Land Stewardship – invasive species management in forestland

Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust

1461 Old Keene Rd Athol, MA 01331 United States

Mount Grace facilitates land conservation (forests & farms), and supports local economy & community.

Find similar internships: Data Management, Environmental advocacy, Natural Science

Overview

Continue with the design and implementation of  a prioritized invasive species removal plan for the conserved Masson Ridge property. Evaluate the work done last fall and create a replicable model for tracking data on invasive species.

Start date

Sept 6, 2016

End date

December 20 , 2016

Intern responsibilities

The student intern or team will first acquaint themselves with the appearance and biology of the most common invasive species on the property. Currently favored methods of removal for each species will be examined for cost, effort and ecological impact. Resources for this may include consultation with local experts in the field. Using existing site records of known populations, the intern team will create simple maps of each infested site and prioritize steps to achieve complete removal of each species, knowing that this will take years. Alternative methods will be compared to decide which are the most efficient for each invasive species and least destructive to the site. Each student intern will be expected to produce a write-up entailing the life cycle, invasive adaptations, and ecological impact of a single species and how the effort to remove it turned out. This report will be included in the permanent Stewardship Activities record for the Masson Ridge protected area.

Required intern qualifications

Introductory college level Biology is required. Some knowledge of plant biology and identification will be a plus. Comfort working in the outdoors exposed to cold, heat, water, mud, dense brush and biting insects is essential. Some knowledge of how to interpret, collect and present biological data will be needed to complete the work.

Desired outcomes of internship

The student will become very familiar with the biology of at least one invasive species, how it affects Massachusetts forestland and what strategies are available to limit its impact. This should be considered in the context of the more general threat to biodiversity posed by invasive species in other places in the world, which is severe. While there is no requirement that the intern fully eradicate any one species, some progress toward this longer term goal is expected.

Compensation: tuition credit