Careers in the Plant Sciences

CLM Internship - USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station - Grassland Plant Ecology Interns (3)

Chicago Botanic Garden - Rapid City, SD, USA

Position Title: CLM Internship - USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station - Grassland Plant Ecology Interns (3)
Position Type: Temporary Position
Application Review Begins: Wednesday, February 01, 2023
Application Deadline: Friday, April 28, 2023
Institution: Chicago Botanic Garden
Department/Division: Conservation Training
Field (e.g., systematics): Field botany, research, grazing, drought, climate change
City: Rapid City, SD, USA
General Information: The Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS), in cooperation with the Chicago Botanic Garden, is recruiting three (3) Grassland Plant Ecology Interns. Interns will be based at the Rapid City, SD, office of RMRS and will work on Buffalo Gap National Grassland, which is administered by the U.S. Forest Service. These positions are funded for 18 weeks. The ideal start date for these positions is May 22nd, 2023.

Find more information and apply at:〈=en_US&source=EN

Please direct questions to Chris Woolridge at:

Interns will conduct field measurements for a drought and climate change study in the Northern Great Plains. The research study is designed to give land managers and scientists a better understanding of northern mixed-grass prairie plant response to seasonal and extreme drought in the context of grazing. In support of this mission, interns will collect plant species composition, demography, and biomass data, as well as maintain mowing treatments and rainout shelter infrastructure. As this project is a collaboration among RMRS, the U.S. Geological Survey, and Colorado State University, interns will interact with scientists specializing in variety of plant ecology topics.

Interns will work as part of the Maintaining Resilient Dryland Ecosystems program and thus may occasionally work in sagebrush and sagebrush-associated habitats. In addition to the drought project, interns may assist with additional projects as opportunities arise, such as fieldwork helping assess invasive annual brome germination rates. Interns will generally work four 10-hour days per week but will work five 8-hour days per week at the beginning and end of the appointment. Initially, interns will work together with the assistance of the lead scientist or an experienced technician. As the season progresses, they may be paired with each other or an RMRS technician.
Qualifications/Requirements: - Bachelor of science in botany, natural resources management, ecology, biology, or a related field
- Experience keying out herbaceous plant species using a dichotomous key
- Experience following data collection protocols for biological fieldwork.
- Experience maintaining accurate and detailed data records (in field and in electronic databases – Excel/Access)
- Capable of conducting field work safely in rough terrain in harsh environmental conditions
- Experience hiking and camping, and the willingness to do so for this position
- Experience driving large field vehicles with 4-wheel drive; driving on gravel and dirt roads
- Wilderness First Aid or other field safety training
- Excellent organization and communication skills
- Flexibility and ability to adapt to changes in work plans and schedule
- Self-starter, independent worker, able to learn quickly and adapt to challenges.
Responsibilities: - Identifies grassland plants to the species level.
- Uses botanical key to identify plants encountered during fieldwork.
- Measures plant community (cover, density) and demographic traits (stem development, leaf length, etc.).
- Clips biomass to measure grassland productivity
- Monitors and maintains field site infrastructure, including rainout shelters and weather and soil moisture data loggers.
- Collects belowground plant specimens from the field and prepares them for laboratory dissection.
- Records data electronically and on paper data forms.
- Enters field data into electronic format and checks data for quality control.
- Reports accomplishments and provides recommendations for program improvements, priorities, and future projects.
- Participates in trainings provided by USFS staff and partners.
- Meets with Host Site (RMRS) Supervisor on a regular basis.
- Reads background literature and protocols to assist with research projects.
- Helps maintain and organize lab equipment.
Application Instructions (submission methods, etc.): Please find more information and apply at:〈=en_US&source=EN

Please include a cover letter and contact information for three references.
Compensation Range: 17.10/hr
Contact Name: Chris Woolridge,