Navigation Menu+

ForestGEO Forest Census Internship & Field Crew Lead Positions

Posted on December 1, 2017 by in The OFI Blog


The Smithsonian Institution (CTFS-ForestGEO in partnership with Smithsonian
Conservation Biology Institute, SCBI) seeks four interns—at least one of which will be
international—and a field crew lead to participate in recensus of the SCBI forest
dynamics plot in Front Royal, Virginia, USA. The 26-hectare (64 acre) study site is part
of a global network of forest research sites led by the Smithsonian Institution’s
ForestGEO Network. The plot of mature deciduous trees is located on the SCBI’s main
campus, where project participants will be within a research community focused on
conservation ecology and biology. In 2018, we will resurvey all marked stems and any
recruitment during the years since last surveyed (2013). Principle investigators running
the recensus are Dr. William McShea (primary supervisor of field crew) and Dr. Kristina

Learning Objectives
Participants will gain experience measuring tree growth, mortality, and recruitment in a
geo-referenced plot that was previously surveyed in 2008 and 2013. Participants will
build experience in the following areas:

• Conduct forest tree census according to CTFS-ForestGEO protocols, including
measurement of tree growth, recording mortality, and mapping of new recruits in
a geo-referenced forest plot.
• Develop critical fieldwork skills in forest ecology, including navigating using a
forest plot map, measuring and recording raw data, and working as part of (or
leading) a team.
• Learn about diversity of temperate forests and tree species taxonomy.
• Learn about major drivers of change in temperate deciduous forests in the eastern
US, including invasive species, heavy deer browsing, and climate change.
• Help with other conservation ecology field research projects or conduct a side
project analyzing the data collected.
• Gain exposure to international science and conservation programs through
ForestGEO and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Successful intern applicants must have a recent university degree (within 3 years) and
some experience in forest field research. Ideally, the crew leader will have a master’s
degree in forest ecology, botany, or a related discipline and/or direct experience leading a
forest survey crew. A strong work ethic, attention to detail, enthusiasm to work outdoors
under a range of weather conditions, and ability to work effectively with a team are
essential for all applicants. Applicants should have knowledge of tree species
identification and experience in forest ecology. The field crew lead should have mastery
of eastern US tree species identification.

Term of Appointment
Internships will be March through September 2018 (6 months). Interns will receive a
stipend to defray living expenses. Housing on the SCBI campus will be available to all

The internship will be based at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front
Royal, Virginia.

Application Procedure
The application package should consist of 1) a cover letter outlining past field or research
experience and learning objectives, 2) a detailed resume or CV, and 3) contact information for 2-3 references. US Applicants (US citizens / permanent residents): Send materials to scbiecology@si.edu
by January 1, 2018.
International Applicants (non-US citizens / permanent residents): Apply to
ForestGEO@si.edu by December 1, 2017, as described in this ad:

The Smithsonian Institution values and seeks a diverse workforce; female and minority
candidates are encouraged to apply.