Are you an aspiring entomologist? Saguaro National Park is looking for an intern to produce an inventory of butterfly species through a series of standardized butterfly surveys to gather information on species’ richness, abundance, and distribution! The surveys will be used to establish the baseline for a repeatable long-term project to monitor the impacts of weather and habitat change on butterfly populations over time.
Many butterfly species react quickly to changes in their environment and can serve as excellent indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem health. The Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park ranges in elevation from 2,700 ft to 8,700 ft with 6 biotic communities as diverse as desert scrub and mixed conifer forests. This habitat heterogeneity allows for an incredible degree of biodiversity, and over a quarter of North America’s butterfly species have the potential to be present in the park.
The intern’s primary work incudes documenting butterfly species and abundance, producing a photographic record for as many species as possible, and walking a set of standardized transects through different regions of the park. The intern will work alongside an experienced entomologist to identify butterflies to species and produce a dataset that documents butterfly abundance and distribution in the park. Additionally, the intern will work alongside park Resource Management and Interpretation staff to produce content for the park’s social media feeds.
The ideal candidate has an interest in invertebrates and wildlife biology, and will have experience identifying butterflies or other insects, though training will be provided. They will be a great team player and a good communicator. A degree in wildlife biology or natural resources with coursework relating to entomology would be ideal, but is not required. Photography experience a plus. In addition, the candidate must be comfortable hiking loop transects of 1-5 miles while carrying adequate water and gear for the day.
The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent legal resident (“green-card-holder”) between the ages of 18 and 30 years old, of diverse background, or a veteran up to age 35. Prior to starting this position, a government security background clearance will be required.
If this position sounds like a career you would like to explore, don’t hesitate to apply!