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Mosaics in Science Program - Position Description

Public Land Name: Bryce Canyon National Park
Position Title: AstroCorps: Park Guide / Planetologist [NEW] [Diversity Internship]
Agency: NPS
Position ID Number: 2012078
Location: Bryce Canyon, UT
Position Description: AstroCorps participants will work as a team member of Bryce Canyon National Park’s Interpretive Division, researching, developing, and presenting (1-per day) 2 or 3 of the following presentations: • Planet Walk: 60-90 min (1.3km) guided walk along a 1/10 Billionth scale model of the solar system • Geology Talk: 20-30 min presentation about and/or • Astronomy Evening Program: 60 min PowerPoint presentation with a planetology theme that relates to Bryce Canyon Participant will also work our busy visitor center information desk for an average of not to exceed 1-2 hours per day. Participant will also independently operate a telescope (NPS-owned or personal, if preferred) for the benefit of visiting public 2-3 nights per week as part of our stargazing-with-telescopes sessions that follow our astronomy evening programs and are attended by 200-300 people! 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: During the second half of the summer, after the participant has learned and practiced communicating Bryce Canyon's planetology stories to the visiting public, he/she will develop and produce classroom and/or online educational materials based on his/her favorite presentation above. Such educational material will be designed in accordance with Utah Curriculum so that it can easily and independently be used by teachers in the classroom and/or facilitated by the park’s education staff in making classroom visits.
Qualifications: Applicant must be working on a physical science and/or education degree. At minimum, applicants must have solid computer skills with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and Adobe Photoshop. The applicant should be able to work well independently, both in the office and in the field, with little supervision. Selection preference will be given to applicants with: • Experience in Public speaking / Classroom Instruction • Advanced knowledge of Astronomy, Geology, & Global Climate Change • Experience with Pod casting, web authoring, and/or smart phone application authoring Applicant must have a valid driver’s license and a good driving record. Prior to starting this position a government security background clearance will be required.
Position Dates: Mid-May/early June through mid-late August, with somewhat flexible start/end dates.
Position Duration: 12 weeks
Stipend: $2,750
Travel Allowance:
(For non-local candidates)
Housing Allowance: $0
Housing Details: Park will provide housing at no cost to the participant. Housing will be in a shared apartment or house with up to 3 roommates. There may be a single efficiency apartment available. The participant may have their own room but will share a bathroom, kitchen, and living space. Participant will need to bring their own bedding, towels, kitchen pots/pans/cooking utensils, plates, and eating utensils. A laundry facility is available on site. Housing is within one mile of work so there is the possibility to walk or ride a bike. Participant would benefit from having a personal car, although this is not necessary. Land-line phone service is not available. All major cell phone carriers provide coverage in the nearby area, although AT&T reception is very poor. TV reception is by satellite (individual contracts) only. Many residents sign up for Netflix or a similar movie mailing company. Free DSL Wireless internet for public use is available at the headquarters building. Mail can be received in the park or at nearby Ruby’s Inn (3 miles). Area amenities include local hotels and restaurants. 3 small grocery stores are located 3-25 miles from the park. Large shopping centers, movie theaters, large grocery stores, are located 80 miles from the park in Cedar City, UT. The park is an isolated area in which the communities are small. There is a visitor shuttle that runs Memorial through Labor Day (hours are usually morning through early evening) throughout the north end of the park and to Ruby’s Inn. There is a regional airport in Cedar City although many employees fly in and out of Las Vegas or Salt Lake City (both 4.5 hours away) to save money.
This project will focus on the astronomy education opportunities provided by Bryce Canyon National Park's amazingly clear and dark skies. Bryce Canyon is the ultimate place to learn about and enjoy the splendor of the night sky. Far from the light pollution of civilization, and protected by a special force of park rangers and volunteer astronomers known as "The Dark Rangers," Bryce Canyon is the last grand sanctuary of natural darkness. The night sky at Bryce is so dark we can see 7500 stars on a moonless night! Here, Venus will cause you to cast a shadow! The participant will also deal with the park's great geologic features and resources. The park is located in the Colorado Plateau region of the United States at the top of the Grand Staircase. Bryce Canyon is located on the Paunsaugunt Plateau and forms multiple amphitheaters with oddly shaped pinnacles (hoodoos) protruding from within the amphitheaters. Erosion shaped the area, leaving a fascinating landscape. Bryce Canyon ranges from 6,000 to 9,000 feet in elevation. The vegetation ranges from pinyon/juniper in the low elevations through ponderosa pine forest up to spruce/fir forests at the highest elevations. There are abundant outdoor recreational opportunities within a few hours drive of the park - hiking, fishing, camping, backpacking, and more. Summer weather can be cool (sometimes even below freezing at night) with highs reaching into the low 90’s. For more information, look at
Work Environment: The participant will work out of the Bryce Canyon visitor center/headquarters during development of projects. Work Schedule will be alternating weeks of 4 and 5 9-hr. days thus creating 3-day weekends every other weekend. However weekends might not fall on Saturday and Sunday. There will be the opportunity to work with visiting researchers as well as other astronomers, geologists, and climate specialists, some of whom are on the park's staff.
# of current Applicants: 12

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: Kevin Poe
Title: Supervisory Park Ranger
Street Address: Bryce Canyon NP PO Box 640201 Hwy 63 Visitor Center Bldg#1
City/State/Zip: Bryce Canyon, UT 84776
Phone: (435) 834-4742
Contact Name: Dan Ng
Title: Chief of Interpretation
Street Address: Bryce Canyon NP PO Box 640201 Hwy 63 Visitor Center Bldg #1
City/State/Zip: Bryce Canyon, UT 84776
Phone: (435) 834-4740