The South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (Reserve) established a series of research sites in the estuary to understand the local effects of sea level rise on tidal marsh plant communities. The intern will spend roughly half their time working closely with the Reserve science staff to collect vegetation, hydrology, surface elevation, accretion, and vertical elevation data at multiple tidal marsh sites within the estuary.
The other half of the intern’s time will be spent assisting with the South Slough Reserve education team to implement summer science camps and other education and outreach programs. The Reserve offers day camps for children ages 5-18 throughout the summer. The intern will assist education staff with the planning and delivery of these camps.
From this internship, the student will gain experience in field, laboratory, and professional office settings. The intern will gain knowledge of a variety of field equipment and techniques related to wetland monitoring including percent cover and density metrics for wetland plant communities, plant identification, rod surface elevation tables (R-SETS), marker horizons, groundwater level instruments, Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) GPS, and leveling elevation surveys. The intern will also gain experience in databases, data management, R scripts, sensor calibration in the laboratory, post-processing of GPS data, and creation of visual summaries. The intern will build a greater understanding of estuaries and coastal ecosystems and recognize the value of education and communication about these places. The intern will develop skills in science communication for diverse audiences and learn best practices for connecting with different ages of children, leading lessons, and maintaining a safe and welcoming environment. The intern will have opportunities to participate in other Reserve science projects as well as other education and outreach programs as time permits.