River Use Planning Assistant
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 participant will be working with Cuyahoga Valley National Park staff, NPS Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program staff and Cuyahoga River Water Trail (CRWT) Partners in the planning of a regional water trail on the Cuyahoga River in northeast Ohio. The main duties will be the organization and summarizing of existing data, an inventory of paddling access points, trail counts and possible mapping of trail features. This information is needed to assist the Cuyahoga River Water Trail Partners in moving forward with planning and implementation of a water trail to be submitted for state water trail designation.
The internship will involve a combination of field work and office work. Field work will include the inventory, photographing, trail counts and using the GPS equipment to map paddling access points along the river. Office duties will include data summarizing, creating GIS maps for reports, organizing information from CRWT partners and researching information from other water trail examples. The Park Biologist and RTCA Outdoor Recreation Planner may include the participant in other river use planning project activities such as developing urban community support for the 100 mile long water trail connecting the national park to other existing trail systems in northeast Ohio. An effort will be made to acquaint the participant with several aspects of the role of water resources, water quality, and recreational uses in national parks, as well as the role of the RTCA in the regional water trail efforts. 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 participant will create a catalog inventory of existing boat access points and potential access points that will be used in planning and also submitted to the state for water trail designation purposes. From those inventoried points the participant will develop a reference map for CRWT partners. The participant will write a brief report and/or power point presentation summarizing the results of the inventory project and other work they have accomplished for the workshop held at the end of the summer.
Physical/Natural Environment: Cuyahoga Valley National Park encompasses 33,000 acres along the Cuyahoga River between the cities of Cleveland and Akron, Ohio. Over 2.8 million people visit annually to enjoy the Park's natural, cultural, historical, and recreational activities all in one setting. Work Environment: The work will involve physical activity for several hours per day while completing inventories and trail counts with exposure to wet, hot and humid conditions. The remainder of the day will be spent in the office organizing data. The participant will work with the natural resource staff in the Resource Management Division and the RTCA Outdoor Recreation Planner. A park vehicle will be available for field work, but a personal vehicle will be needed for travel during non-work hours as public transit is very limited.
Mentoring: Direct supervision and mentoring will be provided by the Park Biologist and the RTCA Outdoor Recreation Planner. The RTCA program supports community-led natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the nation and in this case around Ohio. The water trail project has been ongoing for several years and much data has been collected by numerous agencies and organizations and the momentum to create a water trail has gained tremendous support. Working in partnership with other agencies and stakeholders is an interesting and rewarding experience that fosters a network for future job endeavors.
Learning Goals: Former student interns, including MIS, have successfully moved on to NPS and other environmental positions, with a greater skill set gained from experiences at Cuyahoga Valley. The combination of field experience, contact with park visitors and working with partnership organizations on a watershed scale has helped build confidence and leadership qualities in our interns contributing to their personal and professional development.
Applicants must have a minimum of two years of coursework towards a bachelor's degree with general knowledge of environmental science, ecology, biology, outdoor recreation or GIS. The Park and RTCA staff will provide further training for the intern in field protocols. Basic GIS skills, GPS mapping skills, and working with databases are preferred. Applicants with basic knowledge and outdoor skills such as paddling kayak/canoes are helpful, but not required. Applicants should be self-motivated; able to work independently both in the field and in the office with little supervision.
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.
Park housing is provided at no cost to the participant. Housing will be in a house that will be shared with other interns and researchers. All linens/pillows are the responsibility of the tenant. A full kitchen with cooking supplies is available. The quarters are supplied with the basics washer, dryer, stove, refrigerator, microwave, dishes, and internet connectivity.