2018 Research Internships
A Partnership Between Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge and the UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station
Project Scope and Need: The University of Florida’s Nature Coast Biological Station (UF/IFAS-NCBS, http://ncbs.ifas.ufl.edu) located in Cedar Key, Florida is working in partnership with the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge (CRNWR) in seeking two student interns for the period of January – April 2018. The internships are funded by the CRNWR and will work with UF and refuge staff to evaluate how human recreation can influence Florida’s manatee populations. The CRNWR was established in 1983 specifically for the protection of the West Indian Manatee, which have now been down listed from endangered to threatened. This unique refuge preserves the last undeveloped areas in Kings Bay, the headwaters of the Crystal River, and provides critical thermal refuge for approximately one thousand manatees each winter. This unique and predictable aggregation has allowed a highly valuable manatee ecotourism economy to emerge. However, due to large numbers of visitors each year, there is concern among stakeholders and management agencies that swimmers and boaters could influence the behavior and health of manatees. These research internships offer an excellent opportunity for students to work in partnership with UF faculty and agency cooperators to address an issue of critical management and conservation concern in the region.
Job Duties: Duties may include but are not limited to: visual manatee abundance and spatial distribution surveys, monitoring manatee behavior and health, documenting tagged manatee locations, visitor surveys, data entry, report writing, GIS mapping, and other duties as assigned.
Required Qualifications: Must be in the process of obtaining a degree in a natural resource field at The University of Florida. The ability to work in inclement weather conditions with biting and stinging insects, poison ivy and in canoes/kayaks for extended periods is mandatory. Candidate must be a strong swimmer. Travel and some overnight stay are required. Housing will be provided for overnight field work. Candidate must have a valid driver’s license to be able to drive government vehicles.
Preferred Qualifications: Excellent communication skills and the ability to engage the public with surveys and informal discussions are preferred. Successful candidates will work closely with NCBS faculty, US Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Refuge staff, and volunteers. Prior field work experience, GPS/GIS proficiency, and MS Access, Excel and Word computer skills are preferred. Experience with canoes/kayaks is beneficial.
Work Schedule and Wages: The internships will be 12 weeks in duration from January to April. The work schedule for this position can be adjusted based on the intern’s schedule, but the student must have at least two full free days available per week, which can include weekends. The interns will be paid $9/hour plus fringe, with housing and work-related transportation provided for a maximum of $500. We are seeking a total of two interns.
Application Process: Please send a CV and contact information for three references in a single PDF file to Emily Colson firstname.lastname@example.org by January 22, 2018. The CV should include GPA as well as details of experience and skills relevant to the position. Multiple files from applicants will not be reviewed, and applications will be reviewed by a committee of UF faculty and CRNWR staff.