Internship in ecological restoration monitoring and evaluation

Agriculture Sciences, Geography and/or Geology, Natural Sciences
Latvia
Riga
Period: 
1 May, 2022 to 31 Jul, 2022
Deadline: 
30 Nov, 2021

General information

Duration: 
3 months
Commitment: 
3-4 days per week
Description: 

Latvian Fund for Nature and University of Latvia offer a unique internship position for natural sciences Master student interested in working with grassland habitat inventories and monitoring, evaluation, and work with databases. You will have an opportunity to participate in the project GrassLIFE, which is a nation-wide grassland restoration project, dealing with EU priority grassland habitats.

Interns will be provided with the initial training in plant identification upon starting the internship and afterwards tasked with independent work under a supervision of an experienced grassland habitat expert. The main scope will be to participate in the monitoring and evaluation of semi-natural grassland restoration success in project GrassLIFE. The work will involve extensive field work, working outdoors in various weather conditions. We will provide interns with means of transport and will cover the transport costs while working in the field (if those costs would not be covered by Erasmus or other scholarship).

We offer a unique opportunity to participate in the hands-on plant identification work and become a part of a grassland restoration and management team. You will acquire practical skills in identification and monitoring of grassland plant species and data analysis.

Detailed description of main tasks:

Task 1: field work, grassland habitat monitoring (temporal frame: 2-4 days a week during the field work season – end of May-July)
Intern duties will focus primarily on assisting in the field surveys in after-restoration monitoring: counts of plant species cover in permanent and semi-permanent plots (standard methodology for vegetation description), counts of Rhinanthus seedlings. Other duties may include miscellaneous tasks, as needed, to support the monitoring sites, e.g. sward management in experimental plots (grass cutting, weeding).

Task 2: data entry and analysis in the office (temporal frame: 4 days a week in May, 2 days a week or less during the field work season – end of May-July)
Intern duties will focus on field data input into Turboveg database and data handling for statistical analysis. Other duties may include assisting in statistical analysis of vegetation plot and soil data by multidimensional methods (NMS, DCA, RDA, CCA), creating graphs and diagrams to visualise the results, reviewing scientific literature on restoration issues.

Possible additional tasks:
3) fieldwork with removal of invasive plant species;
4) fieldwork with plant species identification in urban grasslands;
5) fieldwork with collecting seeds in grasslands.

Compensation: 
No financial compensation
Years of Experience required: 
Yes

Additional Information

The internship is UNPAID, priority will be given to applicants who are part or are planning to apply for Erasmus Plus or other scholarship. Legal eligibility to work in the EU is a must. Foreign students should be covered by the health and travel insurance from their home country. Option for Master’s Thesis Application of SER ecological recovery wheel to evaluate the success of ecological restoration in LIFE projects: GrassLIFE case. The aim of the thesis would be to evaluate the success of grassland ecological restoration in terms of ecological recovery achieved during the implementation of the LIFE project GrassLIFE. Tasks would include (1) development of the initial state wheel based on analysis of project materials in project preparatory actions; (2) evaluation of ecological recovery based on field monitoring data, and (3) analysis of evironmental and social factors governing the success of ecological restoration. References for further reading: https://seraustralasia.com/wheel/wheel.html https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/26270343.pdf https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/rec.13149
Requirements
Languages: 
English: Independent User B2
Level of Studies: 
Master
Skills: 
Drivers licence (EU category B)
Basic knowledge in plant species determination
Knowledge of ecology of semi-natural grassland ecosystems
Research skills
Interpersonal skills - being able to work independently, as well as working in team; proactivity
Working knowledge of Latin for species identification would be an advantage