American Conservation Experience - EPIC
  • Other
  • Tulelake, CA, USA

American Conservation Experience:

NPS California Lava Beds Pika Monitoring and Wildlife Survey Intern


Summary: American Conservation Experience, Emerging Professional Intern Corps (EPIC), a Non-Profit Conservation Corps based in Salt Lake City, Utah, in partnership with the National Park Service Lava Beds National Monument (LABE) in California, is seeking one Pika Monitoring and Wildlife Survey Intern interested in dedicating 16 weeks in support of the National Monument's resource management program to inventory, monitor, and protect its geologic and biological resources.

This excellent opportunity is ideal for an enthusiastic young professional who is deeply committed to the preservation of our national parks and interested in wildlife and biological monitoring.  Applicants must have strong interest in a career in wildlife and natural resource management.


Start Date: May 5, 2013

End Date: August 24, 2013


A 16-week (450 hours) commitment is required


Location: Onsite housing will be provided at the Monument located 22 miles from the nearest town of Tulelake, CA. There you can secure fuel, and basic grocery necessities. There are three restaurant options either in or near Tulelake. About an hour north you can also access Klamath Falls, OR this is where you will want to do most of your shopping. You'll find lots of shopping options for groceries and other basic needs, and well as several restaurant options and entertainment options.

Project Partner Website: For more information regarding Lava Beds National Monument, or the National Park Service, please visit:

Compensation: The ACE intern will work 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $140/week. Onsite shared-park housing is provided by NPS (no pets or family members). Furnished housing includes a kitchen, living area, bedroom, and bathroom, with use of a washer and dryer. As the Park is remote, cell phone coverage is inconsistent. The intern will have use of a government vehicle for work related travel but a personal vehicle is required for personal travel.



Project Background and Objectives:

Lava Beds National Monument is located in remote northeastern California and sits on the slope of the largest volcano in the Cascade Range. The high desert landscape converts into a ponderosa pine forest along the south boundary. Under the sagebrush landscape you'll find lava flows, and over 700 lava tube caves. In addition to its outstanding geological features, the Monument encompasses the main battlefields of the Modoc War of 1872-1873, the only major Indian war fought in California. The Park is home to a very diverse wildlife population, including the American Pika, often called a "rock rabbit." Pika often live in cold alpine areas and they survive in the lava beds because they keep cool in the caves and cave collapse areas, where they live among the rocky talus as they would on high mountain slopes. Their population in the Great Basin has been studied as an example of how climate change can impact species dependent on cooler temperatures.

Position Description: This position is 40 hours/week and includes a combination of office and fieldwork, working within the Natural Resource division, primarily in support of the Monument's Pika Monitoring Protocol. The intern will work primarily independently but will also be responsible for training and working with Youth Conservation Corps members and other interns to implement aspects of long-term monitoring protocol.

Responsibilities include:

  • Implementing the Monument's Pika Monitoring Program, collecting data at 100 long-term monitoring sites within the Monument over the course of the summer
  • Monitoring the Monument's remote wildlife camera
  • Conducting Purple martin surveying and monitoring
  • Conducting plant phenological monitoring
  • Assisting with the Monument's other natural resource management projects, including but not limited to the cave and bat management plan and other wildlife and biological surveys.


Training Provided: Cross-training opportunities include assisting the Monument's Physical Scientist with the cave and bat management program, as well as trainings in MS Access, Excel, ArcGIS 10x and GPS, as they will be used extensively for the Pika Monitoring Protocol. After training, this work will be done with a great deal of independence



Qualifications: Applicants for the position will hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or experience in biology, wildlife biology, wildlife science, geology environmental science, cave sciences, biological sciences, natural resource management, ecology, park management, or a related discipline. The intern will be resourceful, adaptable, and able to work comfortably alone or in a group. The ACE NPS Pika Monitoring and Wildlife Survey Intern must be willing and able to represent ACE and the NPS in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner. Drug users should not consider applying, as ACE reserves the right to require drug testing.



  • Must be a US Citizens or Green Card holder.
  • Must be 18 to 25 years old OR recent graduates from a relevant MA/MS program ages 25-29 are also eligible to apply.
  • Must be able to communicate clearly and concisely with resource professionals within NPS.
  • Must have effective communication skills with diverse audiences; ability to work alone and in a group.
  • Must have a valid driver's license, clean driving record, and ability to provide documentation; personal vehicle required so you can access Tulelake or Klamath Falls.
  • Personal medical insurance for the duration of their participation with ACE.
  • Deep interest in ecology, wildlife biology, resource management and respect for nature is critical.
  • Must be able and willing to work outdoors, in varying weather conditions, and capable of participating 
in physical labor.
  • Must be able and willing to sometimes work in a cave setting and tight, rocky spaces below ground
  • English proficiency is imperative.
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a federal criminal background check is required.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge and experience with Microsoft Word Access and Excel, as well as GPS units and ArcGIS software
  • Effective communication skills with all ages and diverse audiences; ability to work alone or in a group
  • Experience in the various field data collection methods using standard protocol
  • Experience in backcountry hiking and navigation in steep terrain
  • Ability to work independently in remote areas
  • A strong demonstrated interest and/or education in the field of natural and cultural resources, particularly wildlife and ecology
  • Excellent writing, research, and organizational skills.
  • Bilingual applicants are encouraged and welcome

Physical Demands:

Fieldwork is often conducted cross-country, over rough lava terrain, and often under harsh environmental conditions, such as extreme heat or cold. Cave work involves climbing or descending steep rocky slopes, and maneuvering through tight spaces below ground.

This position has been closed and is no longer available.
American Conservation Experience - EPIC


  • Sign Up For Job Alerts!