The National Park Service Inventory & Monitoring Program Student Opportunities

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1 NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program The National Park Service Inventory & Monitoring Program Student Opportunities Sara Stevens Program Manager

2 NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program NPS Programs at URI Offices in Natural Resource Sciences Department Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network Monitoring Program Sara Stevens, Program Coordinator Dennis Skidds, Data Manager and Shoreline Change Monitoring Lead Erika Nicosia, Salt Marsh Monitoring Lead Dana Filippini, Marsh Bird and Marine Invasives Monitoring Lead Offices in Coastal Institute Bay Campus, GSO North Atlantic Coast Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit (CESU) Charles Roman, NAC CESU Program Coordinator Amanda Babson, NPS Regional Climate Change Adaptation Coordinator

3 NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program Background The NPS was established in 1916 with the main directive to preserve, unimpaired, the natural and cultural resources of parks But!!! for most of the 20th century, NPS managers practiced a combination of passive management of natural resources, with the focus on becoming a superb visitor services agency During the 1980 s and 90 s the NPS was highly criticized by the scientific community about how the agency had been managing park natural resources. Assateague Island, MD

4 NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program Background This criticism lead to the NATIONAL PARKS OMNIBUS MANAGEMENT ACT passing in 1998 The Act Established a science program in the Park Service which lead to the Natural Resource Challenge in 1999 A written plan, funded by Congress, for preserving natural resources in the parks As a result new NPS programs were established including the Inventory and Monitoring Program

5 NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program For staffing and data collection purposes, 270 park units with significant natural resources were organized into Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) Networks Each I&M network links parks that share similar geographic and natural resource characteristics 32 I&M Networks

6 Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network Who works for the I&M Networks Each Network has a Program Manager and a Data Manager Each Network has a variety of other positions depending on type of monitoring being conducted: Botanists, Ornithologists, Geologists, Coastal ecologists, Wetlands Scientists, Hydrologists, etc What do we do? Collect, analyze, manage, and report data on the condition of natural resources in the parks Our goal is to provide scientifically sound information that will help guide management decision making, park planning, research and education

7 Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network (NCBN) NCBN Network Staff URI NRS Department 8 parks 4 large coastal parks Cape Cod NS Fire Island NS Gateway NRA Assateague Island NS 4 smaller cultural parks Sagamore Hill NHS Thomas Stone NHS George Washington Birthplace NM Colonial NHP

8 Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network NCBN Monitoring Plan Available on our website to download: ncbn/index.aspx Significant ecological indicators identified for monitoring in the 8 parks Includes everything from conceptual models to sampling design and data collection methods Focus on most significant indicators of long term ecological trends and highest concerns among the parks in the network

9 Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network What do we monitor and how can you get involved?

10 Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network Salt Marsh Monitoring Goal: To document changes occurring over time in marsh vegetation, nekton, marsh bird communities, and marsh elevation Vegetation 7 parks Intensive plot sampling at all parks Monitoring plant community structure Nekton 5 parks Nekton sampled in marsh pools, creeks, and manmade ditches Monitoring nekton community structure NCBN Salt Marsh Monitoring Summer Field Crews (3 paid positions) Desired Skills: North Atlantic coastal vegetation or marine fish ID Knowledge of vegetation or fish sampling methodologies Boating Skills desirable, but not necessary GPS skills desirable Ability to travel and work in a boat in coastal waters Field experience hot, buggy and difficult terrain to walk in NPS Biological Science Technicians (paid positions park housing provided) posted on USA Jobs Jan or Feb

11 Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network Salt Marsh Monitoring Sediment Elevation Monitoring 7 parks Data collected twice a year for all parks Elevation changes measured using Sediment Elevation Tables (SET) Monitoring relative elevation and accretion of the marsh Possible Internships or Grad Student Projects (NPS would pay for travel to the parks) Assisting with field data collection Assisting with the development of the monitoring protocol Desired Skills: GPS skills desirable Ability to travel and work in a boat in coastal waters Field experience hot, buggy and difficult terrain to walk in

12 Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network Salt Marsh Monitoring Marsh Bird Monitoring 7 parks Call back surveys Volunteer based program Possible Internships or Grad Student Projects (NPS would pay for travel to the parks) Assisting with field data collection at Cape Cod NS and Fire Island NS Assisting with the development of the monitoring database Developing science communication documents for the parks/public Desired Skills: GPS skills desirable Ability to travel and work in a boat in coastal waters, kayak Ability to learn calls of common marsh birds Field experience hot, buggy and difficult terrain to walk in MS Access database skills

