Forest Inventory Intern

Expected Dates
April 27, 2014 to October 11, 2014
Pacific Northwest Research Station
Position ID
The U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station is seeking an intern to collect forest inventory data in California. The intern will work alongside a Biological Scientist and will gain valuable experience in applied ecological inventory practices as well as insights into the operation of the Forest Service and its research activities. Primary responsibilities will involve measurement of ecological indicators including: tree growth and mortality; forest pathogens; downed woody material structure and composition; vascular plant structure and composition; and forest disturbance and treatment histories. These measurements will be taken at a series of permanently established research plots located on a systematic grid. Inventory work is conducted on all land ownerships and is not limited to National Forest units  Training will primarily be provided through on the job experience, although there will be an initial week of group training for new staff in Oregon.  A successful intern must be motivated, adaptable, and come with some previous experience working in the woods.

Forest Inventory data will be collected by a three person field crew led by a Forest Service Scientist.  This position will be based out of the Mammoth Lakes, CA duty station and the base of operations will be the Mammoth Lakes field office.  Approximately 30-40% of field work can be completed while based out of Mammoth Lakes while travel to remote sites is required for the remainder.  Travel will include hotel stays, camping, and other lodging options.  This position may also be required to move around the region (away from the duty station) at any time depending on the needs of the program. The Mammoth Lakes field crew will participate in several extended backpacking trips and will spend a significant amount of time in seldom-visited wilderness areas. Ninety percent of the assignments will be in the field and excellent physical conditioning is a must. The field crew routinely hikes off-trail for multiple miles over steep and brushy terrain to research remotely located research sites.  The crew also spends a significant amount of time driving to reach these remotely located research sites.

There will be ample time to explore recreation and personal development opportunities in Mammoth Lakes and throughout the region. A Forest Service vehicle will be provided for work related driving but it is highly recommended that you bring your own personal vehicle for commuting purposes. A personal vehicle will also allow the intern to take full advantage of recreation opportunities during their time-off.
  • Mammoth Lakes, CA is a geographically isolated ski town in the Eastern Sierra at an elevation of 8000 feet with a year-round population of about 8,000. The area is surrounded by recreation opportunities including skiing, rock climbing, fishing, hiking, and mountain biking and borders Yosemite National Park. Work in Mammoth Lakes requires overnight travel up to 60% of the time, most of which is camping trips, and involves daily driving to reach work locations. The Mammoth Lakes crew completes 8-10 multi-day backpacking trips each season, and long hikes are frequent. A successful candidate will be comfortable hiking off trail over steep or uneven terrain and be able to work through potential hazards such as poison oak, spiny plants, wildlife encounters, steep slopes and inclement weather
  • Orienteering, GPS Training, Plant Identification, Forest Mensuration, First Aid, CPR, 4WD, Radio Communications, Wildlife Safety
  • Interns will learn about forest mensuration principals, local ecology and botany, and about the research operations of the US Forest Service. Recreational activities such as hiking, camping, backpacking, and kayaking are numerous and easily accessible.
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
competent with supervision
Field Research
some experience
some experience
Orienteering compass skills
some experience