Golden Spike National Historical Park

Biology Assistant

Project Description: The SIP intern will be an integral member of this park's resource management team. The primary objective of this internship is to build on existing knowledge of vegetation resources in the park through inventory and mapping of invasive plant species throughout Golden Spike NHP. Several invasive plants are rapidly expanding changing the historic landscape of the park and becoming a seed bank that may be making it harder for local land owners to suppress them. Enacted in 2019 the Dingell Act requires the park to work with local land owners to address invasive species in the park. Though some data has been gathered on the presence and density of problematic invasive plants at the park, the park critically needs a high quality inventory of priority invasive species in order to make sound management decisions on their control, and expand visitor understanding and education. The intern will inventory large portions of the Park (at least 70% of the effort), with a particular focus on species the park has designated as EDRR (Early Detection Rapid Response) species that can be removed before they cause larger problems. The intern will work closely with the Northern Rocky Mountain Invasive Plant Management Team (NRM IPMT) to share this inventory and develop a treatment plan that offers the park clear, strategic, and achievable objectives for future invasive plant management (25% of effort). Finally, the intern will work with park partners to disseminate this information to local stakeholders, staff and the visiting public (5% of effort). Being primarily a cultural resource park, Golden Spike NHP has very limited resources or staff members that have the botanical expertise to conduct this type of work.

Work Products:

1. A written standard operating procedure (SOP) for this inventory (process);

2. Digital records of field work completed including a GIS database of invasive species inventory locations. (field data collection);

3. Communications and engagement with NPS regional teams on the development of a strategic treatment/implementation plan (data transfer);

4. Outreach materials for public weed prevention and education. 5. Weed management SOP/planning documents (if time allows)