We are seeking an applicant who is comfortable identifying Pacific Northwest flora, documenting and cataloging herbarium quality samples as part of the Sitka Community Wilderness Stewardship Project. The Botany Intern will accompany the SCS Wilderness field crew on expeditions to identify, record, and collect plant specimens.
If interested, please submit a resume and cover letter to Adam Andis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This position is now closed.[hr]
Full position description:Position Title: Wilderness Botany Intern Position
Host Organizations: Sitka Conservation Society (www.sitkawild.org)
Location: Sitka, Alaska
Duration: 12-week internship, June-Sept 2013
Compensation: Paid with stipend for travel from Seattle
Background: For over 45 years, Wilderness stewardship and advocacy have been core principles of the Sitka Conservation Society. SCS played the key role in the establishment of the West Chichagof-Yakobi in 1980. In 2009, with support from the Wilderness Stewardship Challenge grant program, SCS partnered with the local Forest Service District to conduct stewardship activities and recruit volunteers to collect data in the two Wilderness areas near Sitka (West Chichagof-Yakobi and South Baranof). The goal of this project is to ensure Wilderness areas meet a minimum management standard. One element the Forest Service has identified as a priority for this management standard is that Wilderness areas are "successfully treated for non-native, invasive plant species." In addition to non-native species, we also collect data on rare and sensitive species as these species may be indicators of large forest dynamics. Working with the SCS staff and Field Crew, this intern position will participate in field expeditions to collect botanical survey data, record and catalog the findings.
Due to the high cost and difficult access of our field expeditions, SCS also partners with various organizations, agencies and institutions to collect additional data in may areas of study to get the biggest "bang for our buck." This position may assist in collection of data for partnering projects.
This year, we will continue this project and expand its scope to other Wilderness areas in the Tongass, focusing on building the capacity of local groups to facilitate stewardship projects of their own. This intern position will present SCS's botany work and help local groups in developing botanical components of their Wilderness stewardship projects.
Duties: The Wilderness Project Botany intern will work with SCS staff to implement the National Forest Foundation's (NFF) Wilderness Stewardship Challenge while also raising awareness and community involvement in Wilderness related activities. The intern will be supervised by the Outreach and Wilderness Stewardship Coordinator.
- Participating in Wilderness trips with SCS and contracted staff
- Field identifying and collecting specimens for catalog
- Completing post-trip reports
- Managing the collection and tabulation of botanical survey data
- Assisting in the collection of other base-line data as needed
- Helping to lead Wilderness trips
- Writing articles for publication (i.e. journals, local news media, SCS newsletters, SCS website, etc.) about the Project and Tongass plant communities in Wilderness.
- Presenting work and conducting plant identification training to project partners
- Degree or current enrollment in a Botany program or related field.
- Interest and background in conservation, research, plant sciences.
- Pertinent work experience and field experience.
- Professional skills pertinent to the position.
Application will close March 31, 2013.
In the summer of 2011, the SCS Wilderness crew traveled north to Russell Fjord Wilderness to assist the Yakutat ranger district in Wilderness monitoring. Check out the video, report, and photos to learn more about the project and this uniquely rugged Wilderness.
From Disenchantment Bay, at the upper end of Yakutat Bay, heavily glaciated Russell Fjord penetrates about 35 miles inland, but the advance of Hubbard Glacier is slowly squeezing it off from the sea... Within the area, which lies between the Fairweather and Brabazon Ranges, you'll find forested river valleys rising to alpine meadows and snowcapped peaks... At the northwest boundary of Russell Fjord, the Hubbard Glacier, one of the largest and most active tidewater glaciers in North America, is advancing to Gilbert Point. Twice in the last 40 years, the Hubbard has closed against the Puget Peninsula. Eventually, this unique event will become a long term situation converting Russell and Nunatak Fjords to immense freshwater lakes. --from Wilderness.net
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Report of the trip prepared by Scott Harris [issuu width=300 height=194 shareMenuEnabled=false backgroundColor=%23222222 documentId=120119203551-2f08f962105f47748ce816f3f2203b9d name=russell_report_aug2011_med username=sitkawild tag=conservation unit=px id=9e7bcab3-1c05-cf82-bd2b-d7540be50fa4 v=2]
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The land enclosed in the borders of South Baranof Wilderness Area is steep, remote, and difficult to travel. Other than the intrepid mountain goat hunters, this area of the Wilderness receives almost no foot traffic.
