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Manassas National Battlefield Park preserves approximately 4,400 acres of rolling hills, forests and grasslands where the 1st and 2nd Battles of Manassas occurred. The Park is home to many different natural communities that support biologically diverse populations of flora and fauna. As the surrounding lands become urbanized by a rapidly growing population, the battlefield has become a regionally significant natural oasis for both visitors and wildlife. High deer populations in the park are adversely impacting native forest vegetation and other wildlife. With over 10 years of vegetation monitoring and deer population analysis, the park has created a deer management plan to control the overabundance of deer that negatively impact native forest vegetation and other wildlife. During and after the implementation of the deer management plan, it will be important to monitor the vegetative response to management through a Vegetation Monitoring Plan. The park would like to utilize a Mosaics internship to support the execution of the park's Vegetation Monitoring Plan. The intern would utilize existing protocols and documents to monitor forest vegetation plots and actively engage the public on the impacts of overabundant deer populations and the benefits of deer management. Duties would include, but are not limited to: monitoring vegetation in exclosure and control plots using a cover board; sampling vegetation with gridded transects; identifying and marking seedlings; completing the associated data management and assisting with any additional natural resource management projects. Additional natural resource management projects could include: grassland habitat monitoring to assess the impacts of management, practices, performing Northern bobwhite and grassland breeding bird surveys, upkeep of wetland and meadow planting areas, pollinator garden management and natural resource education and outreach.
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: The intern would: 1) Use existing documents, images, maps and personal observations to conduct research and gain understanding about the natural resources within Manassas National Battlefield; 2) Conduct vegetation monitoring of deer exclosure and control plots; 3) Complete all associated data entry and management of vegetation monitoring results; and 4) Use GPS equipment and GIS software to collect geospatial data and create maps for the park. The intern will help create a final report using GIS maps, photographs and text that highlights the data collected. Goals of the internship would include: 1) Supporting the implementation of the park's deer management plan by completing the necessary vegetation surveys and community outreach needed to monitor habitat response and maintain public support of the program; 2) Developing an understanding of the National Park Service and learn about employment opportunities; and 3) Advancing skills in research and natural resource management. Outcomes and deliverables expected include: 1) the establishment of 20 deer exclosure and control plots; 2) completed vegetation surveys and associated data management; 3) GIS maps for park management; and 4) a report that summarizes the first year of vegetative surveys.
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