Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (DHA)

Giant Sequoia Monitoring & Demography Intern  -  Three Rivers, CA

The intern will have two sets of goals with the specific deliverables for each outlined below. The first set relates to the data collection and work stemming from the current needs of the park. Under this goal the intern will deliver:

  • Specific monitoring protocols and standard operating procedures for giant sequoia monitoring done as part of public programs for students and adults. These monitoring protocols will include step by step instructions for assessing the live/dead status of the trees, measuring tree diameter at breast height (DBH), and measuring tree height.
  • At least two program outlines and materials for delivery of public programs for giant sequoia monitoring. One program will be for school-aged participants (5th grade through high school) and will contain links to Next Generation Science Standards that the program addresses. The other will be for the general public and should include themes that aid visitors in drawing connections back to the giant sequoias, as well as to the reason this type of monitoring is critical for proper forest management. In addition, the second program should highlight the increasing stressors on the trees given the current unprecedented levels of environmental change.

A second set of deliverables relate to the intern’s development of their own independent research project in giant sequoia demography. Deliverables for this portion of the internship include:

  • Selection of a research topic on giant sequoia demography that could be related to seedling recruitment, re-sampling of juvenile trees from the original census in the 1960’s, burned and unburned plots, assessment of front country versus wilderness sequoia stands, or a whole host of other giant sequoia demography research topics.
  • Development (under NPS mentorship) of a research design for their project including response variables, site selection, method of sampling, number of replicates, and proposed data analysis.
  • Execution of field research identified in research design.
  • Data analysis including graphs and statistical testing of relationships.
  • Final report to include introduction, background, hypothesis, methods, results, and discussion.