Biological Technician (Grasslands Birds and Habitat Management)

 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: Manassas National Battlefield Park preserves approximately 5,000 acres of rolling hills, forests and grasslands where the 1st and 2nd Battles of Manassas occurred. The Park is home to many different natural communities that support biologically diverse populations of flora and fauna. As the surrounding lands become urbanized by a rapidly growing population, the battlefield has become a regionally significant natural oasis. With warm season grassland habitat in decline, Manassas Battlefield provides a home and resting stop to over 160 species of birds. Manassas Battlefield has an established program for monitoring the Northern bobwhite quail population and assessing the quality of their habitat.  After assessing the ecological suitability of our grasslands, efforts must be made to improve the quality of the habitat in the park's warm season grasslands.  

The park would like to utilize a Mosaics internship to monitor Northern bobwhite populations, and implement a ground nesting bird habitat improvement plan. The Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative and the Quail Recovery Initiative is working with the National Park Service to encourage a landscape scale approach to monitoring quail and improving their habitat. Duties would include, but are not limited to: creating brush piles in forest edges, removing exotic vegetation, planting native forbs, completing bird and habitat assessment surveys, and assisting with any additional natural resource management projects.

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: The intern would: 1) use existing documents, images, and personal observations to conduct research and gain understanding about the natural resources within Manassas National Battlefield; 2) Conduct Quail and Breeding Grassland Bird Surveys 3) Implement land management practices to improve the quality of grassland habitat for ground nesting birds by creating brush piles, removing exotic plants, and planting native forbs 4) use GPS equipment and GIS software to collect geospatial data and create maps for the park 5)  work with volunteers and citizen scientists and 6) Collect and enter data from surveys into a computer for analysis. The intern will create a final report using GIS maps, photographs and text, that highlights the data collected, the habitat improvements created, and suggestions for future work.  

Goals of the internship include:  

1) completing the necessary surveys and management actions needed to monitor and improve ground nesting bird habitat in the park;  
2) developing an understanding of the National Park Service and learn about employment opportunities; and  
3) advancing skills in research and natural resource management.  
Outcomes and deliverables expected include:  
1) improved grassland habitat in 5 designated management areas;  
2) completed spring quail surveys and habitat assessment surveys;  
3) GIS maps for park management; and  
4) media collected for social media posts.
Physical/Natural Environment: Manassas National Battlefield Park, established in 1940, preserves the sites of the First and Second Battles of Manassas. These important battlegrounds and associated monuments are nestled in over 5000 acres of meadows, woodlands and streams. The Resource Management division oversees these historic lands for their important contribution to local and regional biodiversity. The Manassas National Battlefield is located in Prince William County, Virginia which has a population of 40,600 and offers many opportunities for shopping and cultural activities. The park provides over 40 miles of hiking and equestrian trails, and fishing ponds. It is conveniently located near several recreational parks and approximately 30 miles from the nation's capital.

Work Environment: Work will include field work, physical labor, and office work. Applicant must be comfortable with arduous work in extreme environmental conditions. Exposure to plants, insects, wildlife and weather is to be expected and conducted safely.  

Mentoring: The intern would work regularly with park staff to learn about the park's resources, the National Park Service mission, NPS careers, and federal resume building. The natural resource land manager would provide project oversight, while additional natural resource staff members would be available for project consultation. There will be opportunities for collaboration and networking with various state and federal agency representatives in the natural resource career fields such as the Department of Forestry, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Natural Resource Conservation Services and more.

Learning Goals: Training and networking opportunities will be available. Some examples of possible opportunities include: park wide safety training, Youth Summit events, Manassas National Battlefield's Natural Resource Orientation, Regional Exotic Plant Management Training, and hands on training of natural resource projects. Park staff would offer information, mentorship and advice about conservation, NPS career paths and resume building. Expected new skills includes becoming more familiar with natural resource management practices, bird population and habitat surveys, and habitat improvement methods. 
 
QUALIFICATIONS
Applicant should have a strong background in ornithology, GIS and natural resource management. Applicant must be comfortable performing physically arduous tasks in extreme environmental conditions. This is an internship that will require a mixture of field work and office work.  

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 to commute between housing and the duty station location.

Park housing is provided at no cost to the participant. Housing is available within the park. This is shared housing, often with a roommate, with shared kitchen and living area. A vehicle is needed to travel for groceries, entertainment, and reporting to work.
 

Apply at mosaicsinscience.org! Questions? Email contact@mosaicsinscience.org. 
Greening Youth Foundation (GYF, www.gyfoundation.org) 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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