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Mosaics in Science Program - Position Description

Public Land Name: Death Valley National Park
Position Title: Physical ScienceTechnician
Agency: NPS
Position ID Number: 2012021
Location: Death Valley, CA
Position Description: Death Valley Hydrology has an extensive monitoring network sprawled across the park’s 3.4 million acres, and along critical groundwater flowpaths to the park. The program also takes care of the park's air quality monitoring. Death Valley Hydrology is expanding its monitoring program to provide better spatial coverage, and respond to increasing threats to water resources from climate change and groundwater pumping. Longer and more detailed records of measurements allow park managers to more conclusively and convincingly demonstrate causal relationships between system perturbations (e.g. decreased recharge and/or increased pumping) and responses observed at monitoring sites. This GeoCorps America position will assist the Death Valley NP Hydrology and Air Quality Programs at all levels from measurements and data retrieval, to data analysis and report writing. The successful candidate will experience a field- and office-based introduction to park water and air resource management activities. The position will work in a climate-controlled office approximately 85% of the time, and outdoors approximately 15% of the time. This position is offered through the Geological Society of America's GeoCorps America Program in partnership with the National Park Service’s Geoscientists-in-the-Parks Program.
Materials to be produced by participant: The participant will take measurements and collect data and samples. The participant will assist in the production of reports including: summaries of the settings, maps, descriptions of monitoring procedures and equipment, time-series graphs, explanations of trends and their potential causes, and some statistical analysis.
Qualifications: Suitable candidates will have at least one semester hydrology or meteorology coursework (or equivalent professional experience). Ideal candidates will have at least one year of hydrology or meteorology coursework, including field or professional experience, with an emphasis on monitoring and time-series analysis. Applicant must have a valid driver’s license and good driving record. Prior to starting this position, a government security background clearance will be required.
Position Dates: March 26 to June 16, with some flexibility to begin/end later
Position Duration: 12 weeks
Stipend: $2,750
Travel Allowance:
(For non-local candidates)
Housing Allowance: $0
Housing Details: Housing is provided at no cost to the participant. The participant will occupy a private room in either a park dorm building (bathroom shared with one additional person of same gender, common spaces shared with seven other people) or an apartment (private bathroom and living spaces).
Death Valley National Park is located in the Mojave Desert of southeastern California, and within the Basin and Range physiographic province of the western US. Spring temperatures are pleasant, with typical highs in the 80s and 90s in March and April, ascending into the 100 and 110s as summer emerges in May and June. Park headquarters is located one hour from the nearest full service town (Pahrump, NV), and approximately two and a half hours from Las Vegas, NV. Park housing is located within walking distance of the GeoCorps work site, but bringing a personal vehicle is highly recommended for running errands and recreational opportunities. For more information, see
Work Environment: Approximately 85% of the work will take place in a climate-controlled office, and approximately 15% will take place outdoors. Death Valley is characterized by hot temperatures (especially in May and June) and rugged terrain. Field work may occur off trail, on uneven and steep ground. The park can experience extreme winds (gusts regularly reaching 30 – 50 mph) year round, but especially in the spring season. The quantity of field work completed by the participant will depend on his or her level of interest in and ability to engage with the elements.
# of current Applicants: 17

If you have questions about the application and selection process, please contact Matthew Dawson.  If you have questions about any aspect of the position — description, qualifications, housing, dates — please contact the primary or secondary contact below. The Primary and Secondary Contacts will not accept application materials sent to them via e-mail, mail, fax, etc. See the full Mosaic program details at the Mosaics in Science home-page.

Contact Name: Richard Friese
Title: Hydrologist
Street Address: P.O. Box 579
City/State/Zip: Death Valley, CA 92328
Phone: 760-786-3255
Contact Name: Genne Nelson
Title: Hydrologic Technician
Street Address: P.O. Box 579
City/State/Zip: Death Valley, CA 92328
Phone: (760) 786-3238