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SECC & GRSM - Fisheries Management Intern - Fall

Conservation Legacy

Conservation Legacy

Gatlinburg, TN, USA
Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2024

SECC & GRSM - Fisheries Management Intern - Fall


Individual Placement/Internships

Job Location

Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Tracking Code


Position Type


Title: Fishery Management Intern - Fall

Reports to: Caleb Abramson; Lead Fishery Technician, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Location: Based in Gatlinburg, TN

Status: Seasonal, Full-time, Exempt - 450-hour AmeriCorps Service Term

Stipend: $600/week – paid bi-weekly

Other Benefits: SECC uniform shirts, protective equipment, trainings, housing (TBA)

$1,824.07 Segal AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion of service term.

Start/End Date: 06/24/2024 – 09/16/2024; 12-weeks (some flexibility in dates)

Positions available: 1

Positions open until filled.

Southeast Conservation Corps:

SECC empowering young adults to cultivate compassion, responsibility, and grit through community service, hard work, and environmental stewardship.

Southeast Conservation Corps (SECC) empowers young people to attain compassion, responsibility and grit through community service, hard work and environmental stewardship. SECC is a local, non-profit, AmeriCorps affiliated organization based out of Chattanooga, TN. SECC selects young adults to complete conservation work projects on public, private and municipal lands throughout the Southeast. SECC fosters the personal development of corps members through environmental stewardship projects and experiential learning. Through community partnerships, SECC provides hands-on job training opportunities to young adults while simultaneously meeting natural resource needs throughout the Southeast.

Position Description:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM) is a 522,000 square acre International Biosphere Reserve boasting 2,900 miles of cool and cold-water streams. The position will work as a member of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM) fisheries management team to assess populations of trout and non-game fish populations using standardized Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) and Three-Pass depletion per the Southern Division American Fisheries Society’s stream sampling protocols. The candidate will participate in Brook Trout distribution assessments to compare current upstream trout distribution with historical data to detect long-term changes in headwater species mitigation and changes in water quality. The candidate will also assist with monitoring surveys of federally threatened and endangered fish populations using snorkeling techniques and assist with translocations for genetic augmentation of these populations. The candidate will collect and analyze water samples for E. coli to assess stream impairment due to horse concession trail manure runoff. The candidate will learn to use fisheries databases to enter a variety of fisheries management data incorporating data validation and verification techniques. The candidate will work with volunteer groups and state and federal agency partners on fisheries projects. There will also be several opportunities to speak with youth and adult groups during educational programs on current fisheries-related research in GRSM.

Training and skills acquired through this position include the use and maintenance of backpack electrofishing gear, small stream sampling guidelines, population enumeration using depletion estimates, identification of 20-40 fish species, physical and chemical stream measurements, data entry and editing techniques, and backcountry sampling and camping techniques. The water quality related or fish census data is used to make management decisions and monitor existing populations of native fishes in GRSM. Each team member serves a vital role in collecting and producing quality environmental data. Similarly, the community benefits from the intern(s) include resource education and perpetuation of a healthy aquatic ecosystem.

Position Responsibilities:

· Properly use, maintain, and be proficient in the general operation of NPS owned backpack electrofishing units. Maintenance of probes, electrical equipment, and logging of all work/maintenance performed on the units.

· Participate in at least 2-3 training site outings where more experienced staff discuss and demonstrate how to properly use the equipment. Read the Standardized sampling protocol for surveying small, cold water trout streams in the Southeastern United States (provided upon arrival).

· Utilize the proper safety gear, i.e., lineman's gloves, breathable waders, and good verbal communication with team during electrofishing practices.

· Maintain legible, accurate, field data. Transcribe data from collections to field datasheets. Possible use of field tablets for recording fish weight and length data. Intern will learn how to calculate surface area of a stream and flow rates.

· Transfer data from field datasheets into the GRSM Fishery Database and learn the proper file folder structure utilized by all Resource Management and Science staff.

· Identify hazards in the field, shop, and general work environment and maintain a safe work environment. Properly utilize NPS Radios and understand radio usage protocol and communications with GRSM Emergency Communications Center.

Minimum Qualifications:

· Applicants should have at least 6 semester hours of biology, zoology, fisheries, or wildlife related coursework. We seek candidates with a strong interest in fisheries science and management who would like to gain experience in the field as they work toward their career.

