Restoration Ecology Internship

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
Position Description – Restoration Ecology Volunteer

This position, assigned to the Division of Planning, Science and Resource Management, will assist in ecological restoration projects under the supervision of the restoration ecologist and/or a restoration bio-technician.

Major Duties
Duties may also include supervision of other volunteers. Volunteer will also assist in development and management of park’s ecological restoration projects. This may include operation of power equipment such as soil augers, brush cutters and weed whips. General duties will include installing, monitoring, and maintaining native plants at various field locations; exotic plant eradication including hand pulling, mechanical and chemical (herbicide) removal; monitoring and enhancement of threatened plant populations; and vegetation sampling including native vegetation and exotic invasive species. The volunteer may also assist in the operation of the park’s native plant nursery at Rancho Sierra Vista. This may include seed collection, seed cleaning, soil mixing, transplanting, weeding, pruning, watering and other aspects of plant propagation.

The propagation of native plants at the nursery will provide the necessary plant stock to support vegetation and restoration projects within the park. The volunteer will provide valuable support to field and office activities relating to ecological restoration in the SMMNRA. The volunteer will also provide valuable information to the restoration ecologist that will guide natural resource decision-making now and in the future. The position will provide the volunteer with nursery experience, leadership experience, field experience, training in plant identification and field application of scientific principles, personal enrichment and teamwork rewards. The volunteer may be offered park tours and off site field trips in a government vehicle to broaden their knowledge and enhance their volunteer experience.

Physical Demands and Work Environment
Tasks vary in physical demands and require that the volunteer is in good physical condition and is willing to work outdoors. Exotic plant eradication projects and native plant installation projects can be physically strenuous, requiring operation of power equipment under field conditions. Herbicide awareness, safety and proper use training is mandatory and will be provided by NPS staff prior to field work. The volunteer may encounter insects, snakes and poisonous plants in the field. In addition, field conditions may be hot, cold or wet. Tasks may require the volunteer to stand, bend, stoop or kneel for extended periods of time. Some lifting may be required. Safety training appropriate to duties and environment will be provided. Volunteers are not permitted to possess firearms in the course of their volunteer duties.

Knowledge and Skills Required
Minor level of skill is required for most tasks. Volunteer will receive training for difficult, complex or lesser tasks. Should the need to drive a government vehicle arise volunteer will be required to possess a valid driver’s license.

Time Required
Volunteer will receive basic orientation training from the restoration ecologist and/or restoration bio-technician. On-going training will be provided as needed. Emphasis is on proper use of tools. Training in safe use of all equipment will be provided by park staff.

Volunteer will be supervised by the restoration ecologist and/or a restoration bio-technician.

The supervisors will conduct informal performance reviews to ensure that goals are being met and that the job remains rewarding to the volunteer.

Uniform Requirement
A volunteer cap and shirt are required for certain field activities with public involvement. At other times the volunteer should wear identifiable uniform clothing such as a volunteer tee shirt. All other clothing will be provided by the volunteer appropriate to the position’s duties.

To apply, please send cover letter, resume, and three reference contacts to:

Last updated: February 11, 2021

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