invertebrate community structure, and will be correlated with downscaled climate data to predict how future changes in climate will affect the composition of these vulnerable communities. The successful applicant will also assist in the sorting and identification of insects and spiders collected from forests disturbed by the invasive Japanese stiltgrass. This project will aim to examine environmental factors affecting the nutritional ecology of a common forest spider, including insect diversity and density, invasive plant species abundance, and habitat structure. Work will also identify the impacts of an invasive grass on prey availability and understory forest structure.
Prior experience with insect identification is encouraged but not required, though the desire and motivation to learn is necessary. Work schedule and length of position is flexible. Though stipends are not currently available, work can qualify for school credit pending coordination between your advisor and the NPS.
If interested, please send resume to Dr. Andrew Landsman at Andrew_Landsman@nps.gov.