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SECC & GRSM Vegetation Monitoring Intern

Conservation Legacy

Conservation Legacy

This job is no longer accepting applications

See open jobs at Conservation Legacy.
Gatlinburg, TN, USA
Posted on Thursday, February 1, 2024

SECC & GRSM Vegetation Monitoring Intern


Individual Placement/Internships

Job Location

107 Park Headquarters Rd, Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Tracking Code


Position Type


Title: Vegetation Monitoring Intern

Reports to: Troy Evans; Ecologist, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Jonathan Cox; Wetland Ecologist, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Location: Based in Gatlinburg, TN

Status: Seasonal, Full-time, Exempt - 900-hour AmeriCorps Service Term

Stipend: $600/week – paid bi-weekly

Other Benefits: Housing will not be provided (TBA), uniform shirts, protective equipment, trainings. Other development opportunities as available. $3,447.50 Segal AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion of service term.

Start/end date: 05/20/24 – 10/31/24 (24 weeks)

Positions available: 3

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 corpsmembers 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:

The primary mission of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM) Resource Management and Science Division (Inventory & Monitoring Branch) is to protect and conserve natural resources throughout the park for both current and future generations. Protection and conservation are accomplished primarily through day-to-day resource management and science activities that include inventory, monitoring, restoration, data management, and data dissemination. Ultimately these activities inform park policy, the public, and the park management team as to the status and trends of natural resources within the park so that sound stewardship and management decisions can be made.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Inventory and Monitoring Branch is recruiting qualified applicants to assist with field work, data collection, data management, data entry, and other tasks as needed related to several ongoing and long-term field projects including forest plot monitoring, stream surveys for federally endangered rock gnome lichen, and rare plant monitoring. Field work is labor intensive and requires several crew members to operate safely and communicate effectively. All data collected will inform park policy, assist to educate park visitors, and assist park management efforts to make sound stewardship decisions and protect important natural resources throughout the park. The work will also help to inform research interests from park partners and Universities.

Position Responsibilities:

1. Long-Term Vegetation Monitoring Plots

· Work with ecologist and biological technicians to collect data in 32 long-term vegetation plots in a variety forest types throughout the park.

· Collect a wide variety of data including standard forestry measurements, species inventory, soil samples, photo documentation, and other field data as needed.

· Use dichotomous keys to perform plant community classification and to identify unknown plant species.

· Perform data management, data entry, and data quality assurance checks as needed on all field data.

Training: Field Navigation and Site Assessment, Plot Installation, Data Collection Methods, Plant Identification, Plant Community Classification, Data management, Databasing

2. Federally Endangered Rock Gnome Lichen Inventory

· Work with rare plant biologist and bio-technician to collect data on rock gnome lichen populations throughout the park. Surveys will be primarily focused in riverine habitats, but will also include exposed cliff and/or rock outcrop habitats.

· Collect data on rock gnome lichen abundance, extent, and cover; GPS point, polygon, and line data; and photo documentation.

· Perform a wide variety of data management duties including data entry and quality assurance checks, hard copy data management and organization, and spatial data entry and editing.

Training: Field Navigation and Site Assessment, Plot Installation, Data Collection Methods, Plant Identification, Plant Community Classification, Data management, Databasing

3. Rare Plant Monitoring

· Work with biological technicians to perform inventory and monitoring of rare and/or vulnerable plant populations throughout the park.

· Collect a variety of biological data on rare/sensitive plant populations throughout the park; Perform GPS mapping and data collection; Utilize iPads and other mobile devices for data collection.

· Assist with Ginseng monitoring, root processing, and replanting.

Training: Field Navigation, Rare/Sensitive Plant Identification, iPad/GPS use, Technical Rope Training, Data Collection Methods, Revegetation/Restoration Methods, GIS, Data Management, Databasing

Minimum Qualifications:

· Applicant should be self-motivated, highly organized, and able to follow detailed protocols.

· Must be able to hike in mountainous terrain in inclement weather conditions, carrying a backpack both on and off trail on exposed terrain on cliff and rock outcrop habitats.

· High-mileage field days are the norm.

· Ability to carry field packs weighing more than 20 pounds.

· Good fitting hiking boots and raingear are important items to have prior to arrival. Some overnight backpacking is a requirement.

· Intern will be a part of a team that operates safely and always communicates effectively.

Preferred Qualifications:

· Knowledge and skills in ecology/botany/forestry, plant ID and the use of technical keys, vegetation sampling methods, orienteering, and GPS.

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.

Trainings May Include (Reiteration of above training):

Proper personal protective equipment (PPE) use, field navigation, site assessment, plot installation, data collection methods, rare/sensitive plant identification, plant community classification, data management, databasing, wetland identification, iPad/GPS use, Geographic Information System (GIS), technical rope training, and revegetation/restoration methods.

Interns earn a living stipend of $600 weekly ($1,200 dispersed bi-weekly before taxes) via direct deposit. Upon successful completion of their term, interns will receive a $3,447.50 Segal AmeriCorps education award for tuition at Title IV accredited learning institutions, AmeriCorps approved non-traditional continued education or 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.

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 resume, copy of your transcripts (unofficial okay), and contact information for 3 references. 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:

Troy Evans


Great Smoky Mountains National Park



Jonathan Cox

Wetland Ecologist

Great Smoky Mountains National Park



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

Kahla Stewart

Intern Program Coordinator

Southeast Conservation Corps



This job is no longer accepting applications

See open jobs at Conservation Legacy.