The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS), is recruiting two Orchard Management Interns to join our AmeriCorps program to assist the horticulturist and natural resource staff with orchard management and research for the orchards in the Fruita Historic District in Capitol Reef National Park. The orchards of Fruita consist of over 2,500 historically significant and heirloom fruit and nut trees that are managed as a cultural resource. Orchard management activities will consist of assisting staff with insect and pest monitoring, implementing integrated pest management strategies such as fruit culling, cover crop management, vegetation surveys, bloom time surveys, and fruit monitoring for you-pick orchards. The intern will also assist with conducting the annual orchard condition assessments, which consist of applying horticultural and botanical knowledge to evaluate and record specific health characteristics of each individual tree. Orchard assessments involve field data collection and office work to manage and input the data. The interns may also assist the park’s resource management staff with high-priority monitoring of vegetation and threatened and endangered species.
Orchard management activities require long periods of physical labor including walking, squatting, lifting, bending and carrying 30+ pounds. Orchard management requires the use of tools such as shovels, pick mattocks, pruners, wire cutters, fencing pliers, post pounders, ladders, wheel barrows and miscellaneous other hand tools. The intern will also be using power tools and machinery such as weed whips and wood chippers.
Data collection and assessments require long periods of standing and walking on uneven terrain to collect data. The task requires patience for repetitive tasks and attention to detail. The task also requires knowledge of botany and horticulture and the ability to apply knowledge to an analytical situation. The condition assessments will also require large amounts of office time for data entry, requiring attention to detail and the ability to use Microsoft Office and ArcGIS.
Orchard management activities require an interest in physically demanding tasks and hands-on learning. Field work can be repetitive and physically challenging. Weather conditions will vary widely from cold with precipitation and rain in the spring to dry summer heat near 100 F. Capitol Reef is located in a semi-arid high-elevation Colorado plateau environment and is home to a number of venomous animals including spiders and snakes. Predators include coyote, bobcats and mountain lions. Challenging field conditions include gnats and biting flies during certain seasons. This position is at least 80% field based.
The ideal intern will have an interest in working for the National Park Service or for other public lands agencies, be passionate about protecting historical resources and enjoy or be interested in applied horticulture. The intern may also assist with other vegetation or invasive vegetation activities including monitoring and control. The intern will be supervised by the park Horticulturist.
o Living Allowance: $7,626 (allocated biweekly)
o Education Award: $2,887.50 (May be used for past, present or future educational expenses, including payment of qualifying federal student loans).
o Health and dental benefits
o Housing: The park will provide housing in a 5-6-bedroom dormitory. The intern will have a private room with a shared bath, shared kitchen and common areas. The dormitory includes all appliances, coin-operated washer and dryer, some kitchen pots, pans and dishes. Internet service may be provided. Heat, electricity and water are included. A phone is available in each dorm and long distance calls can be made with a calling card. Housing is located approximately a 5 minute walk from the duty station.
o Approximately 20 March – 17 September 2017 (25-week appointment)
Capitol Reef National Park is located near Torrey, UT. The location is remote. The nearest gas station is 10 miles away and the nearest grocery store is approximately 35 miles away. A personal vehicle is required for travel/transport outside of work. There is currently no cell service in housing or near the duty station and it is spotty in other locations. Reliable cellular service is usually only found when nearing Torrey. The intern should find living in a remote location desirable. Located in the heart of red rock country, Capitol Reef NP is filled with cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges. In addition to unique geological resources, the park also has a rich cultural history.