The Fire Ecology Program seeks to provide field and laboratory experience for college students and recent graduates in the areas of plant ecology, ecosystem ecology, and fire ecology and science. Our research focus includes effects of fire regime on plant communities, soil chemistry, carbon sequestration, and fire behavior in southern pine forests and hardwood bottomland forests, effects of prescribed fire on air quality, and natural history of the local region.
Most internships last 8-16 weeks and are largely fieldwork based. Specific activities vary from year to year.
- Summer interns (May-August): Summer interns are usually focused on fieldwork in pine grasslands, with emphasis on identifying, measuring, and collecting plants to characterize changes in vegetation in response to fire regime or land-use history. Summer interns also often help with prescribed burns and collect associated fire effects and fire behavior data.
- Fall interns (October-December): Every other year we hire fall interns. Fall interns are focused on measuring trees for a long-term census in an old-growth beech magnolia forest.
In addition to the above tasks, interns may also help with mapping burned areas with a GPS unit, entering and processing data using database and GIS software, entering data in Excel or Access, collecting and processing soil samples, adding information to a database on local native plants, and drying and weighing fuels.
Applicants should be college students or recent graduates in biology, wildlife, forestry, natural resources, environmental studies/science, or related fields and have an interest in a career in natural resources. Applicants will be evaluated based on the potential benefit of the experience to his or her career plans and satisfactory references regarding work habits, professionalism, attitude, and physical fitness, as work is sometimes strenuous and conducted in difficult outdoor conditions. Employment will be contingent upon passing a driver’s record background check (no points on driver’s record for the past 3 years) for insurance purposes, although exceptions are sometimes made. We encourage students of varying backgrounds to apply. Deaf and hard-of-hearing applicants are welcome.
Internships are technically unpaid but provide a stipend of $230 per week. Limited on-site housing is available at no cost to full-time interns; a $55 deposit is required ($50 for the house, $5 for keys). For interns that commute, some compensation is provided. Interns will be expected to work full 8 hour days (8-4:30, with a half hour lunch).
Summer internships: Review of applications begins March 1 each year and are filled as appropriate candidates are found.
Fall internships: Review of applications begins August 1 each year and positions are filled as appropriate candidates are found. The internships run for about two months, beginning around mid September.
To apply, please submit:
- A resume
- A 1-2 pg. cover letter describing your qualifications, interests, and how you expect the experience to benefit your career. At the end of the cover letter, please be sure to state the beginning and ending date of your availability and note whether or not you require housing on station.
- Updated academic transcript (does not have to be official).
- Full contact information for two or more references from previous employers or educators.
- Photocopy of your driver’s license (we require no points on the driver’s record for driving work vehicles).
Email application materials to: Cinnamon Dixon
Cinnamon Dixon, Fire Ecologist
13093 Henry Beadel Road
Tallahassee, FL 32312