Volunteer: Internships: Habitat Restoration

Overview: Point Reyes National Seashore (PRNS), a 90-000-acre National Park Service unit in coastal Marin County, CA, is accepting applications for a 6-month internship position. PRNS encompasses numerous ecosystem types and has over 33,000 acres of Congressionally designated wilderness, yet is 40 miles from San Francisco. Supporting 16% of California’s flora, PRNS has high biodiversity, including 48 special status plant species (four federally endangered). Invasive plants are the greatest immediate threat to these species and to native plant communities. The park’s habitat restoration program finds resources and engages volunteers to control the highest-priority invaders and to monitor and protect rare plants. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/pore.

The intern will assist the park’s Restoration Biologist in the following tasks:
1. Coordination and field leadership of approximately four volunteer groups per month (two regular Sunday drop-in programs and two weekday groups) working on invasive plant removal (20%)
2. Other invasive plant removal field projects: solo; with paid crews; with park staff and interns; occasionally with individual volunteers (50%)
3. Volunteer recruitment (5%)
4. Data entry and maintenance of equipment and vehicles (10%)
5. Monitoring of plant species composition to assess treatment effectiveness and of rare plant populations (5%)
6. Other tasks to support the restoration and volunteer management programs (10%)

Duration: Full-time late October to late May

Compensation: Housing in park research station about 12 miles from park headquarters; meal reimbursement to $20-25/workday; eligible for workers compensation.

Internship benefits: 1. Practical training in plant identification and plant ecology.
2. Opportunity to develop leadership skills, especially in volunteer management.
3. Training in GPS and GIS.
4. Opportunity to gain experience in restoration and monitoring techniques.
5. Opportunity to work in a beautiful park at the rural/urban/wilderness interface.

Required qualifications:
1. Strong interest in the invasive plant component of habitat restoration.
2. Ability to do physical labor safely and efficiently on a regular basis, often in difficult conditions (inclement weather, steep rugged terrain, remote sites, around cattle, with possible exposure to ticks and stinging plants, and with frequent exposure to poison oak).
3. Interest in plant ecology and ability to learn plant identification.
4. Proven ability to work cooperatively with diverse people.
5. Ability to be self-directed in managing work, and at times, to work alone in the field.
6. Good organizational skills and basic computer skills.
7. Ability to learn to use Global Positioning Systems and Geographic Information Systems.
8. Ability to commit to full term of internship.

Desired qualifications:
1. Knowledge of coastal California flora and/or ability to identify plants using keys.
2. Experience in invasive plant removal.
3. Familiarity with GPS and/or GIS.
4. Knowledge of plant ecology.
5. Experience and skills in recruiting and motivating volunteers.

To apply: Mail the following materials to arrive by September 15, 2010 to Intern Search, c/o Ellen Hamingson, Point Reyes National Seashore, 1 Bear Valley Rd, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956. Due to limited size of e-mailbox, electronic applications are not accepted. Materials submitted should clearly demonstrate that you meet the required qualifications.

  • Resume
  • Cover letter explaining why you want this specific internship
  • List of at least three currently available professional references, with phone and email contact information.
  • Optional: copies of transcripts

Questions? Contact Ellen Hamingson at email or 415-464-5196.

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Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


(415) 464-5100
This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

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