Opportunities through the CW CESU

Ecology Assistant at National Capital Region Network

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Opportunity Type: Employment Opportunities
Submission Deadline: January 21, 2024


Position Title: Ecology Assistant
Park Unit: National Capital Region Network
Location: Washington, District of Columbia
Number of positions available: 1
Can this position be fully remote: NO

Duration: 52 Weeks
Start Date: 05/06/2024
Flexible Start Date: YES

Weekly Stipend: $625.00
Relocation Allowance: $400.00

The candidate will work with Natural Resource and Science (NRS) staff, assisting with a variety of projects related to natural resource management and monitoring from National Parks in the National Capital Region (NCR), as well as other National Parks in the eastern US. There will be both an office and a field-based component to the internship.

Based on the candidate’s skillset and with guidance regional staff, the candidate will create data products like dashboards, reports, and visualizers and analyze data using R, Python and/or other programing languages. Other projects may involve creating data capture tools, mapping, and completing spatial analysis with software like ArcGIS Pro, AGOL, Survey123, Field Maps, etc. The candidate will also be responsible for working closely with the I&M staff to compile deliverables and post all completed products to the appropriate storage warehouse.

As part of the field component of the internship, the intern will assist the Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) field crews with forest vegetation and water quality monitoring. The intern will collect a wide range of data for trees, shrubs, vines, and herbaceous plants within established forest plots. They will also assist with the collection of water monitoring data such as temperature, conductivity, pH, and discharge.

The candidate will contribute by creating data products related to Inventory and Monitoring program data. Their work will improve data visualization and data capture tools to enhance the program’s capacity for timely reporting to the parks and stakeholders.

I&M field work will contribute to long-term monitoring of natural resource vital signs. The data produced by these efforts are vital for informing management decisions in the National Capital Area parks and across the NCRN.

Work products will include creating data capture (Microsoft Access, Survey 123, Field Maps) and analysis tools (QC scripts) and products (Automated reports/summary of field data collection). It will also include the data and associated information collected as part of monitoring activities (e.g. field data, photos, maps).

Data and Programming Skills: Knowledge of geographic information systems, creating, editing, and publishing GIS data in ArcGIS Pro and AGOL. Experience working with Microsoft 365 applications like, MS Access and Excel. Familiarity with python and/or R.

Field Skills: Comfort and willingness to work in challenging field conditions (hot, humid weather; biting insects; noxious plants); skills related to successful teamwork (clear communication, situational awareness, reliability, respectfulness); attention to detail; and strong commitment to safety and NPS operational leadership principles. Experience with botanical research, forest vegetation monitoring, and/or invasive plant management would also be helpful.

The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. legal permanent resident (“Green Card holder”). Prior to starting this position, a government security background clearance will be required.

The office is located in Washington DC, near Georgetown. Although the office is accessible using public transportation (there a bus stop near the office), a personal vehicle is recommended due to the typical time it takes to get to the office. Depending on where you live around the DC area, it can take over an hour to travel to the office using public transportation. There is a small convenience store/deli and a few restaurants near by the office but no large grocery store in the near vicinity.

During the late spring until early fall, work will be conducted in both the field and the office/teleworking. Once the field season is completed, the majority of work will be conducted in the office/teleworking with infrequent field days.

A typical field day begins at the office at 7am after which the field crew will pack up and drive a government furnished vehicle to monitoring sites or invasive management areas around the region. Upon completion of the days field work, the crew will return to the office to backup data and prepare for the following day of field work. Crew members can expect to carry up to 50lbs of gear into the field traveling in backcountry settings up mountains, over uneven terrain and through thick vegetation. It can be hot and humid in this area during the summer months and freezing or below freezing in winter months.


  • Applicant must have a valid driver’s license to drive a government vehicle.
  • A personal vehicle is recommended for this position.

Park housing is NOT available. The intern will be responsible for finding housing in the nearby area.

No park housing is available, but past seasonal staff and interns have found reasonable housing in the DC area. Typically, this is shared housing, sublets, or studio apartments. The cost of rental can vary greatly depending on what locality (DC, VA or MD) you choose to live in but the typical rates for a one-bedroom apartment are $1500-2500 and shared housing is $800-1500 (depending on location and number of tenants). The further away from the city you live typically decreases rental costs but also increases commute time and cost of transportation to the office. NCR staff have materials prepared to assist interns in locating housing. Local amenities (grocery, restaurants, etc.) will vary greatly depending on where housing is found.

Data Analysis, Coding, ArcGIS, Data Management, Forest Ecology, Stream Health

This posting will close after receiving 100 complete applications, or at 11:59 p.m. EST on Sunday, 21 January, whichever occurs first. Once you begin applying for a position, the application must be completed in one sitting. You cannot save and return later to complete it. Applicants can apply for up to five Scientists in Parks Intern positions per summer. You need to complete a separate application for each position in order to be considered. You should receive a confirmation email after successfully submitting an application. Sometimes institutional email filters/settings can redirect or block emails related to the application. We recommend watching spam, junk, and promotional email folders in case your service delivers messages there. Please visit How to Apply for additional resources and information about applying (i.e., learn what materials to have ready for applying, find a worksheet that previews application questions, etc.)

Under 100 (this section will update if a position reaches greater than 60, greater than 80, and greater than 90 applications before closing)