About the program
The Future Park Leaders of Emerging Change program provides paid summer internships to highly accomplished graduate students to work on emerging management issues driven by global drivers of change and related effects in national parks. The internship projects may occur in national parks or program offices and are designed by National Park Service (NPS) staff to meet high-priority needs of parks and programs. General topic areas include resource protection, supporting science, adaptation actions, policy and planning, sustainable operations, and communication, interpretation, or education. Internships run 40 hours/week for 12 weeks and compensation is $16/hour.
- Understanding Cultural Resource Coastal Climate Vulnerabilities at Jean Lafitte NHP (National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, Natchitoches, LA): Losing critical wetlands along Louisiana’s coast is resulting in the rapid and unprecedented destruction of archaeological sites and traditional cultural properties (TCPs). This investigation will document and examine the ways the cultural record is affected by coastal land loss and shall serve as a comparative analog for similar deltaic environments worldwide.
- Develop Species-Specific Management Strategies for Endangered Plants in Light of Changing Conditions (Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Hagerstown, MD): Identify effective management techniques to protect and conserve endangered plant species in one of the most biodiverse areas of the national park system. Collaborate with agency and non-profit partners to support populations under threat from changes in climate, hydrology, and surrounding development.
- Monitoring the Impacts of Everglades Restoration on Tree Island Archaeological Sites (Everglades National Park, Homestead, FL): Study and model impacts of everglades restoration (increasing water flow into the everglades ecosystem) on tree island archaeology sites. Develop monitoring protocols to track the long-term impacts of changing water levels on tree island archaeological deposits.
- Map Visitor Use Impacts & Assess Interaction with Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition and Climate Change (Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, CO): Investigate, map, and analyze resource impacts associated with increasing visitor use at the third most visited National Park in the country, Rocky Mountain National Park. Support park management by determining the relationship of these impacts with other stressors including atmospheric nitrogen deposition and climate change to inform future management decisions and protect valuable resources.
- Assessing Conditions for Coral Reef Restoration (War in the Pacific National Historic Park, Hagatna, Guam): Assess environmental conditions within shallow WAPA coral reef waters for identification of potential coral restoration sites.
- Developing a Climate Smart Conservation Framework for Aquatic Resources (Greater Yellowstone Network and Yellowstone National Park, Bozeman, MT): This internship sets the stage for a regional aquatic conservation workshop by integrating existing literature, climate projections and project mapping to identify strengths, weaknesses and unrealized opportunities in aquatic conservation in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
- Quantifying the Emerging Threat of Marine Debris on Sea Turtles (Padre Island National Seashore, Corpus Christi, TX): Help sea turtle conservation by researching the historical and present-day impact of marine debris ingestion by sea turtles at Padre Island National Seashore.
- Understanding and Communicating the Rapid Loss of Coastal Glaciers Through Mapping and Photography (Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward, AK): This project will measure and document rates of change of Alaska tidewaters glaciers currently at the cusp of retreat from the marine environment and will communicate results to the public and scientists interested in understanding changing fjord dynamics.
- Oak Tree Demography Post-Wildfire and Comparing High Resolution Image Analysis to Ground Truthing (Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Thousand Oakes, CA): SMMNRA needs mapping and field verification of the scale and geographic distribution of oak dieback following ten years of drought and fire. These data will direct restoration and management decisions by the park for its oak species.
- Assessing Cultural Heritage Vulnerability in Response to Catastrophic Wildfire (Valles Caldera National Preserve, Jemez Springs, NM): The internship at Valles Caldera will focus on the development of a geospatial model that assesses cultural resource vulnerability on the landscape-scale to inform management decisions during wildland fire.
- Fire and Ice: Ice Features Inventory and Monitoring in Volcanic Caves (Lava Beds National Monument, Tulelake, CA): Caring for ice in a land of fire…Here is your chance to create an Ice Features Inventory and Monitoring program needed for evaluating changes in ice in the volcanic caves of Lava Beds National Monument.
- Climate Change Impacts on a Zoonotic Disease in an Alpine Ecosystem (Lassen Volcanic National Park, Mineral, CA): The intern selected for this project will coordinate with Lassen Volcanic National Park (LAVO), Washington Office Biological Resources Divisions (WASO BRD), and USGS staff, to experimentally manipulate plague in LAVO to clarify its effects on pikas.
Applications are due on January 24, 2020 by 5pm. Click here to begin an application.