Amphibian and Reptile Surveys, and Field Guide Internship in the Santa Crus Mountains

Mentor & Lab: UC Santa Cruz Natural Reserves 

Positions: 1 interns

Tentative dates: Spring and summer 2022

Project Location: UCSC main campus (office) and Santa Cruz Mountains (field)

Project Background: San Vicente Redwoods is an approximately 8,000 acre protected area in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The site is owned and managed by local non-profit groups who are working to steward the land, conduct wildlife inventories, and promote sustainable management and access. As part of this effort, Sempervirens Fund is interested in conducting an assessment of amphibian and reptile species that occur on the property and creating a field guide of those species. This internship will play a lead role in developing and implementing a monitoring effort as well as creating an amphibian and reptile field guide for the property.

Intern duties: Interns will spend up to 3 days each week in the field conducting amphibian and reptile surveys. Surveys will consist of a variety of methods including flipping woody debris, conducting night-time eye shine surveys, using aquatic sampling methods (e.g. dip nets and seines) and characterizing and quantifying habitat. Interns will also work in office approximately two days each week to help with data processing and analysis, mapping, and creating a field guide of the amphibians and reptiles on San Vicente property. The Camino intern will engage in one or more of the following projects: 

  1. Conduct field surveys (day and night)
  2. Use ArcGis and or Google earth to create habitat and locality maps
  3. Use Microsoft Word and or various Adobe programs to create an amphibian and reptile field guide.
  4. Write a research paper on your findings.
  5. In addition to assisting with ongoing survey effort the Camino intern will have the option to develop an independent project based on their research interests.

Intern qualifications: We are seeking a highly motivated, enthusiastic, and independent intern that is interested in both field and office based research related to ecology and conservation. Our intern should be comfortable spending long days (and occasional nights) in the field, hiking off-trail through brush and poison oak, often under harsh weather conditions and carrying a backpack. Our intern should also be computer literate and comfortable with basic computer programs. Previous field experience and familiarity with GIS and InDesign is a plus but not required.

Do you recommend the intern(s) volunteer in your lab during Spring quarter?
Yes, it would be great to meet you during the spring quarter so that you can start some of the survey efforts while amphibians are more likely to be present (i.e. when it is wet). Work schedule and time can be flexible.

UC Santa Cruz Land Acknowledgement

The land from which we base our work is the unceded territory of the Awaswas-speaking Uypi Tribe. The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, comprised of the descendants of indigenous people taken to missions Santa Cruz and San Juan Bautista during Spanish colonization of the Central Coast, is today working hard to restore traditional stewardship practices on these lands and heal from historical trauma.