Acoustical Technician

 In Mosaics in Science
A Mosaics Intern is an entry level natural resource science internship that focuses on career exploration and building fundamental natural resource science skills. Each Mosaics Intern will receive a weekly stipend of $400, park-provided housing or a housing allowance and paid travel expenses. Interns who successfully complete 640 hours of work in one or more eligible internships and are under the age of 26 will be eligible for the Public Land Corps Non-competitive Hiring Authority for 120 days following the completion of the internship. Successful completion of a Mosaics in Science internship does not guarantee that the participant will be hired in to a federal position.  

The Mosaics in Science Program is focused on persons that are under-represented in STEM fields. Students and recent graduates that are African American, Latino/Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Native American are encouraged to apply for these internships. In order to be eligible for a MIS intern position, applicants must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent legal resident ("green-card-holder”) between the ages of 18 and 35 years old.  

Position Description: The main goals of this position will be two fold. The primary goal will be to assist with the recording of high quality audio from a variety of natural, biological, and cultural resources in order to document the resources and to provide interactive audio for park education programs. Some example sound sources of interest include: oral histories, elk, birds, amphibians, waterfalls, insects, and meteorological events. In order to achieve this goal the selectee will utilize a variety of audio recording equipment and post analysis software provided by the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division while working closely with the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Resource Specialist/Biologist for the South East Region. The secondary goal of this position will be to provide education and outreach to the general public on the importance of acoustic environments (to visitors, wildlife). This will be done in partnership with interpretive staff in the Resource Education branch at Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Some of the projects include: public presentations to a variety of audiences, citizen science, and further development of an online interpretive based map.  

Work will involve both field (~60%, conduct field recordings and provide interpretive talks) and office work (~40% edit/compile audio, update park audio map and plan interpretive work). Field work will be conducted throughout Great Smoky Mountain National Park with opportunities to conduct additional work in other park units within 

the South East Region. Field work will be conducted in both front country and remote back county locations occasionally in inclement and harsh conditions.

This position is offered through the National Park Service's Mosaics in Science Internship Program in partnership with Environment for the Americas and Greening Youth Foundation.

Work Products:  

1. Archived and edited sounds files
2. Updated online interpretive map of field recordings
3. Interpretive materials such as power point presentations and rack cards to be used for educating the public about natural sounds
Physical/Natural Environment: The work would be a mixture of office and field based.  It is expected that field work will include hiking on and off trail in a variety of weather conditions including rain, heat and humidity.  Nights can get very cool.  Wildlife encounters are not common but can include black bears, biting/stinging insects, and poisonous snake.  Poison ivy is found in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park at elevations below 5,000 feet.  The intern should be able to hike 5 – 10 miles per day on steep trails while carrying a pack.  Position is expected to work Tuesday – Saturday from 8:00 – 4:30. There may be a need for occasional shifts from that schedule due to long field days but intern will not work more than 40 hours per week.

Work Environment: Work will involve both field (~60%, conduct field recordings and provide interpretive talks) and office work (~40% edit/compile audio, update park audio map and plan interpretive work). Field work will be conducted throughout Great Smoky Mountain National Park with opportunities to conduct additional work in other park units within the South East Region. Field work will be conducted in both front country and remote back county locations occasionally in inclement and harsh conditions.

Mentoring: Initially, the intern will get an orientation to the park and its divisions.  They will spend time learning about both Resource Education and Resource Management.  The intern will attend parts of the seasonal interpretative training which includes resource management updates.  It is anticipated that we will need to train the intern in how to use the Adobe InDesign Creative Suites to produce support materials, a basic instruction in Access for data entry, and support from our data management team in developing field apps. NPS staff from both Resource Management and Resource Education will work with the intern to develop any new data sheets and determine where to conduct field testing.

The intern will initially work directly with NPS staff collecting data and educating the public, but once he/she is comfortable, they may develop training materials or other documents to be used by future seasonal interpreters/interns as well as conduct interpretive talks to park staff and the general public. This position would especially suit applicants who seek to develop professional skills in bioacoustic science and scientific communication. The intern will be co-supervised, mentored and supported by a biologist from the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division as well as a District Chief Interpretive Ranger from Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Learning Goals: The Intern will learn about monitoring natural sounds, including active short term recording, passive long term type one acoustic and bio-acoustic monitoring, understand how wildlife and humans respond to noise disturbance, and disseminate this information to the visiting public. The intern will work closely with a biologist from the Natural Sounds Division, park wildlife biologists, and resource education staff.  Additionally, the intern will utilize a wide variety of hardware and software to develop interpretive tools for educating public about the acoustic environment. Throughout the internship the intern will work with personnel from both the park's Resource Management and Science branch and its Resource Education branch, learning how a large National Park protects its resources and informs its visitors 
Applicant should have had a field research methods course in botany, entomology, climatology, forestry, ornithology, GIS or other related biological fields and an interest, if not prior experience with presenting public programs or other sorts of educational efforts.  Knowledge of desktop publishing packages, esp. Adobe InDesign, and in Access or similar database programs, would be a plus.  Selectee needs the ability to work both as part of a small team and independently. An interest in acoustics is imperative; however, prior experience in the field is not required and training will be provided. Due to the nature of position and field work in general, the individual should be flexible, demonstrate time management skills, and have the physical ability to operate in a wilderness setting while carrying sensitive and heavy equipment. Overnight travel in the field will occasionally be required.

Prior to starting this position a government security background clearance will be required.

Applicant must have a valid driver's license and a good driving record. A personal vehicle is required.

Housing will be provided in the park, near Gatlinburg, TN at no cost to the participant.  It is likely that housing will be shared.  Bedding, towels and any specialty kitchen items are to be brought by the intern. Limited public transportation is available.

Apply at! Questions? Email 
Greening Youth Foundation (GYF, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to nurture environmental stewardship among diverse youth and young adults, while exposing them to conservation careers.
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