20 Nov Natural Resources Field Lead RA-DHA
This position will serve as the field lead for Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP)’s Community Lead Impact Monitoring (CLIM) Program - a new community science program that contributes to RMNP’s visitor use management strategy by monitoring visitor impacts to natural resources. The CLIM Program was developed and piloted in 2020 through the NPS Future Park Leaders of Emerging Change Internship Program. The pilot year proved highly successful in identifying visitor-related impacts in the Loch Vale Watershed and laid the foundation for visitor use management in this area.
In Summer 2021, the CLIM Program will focus on a new, high-use visitor area – Bear Lake Corridor. The Bear Lake trail system offers the highest concentrations of front and backcountry trails in the park making it one of the most frequented visitor destinations in RMNP and an ideal study location.
The SIP intern will carry out research methods of an established visitor use and impacts monitoring protocol and will expand this protocol by developing new indicators of visitor use. Visitor use impacts will be quantified via field mapping sessions and analysis will be performed using the existing protocol and by other methods developed by the SIP intern. Data will be used inform managers about the area’s visitor use capacity, ecological impacts, and aesthetic and safety effects on park resources and visitor experience.
The SIP intern will also build on the pilot project by organizing volunteer-based community science campaigns to document and map visitor use impacts in the Bear Lake Corridor. They will serve as the field lead for the community scientist participants and be trained to lead the installation and calibration of trail counter units. The intern will develop leadership skills by coordinating backcountry and field training for volunteers, and coordinate field teams to map social trails and help deploy and calibrate trail counters. The intern will lead and schedule the trail counter deployments and schedule the removal and data download of trail counters at the end of the season.