The Herpetology and Data Management programs at Archbold Biological Station are seeking a Tortoise Conservation/Data Science Intern to support an exciting project funded by Disney Conservation Fund. The successful candidate will play a key role in initiating remote tracking of Gopher Tortoises at Archbold, helping to bring our 54-year mark-recapture study into the digital age. The intern will be jointly supervised by Dr. Betsie Rothermel, Archbold Herpetology Program Director, and Vivienne Sclater, Archbold GIS & Data Manager. The duration of the internship is approximately 9 months.
Varied duties will include (50% of time):
- Capture, measure, tag, and track juvenile and adult tortoises
- Survey and map tortoise burrows using GPS
- Assist with sandhill restoration efforts (e.g., removal of invasive plants, occasional prescribed fires) in the tortoise study area
- Help maintain a network of cellular tracking nodes and base stations
- Manage tag data downloads and implement efficient data processing protocols
- Summarize tortoise tracking data for analyses and outreach
- Participate in virtual outreach activities
Independent project (remaining 50% of time):
To be determined with input and guidance from the project PIs; could be an original research project focused on some aspect of tortoise spatial/behavioral ecology, or an internet-based outreach project focused on engaging the public and disseminating key findings from Archbold’s tortoise research.
Benefits to an Archbold internship:
- Weekly stipend of $185 $210 depending on qualifications (B.S. or M.S.)
- An additional $60 per week stipend while the Station’s dining room is closed (due to Covid-19). If our kitchen facilities reopen, we will provide breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday.
- Free lodging at the Station (shared housing, no pets)
- Close interaction with Principal Investigators and Research Assistants who will provide mentoring and professional development
- Development of critical skills that will strengthen your future graduate school or job applications, including building proficiency in data management, field research, and science communication
- Cross-disciplinary learning opportunities through formal orientation sessions and research seminars, as well as informal interactions with researchers and interns in the Avian Ecology, Plant Ecology, Agro-ecology, and Education programs
- Opportunity to live and work at a world-renowned field station embedded in the Florida scrub ecosystem, a North American biodiversity hotspot
- Opportunities to explore other Florida ecosystems and natural areas during your free time
- Recent M.S. degree in ecology or wildlife biology preferred; or a B.S. degree with significant (> 1 year) prior research and data management experience
- Field research experience, preferably with herps
- Meticulous attention to data collection and management protocols
- Strong interest and aptitude in working with large data sets and developing programming skills for ecological applications
- Some familiarity with coding languages, such as R
- Demonstrated experience implementing a GIS project
- Enthusiasm for engaging in virtual outreach and communicating project results to the public
- Capable of doing physically demanding work in the hot, humid subtropical climate of southern Florida
Applicants must have U.S. citizenship or current authorization to work in the U.S.
How to apply: Email the following (preferably as one attachment in PDF format) to Dr. Betsie Rothermel (firstname.lastname@example.org), including ‘Intern position’ in subject line:
1) Cover letter describing your qualifications and indicating your availability
2) Current resumé or CV, including GPA and a list of relevant coursework
3) Contact information for three references