In August of 2011, as part of the Sitka Community Wilderness Stewardship Project, as expedition was organized to collect baseline plant and recreational use data. Thanks to packrafts donated by Alpacka Raft Company the Sitka Conservation Society Wilderness crew completed a pioneering transect along the southern boarder of the Wilderness Area. See the slideshow and read the full report below. [hr]
Report: Tongass Wilderness Stewardship: Packrafting across Baranof Island
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Check out the pictures from the talk below.
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Kettleson Memorial Library, SitkaAdam Andis from the Sitka Conservation Society leads the Sitka Community Wilderness Stewardship Project. The project seeks to involve the community to monitor on-the-ground conditions in local Wilderness Areas. In the summer of 2011, the SCS Wilderness Crew spent countless hours bushwhacking in the field, including pioneering a new route across Baranof Island.
The route paralleled the southern boundary of South Baranof Wilderness Area and followed two watersheds from sea to source. To cover the terrain, the team used packrafts, lightweight backpacking techniques, and lots of chocolate.
Come learn a little bit more about your local Wilderness areas and join in the expedition Across the Island!
In the summer of 2010, the SCS Wilderness crew packed up and headed north for an attempt at circumnavigating Yakobi Island by kayak. The weather and health of the crew were not cooperating, so paddling around Yakobi was not an option. Instead, the crew traveled to Stag Bay across Lisianski Strait, which turned out to be a fantastic destination.
West Chichagof Wilderness has always been near and dear to our hearts here at SCS, in fact we probably wouldn't be here today if our founders hadn't fought for its protection (check out the whole history here). And we still protect it today, by monitoring on the ground conditions that lead to effective management decisions and give us a baseline to chart the health of the ecosystem.
In the summer of 2011, the SCS Wilderness crew spent 3 weeks aboard the S/V Paulette, captained by our good friend Ken Merrill traveling the entire coast-line of West Chichagof. Ben Hamilton of Pioneer Videography came along to document the trip. You can watch all of his videos below.
Sitka Conservation Society partnered with the Tongass National Forest to control invasive plant populations in the Stikine-LeConte Wilderness located on the mainland of southeast Alaska. The main objective was to control the spread of Reed Canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea).
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Pleasant Island is located just one mile from the community of Gustavus and is used by many for recreation and hunting. SCS partneredwith Southeast Alaska Conservation Council and the US Forest Service to address the threats and problems to the Pleasant Island Wilderness Area.
Click on the report to learn more. PIReport_Small
Rust Lake Expedition 2010[wpcol_1third id="" class="" style=""]
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[pullquote_right]Goldfishing- (adj.) 1. the act of completing a task half-heartedly 2. "half-assing" it Etymology: derived from the process of smoking a cigar by puffing out one's cheeks without inhaling the smoke.[/pullquote_right]One could characterize our hike from Rust Lake in the interior of West Chichagof out to the head of Patterson Bay as many things: ridiculously soggy, heinous bushwhacking, an exercise in patience, pathetically jovial, steep, slippery, but no one could ever characterize it as goldfishing, a term we arrived at after a long hiking day while smoking the fine cigars Andrew Thoms, Executive Director of SCS, sent with us.
