We are seeking multiple motivated undergraduates to fill paid internship positions this summer at the Nature Coast Biological Station – information on all internships and how to apply can be found here: https://ncbs.ifas.ufl.edu/job-opportunities/. I am supervising two interns to work on human dimensions of recreational scalloping and boating in the Nature Coast, which may be of interest to some of your students (more info below). I would appreciate your help spreading the word about these paid positions to your students. Applications are due April 3rd.
Internship: Human Dimensions of Recreational Scalloping and Boating in the Nature Coast
Project Start Date: June 16th
Project Duration: 120 hours x 2 interns (working as a pair for surveys*)
*please indicate in your application letter if you are applying with another person for this position
Very little information exists regarding the opinions and behaviors of recreational boaters in the Nature Coast. Knowledge of boater attitudes and behaviors is essential to design effective boater education programs. This project is designed for two paired interns that will work together to conduct in-person surveys of recreational boaters in three coastal towns of the Nature Coast (Crystal River, FL/Cedar Key, FL/Steinhatchee, FL) to assess attitudes, opinions and knowledge of boaters about seagrasses, scallops, and boating. Some of the surveys will be conducted on land at boat ramps and some surveys will be conducted using kayaks to interview boaters in the springs in Homosassa and Crystal River. Data collected in this effort will be used to target educational efforts to increase the sustainability of boating tourism in the Nature Coast, especially as it relates to seagrasses, recreational scalloping, and spring ecosystems. Interns will gain experience in human dimensions research and public education/extension activities. Article about this work from last summer: https://www.flseagrant.org/news/2016/07/savanna-barry-smart-boating-seagrasses-important/
– Conduct at least 60 boat ramp intercept surveys each in Cedar Key, Crystal River and Steinhatchee (minimum of 120)
– Conduct at least 45 kayak/springs intercept surveys in each spring system (Homosassa and Crystal River, minimum of 90)
– Enter data collected during the surveys
– Assist with social media outreach related to the project (sustainable scalloping and seagrass-friendly boating) – including helping gather photos and distribute posts
– Assist project supervisor with field work as needed (may include living shorelines work, boater observation trips, marine specimen collection trips)
– Assist at public outreach events during the period of the internship
– Produce a photo-journal style blog post for the NCBS website about their experience
No experience in surveying is required – interns will be trained in the survey procedure and the surveys are pre-designed. Some experience with public education is preferred, but not required. Candidates must be able to work in challenging outdoor conditions of Florida’s summer, including extreme heat, biting insects, and inclement weather. Most work will occur on weekend days, especially Fridays and Saturdays and successful candidates must be willing to work at these times as these are the days when recreational boaters are most active and available. Candidates must be comfortable approaching boaters and be able to conduct themselves in a professional and polite manner when interacting with boaters during surveys.