Saguaro National Park

Biological Technician  -  Tucson, AZ

The goal of this project is to lead “citizen science” volunteers in an exciting research project that is evaluating whether the timing of flowering in the giant saguaro cactus may be changing due to warmer desert temperatures. The saguaro, a natural icon of the desert southwest, produces large white flowers that bloom for one night and one morning during the months of May-July. The intern will become adept at the project’s methods, which include photographing saguaro flowers (which may be more than 30 feet above the ground) using an extendable selfie stick and digital camera connected through wi-fi to a computer tablet. He/she will work with volunteers to photograph the saguaros, then download the photos and transcribe the data. The intern will also help share the results with volunteers and the public through a dedicated website and social media, and will work with a diverse team of park interns engaged in research, ecological restoration, community outreach, and interpretation. The final products will include a report on the project; the photo database; and interpretive products that communicate about saguaros, pollinators, saguaro science, and climate to park visitors through a variety of social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.