Jim Porter Conservation Internship Program

Jim Porter Conservation Internship Program

Memorial Park Conservancy is proud to have the opportunity to offer the Jim Porter Conservation Internship for the Summer 2020. The selected intern will conduct natural resource research and participate in the conservation programs at Memorial Park. Jim Porter served as Memorial Park Conservancy Board Chair from 2012 to 2015, leading the organization to deliver the 2015 Memorial Park Master Plan. During his time as Board Chair, Jim built a top-tier staff and Board of Directors and laid the foundation for Memorial Park Conservancy to care for Memorial Park. He was an avid birder and lover of nature who mentored others through his appreciation of the Park’s natural resources.

This internship will allow a Masters/Undergraduate student to work with Memorial Park Conservancy staff using research to inform ecological restoration and conservation management. The objective is to bring academic skills and resources to Memorial Park, benefiting all Houstonians.

The Jim Porter Conservation Intern will focus on real-world conservation, natural resource management, and program development experiences that bridge research and practical application. The primary focus of the program is on ecological restoration and natural resource management associated with Memorial Park Master Plan implementation and communicating the ecologies of this urban wilderness park.

Objectives for the intern include production of meaningful data sets, review of and input on developing reliable and systematic methodological designs, and producing relevant manuals, lab notebooks, reports, videos, and presentation materials. Specific research projects are flexible and will be matched to the selected intern skills and interests to ensure successful experiences. Potential projects are listed below.

Intern will work directly with Daniel Walton, the Conservation Forestry Manager, and Staff.

Intern also have the opportunity to shadow relevant staff and work with them as needed.

Priority will be given to full-time, 10-week, paid internships in the summer 2020. Interns spend 60% time on research projects; 20% time shadowing Conservancy staff; and 20% time in operations and park management. Interns will complete weekly reports on research progress and develop a written report and compendium of data, maps, etc. They will also make a formal presentation at the end of the summer.

Summer 2020 Potential Projects:

  • Rapid Assessment Monitoring of Forest Habitat within Memorial Park
  • Forest Health & Biodiversity Planning and Execution – Opportunities and Constraints Analysis
  • Soils Analysis of Forested Management Units
  • Wildlife Uses of Memorial Park

Program Timelines:

  • For consideration, please apply by March 15, 2020
  • Interviews will occur April 8 and 10, 2020
  • Summer Intern program: May 26 – July 31, 2020
  • Research Presentation Workshop: July 31, 2020

Who Should Apply:

Undergraduate and Master’s students studying:

  • Parks and Recreation
  • Natural Resource Management
  • GIS/Planning
  • Forestry/Urban Forestry
  • Biology
  • Botany
  • Wildlife and Fisheries
  • Soils
  • Watershed management
  • Environmental Education

Interns should:

  • Have ability and willingness to work outdoors in a variety of weather circumstances.
  • Have ability to lift 50 pounds.
  • Have a basic understanding or interest in the urban natural environment.
  • Have writing, research, and technology skills.
  • Have the ability to engage in problem solving and work independently and as part of teams.
  • Contribute at least two key project specific skills such as:
    • GIS, Google maps, Google earth
    • Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher
    • Knowledge of plants, trees, wildlife, soils, etc.
    • Photography skills
    • Experience in archival processing, conservation techniques and digitization related to library, museums, or historical studies
    • Data collection or analysis experience
    • Other relevant project skills

One (1) Jim Porter Conservation Intern will be selected.

Interested candidates should e-mail (a) a letter of interest addressing your skills, level of interest, and potential contributions, (b) your resume, and (c) 3 references to Daniel Walton, Conservation Forestry Manager at dwalton@memorialparkconservancy.org