Description: Looking for a unique experience exploring Death Valley National Park? This position offers the rare opportunity to venture off the beaten path and see areas of the park that remain largely unvisited by the public. Boasting the lowest elevation in the U.S. (282 ft. below sea level) and holding the record for the hottest recorded temperature on Earth, Death Valley covers a vast and varied expanse from salt-flat basins with sweeping sand dunes to snow-capped mountains extending more than 11,000 ft. into the sky. Opportunities for exploration and recreation are as diverse as the landscapes themselves. In cooperation with Death Valley National Park, the Great Basin Institute is recruiting two Nevada Conservation Corps AmeriCorps Interns to assist with cyclic maintenance of exotic vegetation control at Scotty's Castle burned area. These members will survey, monitor, remove, and control exotics on a consistent basis within the burned area in order to help promote the reestablishment and growth of native vegetation, restore wildlife habitat(s), and restore the natural ecosystem of the burned area. The control of exotic weeds and restoration of the native vegetation to the burned area will provide a revitalized wildlife habitat and enhance public enjoyment of the area. There will be additional opportunity to survey, monitor, remove, and control exotic vegetation at other riparian areas in the park. These areas include developed areas, roadsides, and/or remote backcountry and wilderness sites. Critical weeds to be controlled are salt cedar, non-native palms, annual mustards, Russian thistle, and a variety of other exotics and non-native plants.
The primary goals of this project are (1) To improve the condition of highly visible and ecologically important park resources by controlling exotic plants and restoring wetland hydrologic functions, and (2) Expose youth volunteers to multiple aspects of resource management in a national park setting.
Direct Supervisor: Kirsten Lund, Biological Science Technician, Exotic & Invasive Vegetation Manager
* Travel in GBI 4x4 vehicle, often on unmaintained road surfaces;
* Hiking/Backpacking multiple miles, daily, while carrying field equipment;
* Potential for camping in remote backcountry settings for multiple nights;
* Recording field data in written form or by hand-held GPS;
* Removal and treatment of exotic vegetation by hand, hand-tool, or herbicide application; and
* Completion of reporting documentation as required by agency staff
Timeline & Schedule: 900-hour (26-week contract) from September 22, 2014-March 20, 2015. This is a full-time position.
Location & Travel: Death Valley National Park, Dorm-style housing (individual rooms) will be provided on-site. Company vehicle provided for travel within the park. Personal vehicle required for travel to and from the park during off-time.
This is an AmeriCorps position; candidates will receive a living stipend of $7,000 for the six-month position. This is a fixed amount, not an hourly wage or a salary. This stipend paid to members in bi-weekly installments throughout their term of service. Upon completion of AmeriCorps service members shall receive an additional education award in the amount of $2,822 that can be used for paying off student loans or paying tuition for a Title IV accredited college.
On-site park housing will be provided (dorm style with individual rooms and shared community space).
* 4x4 off-road driver training
* Herbicide application training
* First Aid/CPR
* Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics
* Experience hiking and backpacking in remote locations, travelling by foot over rough and varied terrain in all weather conditions;
* Valid driver's license with a clean driving record;
* Personal vehicle required for travel to and from park during off time;
* Ability to pass a federal criminal history check and national sex offender public registry name check; and
* Meet AmeriCorps eligibility requirements: (1) U.S. citizenship or legal resident alien status, (2) must be at least 17 years of age and a have received a high school diploma or GED (or be willing to achieve this before using education award), (3) eligible to receive an AmeriCorps Education Award (limit of four in a lifetime, or equivalent of two full-time terms of service), and (4) pass National Sex Offender Public Registry (NSOPR) and federal criminal background checks.
* Experience using hand-held GPS unit for in-field data collection; and
* Familiarity with exotic vegetation control including herbicide application