13 Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network Estuarine Monitoring Goal: To monitor estuarine eutrophication by documenting changes in water quality as well as seagrass condition and distribution 7 parks park wide water quality sampling of estuarine habitat intensive monitoring of selected seagrass beds Bay wide seagrass mapping Possible Internship or Grad Student Project Incorporate marine invasive species monitoring with our current seagrass monitoring program Indicators: Water Chemistry Water Quality Water Clarity Sediment Organic Carbon Nutrient Inputs

14 5 parks Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network Shoreline, Beach, and Dune Monitoring Goal: To monitor the spatial and temporal changes in shoreline, beach and dune topography shoreline monitoring collected via driving an ATV along the wet dry line of the beach, 2 3 times/year beach and dune topography monitored by taking elevation measures along transects/profiles from the water up over the dunes beach and dune topography extracted from remotely sensed data Possible Internships or Grad Student Projects Interns hired through the GeoCorps America Program work in the parks We have lots of shoreline data that could be analyzed LiDAR data that can be analyzed to address many questions Science communication products that need to be developed for this program (work at Gateway with our collaborators from Rutgers U to develop products during the summer)

15 National Park Service GeoCorps America Positions Short term (summer) positions park housing and a stipend provided 2 3 positions within the NCBN Cape Cod National Seashore, Gateway National RA Advertised starting in December for summer positions Desired Skills: GIS and GPS Ability to work long hours on the beach

16 Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network Marine Aquatic Invasive Monitoring Goal: To monitor the presence and distribution of marine exotic species in parks 7 parks starting in 2013 Salem sound Coast Watch Protocols Volunteer based program Possible Internships or Grad Student Projects Data collection in the parks Development of a monitoring protocol we need someone to review existing monitoring programs to help us identify the best and most quantifiable approach to data collection Science communication products on marine invasives for the parks Develop primary and secondary school curriculum

17 Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network Forest Health Monitoring Goal: To monitor forest health through measurement of vegetation, invasive species, forest pests, white tailed deer herbivory, soil structure and composition Field crew shared by 3 I&M Networks Sampling in parks/summer Crew travels park to park all summer Forest Monitoring Summer Field Crews (4 paid positions) Desired Skills: Strong background in North Eastern Tree ID Field work experience mandatory Physically fit walking long distances daily carrying a pack NPS Biological Science Technicians (paid positions park housing provided) posted on USA Jobs Dec, Jan or Feb

18 Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network Other Summer Job Opportunities Northeast Temperate Network Biological Science Technician (paid position) (housing provided at Acadia NP, assists with vegetation, rocky intertidal and estuarine WQ monitoring) Desired Skills: Strong background in North Eastern Tree ID Field work experience Physically fit walking long distances daily carrying a pack Eastern Rivers and Mountains Network Forest Bird Monitoring Technicians (4 paid positions housing provided)advertised through Penn State University Posted on Texas A&M, Ecolog, OSNA jobs Desired Skills: Must know Eastern Forest bird calls Field work experience desired Familiarity with point count methodology

19 National Park Service Potential Graduate Student Projects: Assisting with the development and implementation of the NCBN Rapid Assessment Invasive Plant Monitoring Protocol Assisting with a study explore whether or not better estimates of nesting breeding bird colonies (gulls and cormorants) can be captured using photography vs observers standing on a boat counting nests. Field work conducted at Boston Harbor Islands Rocky Intertidal monitoring at Acadia and Boston Harbor Islands (photo scoring and reporting of percent cover of different types of organisms in photo plots or interpretation/analysis of vertical transect data (cover species by elevation) Working with Sonobat Recordings from Acadia National Park, identifying bat species and working with other existing data from parks

20 NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program 32 Inventory and Monitoring Networks

21 National Park Service Jobs with the National Park Service

22 National Park Service

23 National Park Service Student Opportunities with the NPS New Program to provide students the opportunity to compete for jobs separately from professionals Employers can advertise positions for students only

24 National Park Service Build Your Resume Start getting experience during the summer months, apply for seasonal positions through NPS, SCA, GeoCorps America, USAJobs, StudentJobs.gov Build up your skills and experience: GPS/software GIS Statistics Software (NPS uses R ) Database and programming skills in MS Access and Excel (Lynda.com) Field Taxonomy Botany, Fish, Birds Field sampling methods for plants, marine and/or freshwater fish, birds Motor Boat Operator Training (Students applying to work in the coastal parks who have boating experience are often placed at top of hiring lists)

25 Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network Come See Us with Questions! Sara Stevens NCBN Program Manager, RM15 Erika Nicosia NCBN Salt Marsh Monitoring Lead, RM14 Dana Filippini NCBN Marsh Bird Monitoring Lead RM16 Dennis Skidds NCBN Data Manager, RM20

26 Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network LINKS: Our Website The Northeast Coastal and Barrier Network USA Jobs Website: NPS Pathways Program For Students Student Jobs and Internships with the Government GeoCorps America

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