· Applicants must be physically fit, willing, and able to carry 45lbs for 4-6 miles over rugged terrain. Some field activities require staying overnight at remote backcountry campsites for 2-4 nights or longer.

· Applicant must have a valid driver's license and a good driving record.

· Prior to starting this position, a government security background clearance will be required.

Preferred Qualifications:

· Interns are expected to show up on time, have a teamwork mentality, and be respectful to themselves, NPS Staff and co-workers.

AmeriCorps Qualifications:
To qualify, you must be between the ages of 18 and 30 and a US citizen that has received a high school diploma or GED. All offers of employment are conditional upon completion of an acceptable check of the National Sex Offender Public Registry and federal criminal background check. Must be eligible to receive an AmeriCorps Education Award.

Interns earn a living stipend of $600 ($1,200 dispersed bi-weekly before taxes) via direct deposit. Dorm housing within the park is to be announced in the 2024 season. Upon successful completion of their term, interns will receive a Segal AmeriCorps education award in the amount of $1,824.07 for tuition at Title IV accredited learning institutions, AmeriCorps approved non-traditional continued education or for paying off student loans.

Participation and Expedition Behavior:

· Work effectively as a member of a team despite potentially stressful and difficult conditions. This may require problem-solving on an interpersonal or group level as well as a willingness to accept differences.

· Contribute to a safe learning environment, no harassment of others for any reason.

· Willingness and ability to complete all aspects of the program including conservation projects, education, training, and national service. Members must commit to participating in all crew/team activities, including service days in local communities where applicable.

· Effectively communicate ideas and concerns as they arise directly to supervisors, colleagues, and organization staff.

· Have the cognitive ability to learn necessary skills and apply them to effectively carry out the service work requirements.

· Appropriately always represent the Program and AmeriCorps to the public and project partners.

Safety and Judgment:

· Effectively communicate danger to others in the form of either a warning of danger others may be encountering or a notification of personal distress, injury or need for assistance. You must be able to do so at a distance of up to 50 meters and in conditions with limited visibility or loud background noise such as darkness or high winds.

· Effectively perceive, understand, and follow direction by others so that you will be able to successfully execute appropriate and perhaps unfamiliar techniques to manage hazards. These directions may be given before the hazard is encountered or may need to be given during exposure to the hazard.

· Stay alert and focused for several hours at a time while traveling and working in varied weather conditions.

· Perceive and comprehend significant and apparent hazards, including those hazards previously identified by others.

· Respond appropriately to stress or crises.

· If taking prescription medications, participants must be able to maintain proper dosage by self-medicating without assistance from others.

Environmental Ethics:
Learn and practice ‘Leave no Trace’ techniques

Outdoor Skills and Fitness (where appropriate):

· Learn and safely perform fundamental outdoor living/travel and work skills as appropriate to the project. Additionally, remain adequately hydrated, fed, and properly dressed to remain generally healthy and safe, avoiding environmental injuries.

· Live in a physically demanding, possibly remote environment for an uninterrupted period of up to several weeks. Conditions of this environment may vary significantly and may include severe and/or trying weather. The remoteness is such that it may require at a minimum one hour, but perhaps up to 12 hours, to reach the nearest advanced medical care.

Substance Free:
In accordance with a drug free workplace, alcohol and drugs are prohibited while participating in AmeriCorps and program activities and while on organization property.

Additional Notes:

All applicants must pass a criminal background and motor vehicle background check prior to hiring.

This program is available to all, without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression, political affiliation, marital or parental status, genetic information, and military service. Where a significant portion of the population eligible to be served needs services or information in a language other than English, the recipient shall take reasonable steps to provide written material of the type ordinarily available to the public in appropriate languages.

To Apply:

Follow the SECC link and complete the application. Please include 3 references, resume, and copy of your transcripts (unofficial okay). You can put the references in a word doc and upload it alongside your resume. A cover letter is encouraged but not required.

If you have questions about the position, please contact:

Caleb Abramson

Lead Fishery Technician

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

(865) 436-1577

If you have questions about the application process, please contact:

Kahla Stewart

Intern Program Coordinator

Southeast Conservation Corps

(423) 402-6004