Back in January, we reported that new research from the United States Geological Survey and UH Manoa was showing that climate change may, in fact, doom the beautiful but endangered silversword plants that are endemic to the highest elevations of Haleakala. News like this obviously concerns the good people at Haleakala National Park, who are conducting their own research on how climate change is affecting the rare plants. In fact, they need help to do it.
“Haleakala National Park and Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation have joined together to create a unique internship opportunity for a local college senior or recent college graduate,” wrote Kuhea Paracuelles, the park’s internship coordinator, in a May 10 news release. “The Climate Change Internship position will assist with research and public outreach on the topic of climate change impacts on silversword population viability.”
According to the news release, the new intern should have solid botanical knowledge. Their preferred candidate is a recent (within the past two years) graduate with a degree in botany, ecology, environmental science or a related field. They will take seniors who haven’t yet graduated, but they must be willing to work on the internship full-time. “In addition to a strong background and interest in the natural sciences, the applicant must be be in very good physical condition, and capable of hiking at least 12 miles in a day at high elevations while carrying a 40 lb. pack,” Paracuelles added in the news release.
“The intern will receive scientific direction and training from Dr. Paul Krushelnycky, of the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, and will also work directly with the Resources Management and Interpretation staff from Haleakala National Park to accomplish the goals of the program,” stated the news release. “Hawaii Pacific Parks Association and the Student Conservation Association will provide administrative support.”
Phase One of the internship runs from Sept. 2 to Dec. 31 this year. Assuming funding continues for the project, the internship’s second and third phases will run from Jan. 2 to Aug. 31, 2014. Again, they’re looking for candidates able to work at the national park’s Summit district Monday through Friday, 7:30am to 4pm for the duration of all three phases. Interns will receive a $280/week “living allowance.”
Recruitment will last until the park fills the internship position. For more information, contact Paracuelles at 808-572-4452 or by email at Kuhea_Paracuelles@nps.gov. To apply online, check out the Student Conservation Association website at Thesca.org/serve/internships and use position number PO-00225966.