Matt Goff, Kitty LaBounty and I flew into Rust Lake on the morning of June 8thunder bright blue skies, unloaded the plane and immediately took off to the alpine. One major intention of the trip, was to survey a band of Karst topography near Rust Lake. The Karst area is an erosional formation of a band of limestone bedrock that runs diagonally across Chichagof Island. The area is unique in the species of plants that can grow on it's unusual surface. Kitty and Matt were interested in comparing the presence and absence of a number of alpine plant species between the limestone and surrounding bedrock. As the pictures show, this area is a perfect subject area for comparison because of the obvious delineation between the two different bedrock regimes. We finished our 11 hour "day" hike by crashing, sliding, and bashing our way down the Karst ridge back to camp at around 9:30 pm.
Karst topography is formed when soluble bedrock, like limestone, is eroded away by slightly acidic water, such as rain. It can create some truly bizarre landscapes on both small and large scales. At the Rust Lake site, the Karst band abuts other mafic (characterized by high magnesium and iron (ferric) content) bedrock, making it a perfect site to note presence and especially absence of certain plant species.
Matt and Kitty spent the morning taking plant surveys along the gravel bars of the river flowing in to Rust Lake. Last year, Kitty had noted invasive dandelions along this stream. The population seemed small enough that manual removal may be an eradication option. This year, the population had grown slightly, but we still manually removed all dandelions we could find (approximately 200). We hope that continued hand removal and monitoring will prove effective in this area. After all the backbreaking, rugged, and dangerous work of weeding dandelions, I spent a good portion of the noon hours napping on the bank under the sun.
Peggy Marcus, Supervisory Natural Resource Specialist for the Sitka Ranger District of the Forest Service, and Lily Mihalik from Raven Radio in Sitka were scheduled to fly in on the afternoon of June 9th. As I napped, the winds picked up and the weather came in forcing them to reschedule for the next morning.
I called Forest Service Dispatch at 6:00 am: "Ceiling at 1500 ft, light winds from the South, good visibility". Rust Lake is in a bowl at about 870 feet. The Forest Service needs at least, 500ft of to fly into the lake. That didn't give much margin for error. After a couple of hours, Kitty, Matt, and I began calculating the amount of extra weight we would be carrying down to Patterson ourselves, since it seemed very unlikely Peggy and Lily would get through. As we debated, we heard a plane engine, and shortly thereafter saw the tiny float plane dive in just under the ceiling through the cut where the river flows out to the Pacific.
With Lily and Peggy in the field, we packed up camp and headed for our next camp, an alpine lake under another Karst band across the valley from the first.
After morning coffee on the 10th, we packed up and headed for Patterson Bay. The end of the alpine lake and the beginning of the slope to Patterson marks the boundary of the Wilderness Area. One can't help but wonder if the beautiful weather was directly related to being with in the wilderness boundaries, because as soon as we crossed the boundary, the rain began and continued throughout the day. Armed with aerial photos and GPS, the crew hiked down a very slippery and steep ridge into the valley bottom of Patterson. By late evening we had crashed and thwacked through more devils club and alder thickets we could handle, but we were still a way off from Patterson Bay. Finally, hungry and exhausted, we saw an opening in the trees.
Unfortunately, rather than finding Patterson Bay on the other side of the tree line, we discovered a massive beaver operation that didn't show up on our out-dated aerial photos. The slues created by the damming we too deep and to wide to cross. We circled around and plunged back into the devils club. After a while, apparently walking in circles, it started to get dark. Eleven hours of bushwhacking in the rain had drained us. We found a spot in the forest, built a fire, and set up camp. As Peggy, Lily, and I collected wood, Matt and Kitty scouted the way ahead only to find out that we were under a mile to the beach at Patterson!
In the morning, the weather had calmed down and we were hopeful for a successful float plane pick up. Finally on the beach, however, the wind changed and began gusting. The plane came over the ridge behind us and circled a number of times, contemplating the take-off potential in the current conditions. Satisfied, he landed. We took off again, into the margins of a squall. There were some initial bumps as testified by the bruises Kitty's fingers left on my leg, but overall the flight back to Sitka was smooth and beautiful thanks to the pilots at Harris Air.
Check out the radio stories of the trip on Raven Radio: