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Smithsonian CTFS-ForestGEO Forest Census Internship & Field Crew Lead Positions

The Smithsonian Institution (CTFS-ForestGEO in partnership with Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, SCBI) seeks four interns—at least one of which will be
international—and a field crew lead to participate in recensus of the SCBI forest dynamics plot in Front Royal, Virginia, USA. The 26-hectare (64 acre) study site is part of a global network of forest research sites led by the Smithsonian Institution’s ForestGEO Network. The plot of mature deciduous trees is located on the SCBI’s main campus, where project participants will be within a research community focused on conservation ecology and biology. In 2018, we will resurvey all marked stems and any recruitment during the years since last surveyed (2013). Principle investigators running the recensus are Dr. William McShea (primary supervisor of field crew) and Dr. Kristina Anderson-Teixeira.
 
Learning Objectives
 
Participants will gain experience measuring tree growth, mortality, and recruitment in a geo-referenced plot that was previously surveyed in 2008 and 2013. Participants will
build experience in the following areas:
 
  • Conduct forest tree census according to CTFS-ForestGEO protocols, including measurement of tree growth, recording mortality, and mapping of new recruits in a geo-referenced forest plot. 
  • Develop critical fieldwork skills in forest ecology, including navigating using a forest plot map, measuring and recording raw data, and working as part of (or leading) a team.  
  • Learn about diversity of temperate forests and tree species taxonomy.
  • Learn about major drivers of change in temperate deciduous forests in the eastern US, including invasive species, heavy deer browsing, and climate change.
  • Help with other conservation ecology field research projects or conduct a side project analyzing the data collected. 
  • Gain exposure to international science and conservation programs through ForestGEO and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
 
Pre-requisites
 
Successful intern applicants must have a recent university degree (within 3 years) and some experience in forest field research. Ideally, the crew leader will have a master’s degree in forest ecology, botany, or a related discipline and/or direct experience leading a forest survey crew. A strong work ethic, attention to detail, enthusiasm to work outdoors under a range of weather conditions, and ability to work effectively with a team are essential for all applicants. Applicants should have knowledge of tree species identification and experience in forest ecology. The field crew lead should have mastery of eastern US tree species identification.
 
Term of Appointment
 
Internships will be March through September 2018 (6 months), and the field crew lead will work February through October 2018 (8 months). Interns will be compensated with a
stipend sufficient to cover living expenses, and the field crew lead will be paid commensurate with experience. Housing on the SCBI campus will be available to all participants.
 
Location
 
The internship will be based at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.
 
Application Procedure
 
The application package should consist of 1) a cover letter outlining past field or research experience, 2) a detailed resume or CV, and 3) contact information for 2-3 references. 
US Applicants (US citizens / permanent residents): Send materials to scbiecology@si.edu by January 1, 2018.
 
International Applicants (non-US citizens / permanent residents): Apply to ForestGEO@si.edu by December 1, 2017, as described in this ad: http://www.forestgeo.si.edu/article/255/.
 
The Smithsonian Institution values and seeks a diverse workforce; female and minority candidates are encouraged to apply.