Creel surveys are a way to collect valuable fishery-dependent data from visitors who are fishing in the park. These surveys allow for the collection of demographic and general information about the fishing trips, as well as biological data to help estimate and track metrics such as fishing effort, which species are most targeted, size at capture, and frequency and nature of fishing violations.
The intern’s primary duty is to gather crucial fishery-dependent data through the creel survey. The intern will conduct creel surveys during peak fishing days (Thursday through Sunday), with one remaining day of the 5-day work week being left open so that the intern can participate in other natural resource activities, running the gamut from sea turtle nest monitoring to reef fish surveys to coral restoration to water quality field work. The intern will be trained in the creel survey methodologies and identification of locally harvested fish species. They will be expected to operate from the local public marinas that feed into Biscayne National Park, interacting with park visitors as they return to the marina from their day fishing. The intern will also have the opportunity to provide invaluable outreach and education to park visitors who may have a question about fishing rules or even just on the park in general. Much of this work will be independent, and as such, the intern must demonstrate a strong work ethic, a responsible nature, and good decision-making skills.
Applicants should be friendly and outgoing; able to interact with the public. Spanish-speaking is highly desirable since ~50% of the park's user base is Spanish-speaking. Ability to identify common fish of South Florida is good, but not essential (and can be taught on the job). The individual should be neat and organized, and someone who pays attention to detail. Someone majoring in some aspect of biology or environmental sciences would be ideal, although given the public-interaction nature of this work and the likelihood of conducting outreach during the course of the surveys, an education major would also be suitable. Applicants should be able to stand on their feet for extended periods of time and must be able to tolerate working outdoors under extreme heat and humidity.
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.