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War in the Pacific National Historical Park (WAPA) commemorates those who participated in the World War II Campaign in the Pacific. The 75th anniversary of the Battle of Guam will be celebrated in July 2019 during this internship. The Park contains the historic beaches where US soldiers and marines landed during the battle to liberate Guam from Japanese war time occupiers. Over half the Park area consists of shallow fringing coral reefs that were heavily bombed and damaged during landing of the US forces in July 1944. The reefs have recovered from extensive war damage and contain the highest diversity of marine species among all national parks. But they are under serious threat from coral bleaching, diseases and death of reef organisms caused by recent marine environmental changes.
The Park has established projects to address the threat of coral bleaching, using volunteer youth to supplement the work of park staff and associated partner scientists. The Park and partner agencies have developed and tested pilot methods of using youth, and citizen scientists to monitor reef health. Outreach through experience and education of youth volunteers is WAPA's priority method of public education on managing the health of reef habitats. The Summer of 2019 will be the tenth consecutive year that WAPA has sponsored its very popular Reef Ranger Camps for local youths. To continue the outreach efforts and to expand monitoring to park reefs during the summer time season of bleaching vulnerability, staff need the assistance of an intern who will assist in training local youth (all represent minorities) to do snorkeling surveys of coral bleaching, reef organism abundance and frequency and giant clams' health using monitoring equipment (e.g., GPS instruments, temperature recorders and underwater cameras) at sites identified by NPS, NOAA and Guam Government biologists and to enter computer data for NPS analysis.
The intern will work with NPS staff and partners to support the Reef Rangers' activities and to train high school and college youth volunteers to do snorkeling surveys of coral bleaching and giant clams' health and growth. They will learn to collect vital environmental data related to coral health from logging instruments and understand how these are applied to management decisions. The survey sites – clean shallow warm waters less than two meters deep – are accessed from beach entrance points. Intern and trainees will use transect lines, quadrat frames, monitoring equipment (e.g., GPS devices, data loggers, still and video cameras) used for NPS surveys. NPS staff, the intern and participants will receive safety training before field trials, while WAPA snorkeling protocols, life guards and emergency response systems will ensure safety. The environmental conditions and occurrence and extent of coral bleaching, as well as the size, growth, and health of the giant clams will be recorded.
Scenes from the work environment in the field showing the fieldwork as conducted in July 2018 can be viewed in: https://www.nps.gov/media/video/view.htm?id=81B8065F-AAF2-0D25-B80954BC1A0800C2
This position is offered through the National Park Service's Mosaics in Science Internship Program in partnership with Environment for the Americas and Greening Youth Foundation.
Work Products: Besides supporting the success of summer outreach activities the intern will collect valuable data used for WAPA management plans and actions. This internship will allow the MIS intern to develop a scientific educational or interpretive or management product of the intern's choice that will fill needs of WAPA's coral reef managers. Product will be determined by the intern's knowledge, skills and interest and be based on internship work. This should include data assessment and its interpretation and may be in the form of a technical report or educational material that may be presented in person or through media such as websites, posters, videos, etc.
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