The DHA Resource Assistant will complete in-depth analyses of Biscayne’s reef-fish data (from 1999 to the present) to support the park’s Fishery Management Plan and impending park-specific fishing regulatory changes to be implemented by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The analyses will examine spatial and temporal trends in fish populations within the park. The goal is to better understand and document spatial and/or temporal trends in numbers, distributions, and sizes of reef fish, specifically those targeted by recreational and commercial fisheries; findings will help guide the development of park-specific fishing regulations to be co-developed by the NPS and the FWC. The DHA Resource Assistant will work methodically within a pre-established database and the R software program to analyze data individually for a series of targeted species as well as at a multi-species community level. In the process of doing so, the DHA Resource Assistant will develop the basic scripts and protocol needed to ensure future years’ analyses can continue uninterrupted and in the same manner as previous years.
In order to be eligible for a DHA internship, participants must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent legal resident (“green-card-holder”) and currently enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or PhD degree program at an accredited institution of higher education during the summer internship. Persons enrolled in a certificate program do not qualify for DHA positions. Note: persons enrolled in a certificate program do not qualify for DHA positions
Work Products: Deliverables will include:
1. A report summarizing: i) trends in the numbers (densities), sizes, and occurrences of targeted species (including various snappers, groupers, hogfish, and triggerfish) over space (distributions across different reef habitat classes and depths) and time (years), and ii) trends in community-level reef fish metrics (e.g. species richness, diversity indices, etc.) over space and time.
2. Documentation of the script and associated protocols for each type of analysis run, such that the script can be applied to future years’ data in order to continue analyses beyond the tenure of the DHA Resource Assistant.
3. A presentation of findings to park staff and partners