Youth Job Board

Botany and Fire Ecology Intern Posted Jun 29
Bandelier National Monument , Los Alamos, NM
The Fire Ecology Program located at Bandelier National Monument in northern New Mexico is an interagency monitoring and research partnership between the National Park Service (NPS) and United States Forest Service (USFS). The Fire Ecology Program collects both short and long term data on permanent vegetation and fuel plots located on both NPS and USFS lands. The data is used to provide information about the composition and structure of vegetation and surface fuels prior to and after management treatments, such as prescribed fire and thinning. The data is used to evaluate if objectives are being met, to measure the effectiveness of fire and thinning prescriptions, and to determine if additional research is needed. Long-term monitoring can also reveal significant trends to help guide fire management planning and decision making.

Position Description

We are seeking highly motivated and hard-working individuals interested in botany, ecology, and fire ecology to serve as crew members on our interagency fire ecology field crew. The intern will be part of a 4 to 6 person crew, responsible for collecting data on vegetation and fuel plots located at Bandelier National Monument, the Valles Caldera National Preserve, El Malpais National Monument, Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument, and local US Forest Service lands. The vegetation communities range from lower elevation pinyon juniper forest, to mid elevation ponderosa pine forest, and upper elevation mixed conifer and spruce. Interns will also be involved with herbarium work, GIS, public outreach, and data management, entry, and analysis.


The intern will be provided housing in Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico. Bandelier is located an hour from Santa Fe in northern New Mexico. This 34,000 acre park, situated on the slopes of the Jemez Mountains, spans an elevational gradient from 5,500 ft. to 10,200 ft. and contains extensive prehistoric Native American ruins, rugged canyon country, and a diverse assemblage of plant and animal life. Fieldwork will be conducted in Bandelier, the Valles Caldera, El Malpais, Salinas Pueblo, and local US Forest Service lands. Approximately two weeks of overnight camping will be required. Recreational opportunities include backpacking, climbing, biking, kayaking, and hiking.


We are seeking one 6 month intern, with a start date of early July, 2018. To complete the internship and receive an AmeriCorps award, the intern must complete a minimum of 900 hours of service.

Duties May Include

Participating in safety briefings detailing the local potential safety issues and hazards (i.e. lightning, rattlesnakes), with special emphasis on dehydration, exhaustion, and the importance of rest and taking breaks
Assisting in installing vegetation and fuel plots and collecting ecological field data
Using a GPS for location and navigation
Assisting with entering, checking, managing, and analyzing field data
Communicating data results to park staff.
Traveling to work sites: El Malpais, Salinas Pueblo, Valles Caldera, and the Santa Fe National Forest
Working with other divisions in Bandelier, such as Interpretation and Resource Management
Learning the local plants, the local plant identification guides, and contributing to plant books created by Bandelier’s Fire Ecology Program
Opportunities to work on local prescribed fires to collect data related to spread rate, flame length, flame height, smoke, and other fire behavior elements for prescribed burns
Opportunity to monitor weather and collect weather data, such as temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, for prescribed burns and/or wildfires
Participating in public outreach events with local school children

Desired Qualifications

BS/BA in Forestry, Forest Sciences, Ecology, Fire Ecology, Botany, Biology, or related field of study.
Coursework: Ecology, Botany, Forestry, Statistics, Biology, Soils, or similar
Ability to use or quickly learn to use taxonomic (dichotomous) keys for plant identification
Ability to identify or quickly learn to identify plants (grasses, herbs, shrubs, and trees) specific to the southwest region of the United States
Ability to work in an office setting to enter, error check, and analyze ecological field data
Ability to hike long distances in rugged terrain, carrying heavy loads
Willingness to camp in rural or backcountry settings


$250/week cost of living stipend
Housing at Bandelier National Monument
$2,800 AmeriCorp education award, upon completion of 900 service hours
Exposure to many different vegetation communities in several areas in New Mexico, including Bandelier, El Malpais, Salinas Pueblo, the Valles Caldera, and the Santa Fe National Forest
Opportunity to learn the plants of the southwest and how to use a dichotomous key
Exposure to a variety of vegetation sampling techniques, helping to obtain future employment in environmental fieldwork
Opportunity to learn about the National Park Service Fire Management and Fire Ecology Programs and how these programs contribute to the restoration of natural areas
Opportunity to learn about prescribed fire and the fire ecology of southwestern ecosystems
Opportunity to receive the red-card fire fighter training and work on local prescribed fires
Learn to work cooperatively on a field crew and have the opportunity to create both personal and professional relationships


Please send a resume and short cover letter to Laura Trader, Fire Ecology Program Manager

Application Deadline: July 9, 2018