Summary: Grand Canyon National Park’s Vegetation Program, in partnership with the park’s Volunteer Program, is seeking a Volunteer-in-Parks (VIP) candidate to dedicate 8 to 12 weeks working directly with the Grand Canyon horticulture program. This opportunity is intended for enthusiastic, beginning professionals with a background in ecology, botany, biology, natural resource management or a closely related field and who are invested in enhancing awareness of native and exotic plants.
Start Date: June 15, 2020
End Date: August 14, 2020
Start and end dates are flexible.
Location: South Rim, Grand Canyon, Arizona. Work will primarily be in the field but also at the park’s native plant nursery. Work and living locations are at high elevation in Ponderosa and Pinyon-Juniper Forest (6860’ elevation). Summer on the South Rim is pleasant with temperatures reaching 80o F and frequent afternoon thunderstorms.
Housing: Park housing is provided within the South Rim Village: A 2-bedroom apartment or 3-bedroom house will be shared with other National Park Service (NPS) employees.
Position Description: The Horticulture VIP will work alongside experienced NPS staff in a diversity of tasks and projects. The VIP position will focus on supporting the native plant nursery and greenhouse operations, endangered plant reintroduction program, and conducting plant material collections on the rim of Grand Canyon. Work will include propagating native plants at the park’s greenhouse, collecting native plant seeds and cuttings, growing and caring for plants at the native plant nursery and collecting field data. All these tasks contribute to the conservation and restoration of native plant habitat within the park.
Project Background and Objectives: The Grand Canyon National Park Vegetation Program is a multifaceted program designed to protect, restore, and maintain the ecological stability within the Park's boundaries. The horticulture VIP will assist the park by supporting the horticulture program and the overall preservation and conservation of natural resources.
The main objectives of the Native Plant Nursery are to propagate native plants for restoration projects throughout the park. Crew members collect seed and cuttings from over 120 different plant species. The horticulture crew propagates over 20,000 plants annually and typically holds over 40,000 plants at the nursery facility. While the Vegetation Program is just one part of the larger management effort of the park, the work being done by the VIP position affects all aspects of park management from recreation to maintenance and wilderness management to endangered species protection.
Training Provided: Vegetation Program staff will provide oversight of all activities and maintain safety standards throughout the field season. NPS will provide instruction and educational orientation to the ecological significance of the project and provide training in plant identification skills, GPS navigation and other specific skills as they relate to the position.
How to Apply: For more information, please contact the Grand Canyon Native Plant Nursery Manager, Ahsa Jensen, at 928-638-7485. To apply please email an interest letter, resume and three reference contacts to: Ahsa_Jensen@nps.gov