Thursday, April 26, 2012

Summer internship with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

CCA Texas is funding a paid summer internship (in conjunction with TAMUG) at the Dickinson Lab and at the other three (Port O’Connor, Port Arthur and Palacios) field offices.

Here are links to the posting and application: Job Descriptions/TPWD - Balboa.html

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Drought and salinity in brackish marshes

Since January 2009, we have been monitoring many biotic and abiotic characteristics of restored and reference brackish marshes near Port Arthur, Texas. For the first 2.5 years, the water salinity was always less than 15 ppt, but the exceptional drought last summer dramatically changed that. Salinities in June 2011 were near 25 ppt, nearly five times greater than typical June levels of about 5 ppt. This huge increase corresponded with the disappearance of most of the aquatic fish and invertebrates, and replacement with a few individuals of some marine species like white shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus).

2012 has brought the return of more typical salinity levels. Will the fauna recover as well? We'll be monitoring that over the summer, so stay tuned...

Water column salinity from January 2009 through April 2012 at a brackish marsh near Port Arthur and Sabine Lake, Texas. We monitored four restored areas (excavated, filled, pumped, and terrace), and one reference area. All areas were similar to each other but showed very strong responses to the exceptional drought in Texas in summer 2011 (see map below).
Map showing drought levels in the U.S. on June 21, 2011 (see for archived maps). The darkest red color covering most of Texas represents the highest possible level of drought - "Exceptional Drought." In Texas, this condition persisted for months.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Internships for undergrads with the National Park Service

Ten week summer job/service opportunity at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve's Barataria Preserve.  They will be hiring an AmeriCorps Environmental Steward whose work will focus on a Giant Salvinia bio-control program.  The ideal candidate will already have some experience with invasive species ecology and/or management issues and will be familiar with the coastal wetland landscape in which the Preserve is located.  Here is a bit of information about the project:
The Summer 2012 Environmental Steward at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve’s Barataria Preserve will engage an invasive species management project.  The Steward’s comprehensive goal is to develop our Giant Salvinia bio-control effort into a vibrant integrative program addressing Park resource management and interpretive needs and involving Park volunteers.  Giant Salvinia (Salvinia molesta), a floating aquatic fern native to the Amazon Basin, invaded the Preserve in 2006 and its populations now cover most Preserve waterways for much of the year.  It exhibits classic invasive species attributes and its environmental impacts cascade from shifts in key abiotic conditions to community and ecosystem properties.  It is a severe nuisance to boaters and fishers.  Key elements of the Steward’s summer work include sustaining the introduction and distribution of the weevil bio-control agent in selected waterways, developing and implementing a monitoring protocol assessing Giant Salvinia coverage and weevil populations in these waterways, coordinating Park volunteer effort on this project, producing weekly reports on waterway accessibility for Park staff and the public, and developing interpretive guides and/or programs communicating the need for, aims of, and status of this Park project.

  The application itself is available on-line at  Students, please note that to show interest in THIS specific stewardship, you will need to indicate that on your application!  The national program website is

Monday, April 16, 2012

BioBlitz on Earth Day

Take the family to the BioBlitz, hosted by the Bayou Land Conservancy.
Saturday, April 21st 9:00 – 11:30 A.M.
Spring Creek Greenway Nature Center
1300 Riley Fuzzel Road
Spring, TX 77386

More information can be found here.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Graduate Internships with TCWP

This summer the Texas Coastal Watershed Program (TCWP) will be hiring several graduate student interns. TCWP is a program of Texas A&M University that works on projects related to planning, water quality, public education, and environmental management. The program is located in Houston, TX. Graduate students in planning, coastal science, environmental management, and geography programs are encouraged to apply. Interns will assist the office in developing the Highland Bayou Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) and other projects as needed. Task assignments will depend upon the skill set of the intern. WPP tasks will involve writing, research, and work in GIS, excel, and access. Public outreach tasks will involve working directly with stakeholders and volunteers, event coordination, social media, website updates, and meeting support. All positions requires solid organization and writing skills. The position begins in May with a flexible start date, and the position ends in late August.  Compensation is hourly, and positions can be part time or full time. Employment will be at the office in Houston. Applicants should submit a resume, a 1-page cover letter, and a 2-page (max) writing sample. Application packets or questions about the positions can be sent to, subject line: tcwp internship. Website:,

Monday, April 9, 2012

Research Assistant position in the Wetlands Lab

Research Assistant position in the Wetlands Lab

The research assistant will coordinate laboratory analyses and field sampling of plant and animal communities in restored coastal marshes in Galveston and Port Arthur, TX. Field work will include deployment of nets and field experiments from airboats and pirogues. Laboratory tasks will include sorting, grinding, reducing, and analyzing of plant, soil, water, and animal samples. Sample processing will include some analytical procedures using a variety of laboratory equipment, such as nutrient and pigment analyses. Additional tasks will include reading and recording results in accordance with standard procedures, data entry and associated computer activities, writing reports, supervising student workers, and performing related duties as required.
Occasional duties will include assisting with field work in other coastal habitat on the Texas coast.

Physical requirements necessary to perform essential duties:
Standing for long periods of time, long periods of walking, lifting 50 lbs, squatting, kneeling, bending. Outdoor activities may take place in muddy, hot conditions.

Education qualifications/training required:
Related college courses in plant and community ecology. BS or higher in biology or related field required; M.S. desired. Work experience (two years) in coastal habitats, familiarity with marsh ecology; experience with soil, water, and plant analytical protocols.
40 hours/week, flexible work schedule. Some long field days and occasional weekend work may be required.

Salary: $2100/month
Start date: Immediate

Armand Bayou volunteer orientation

NEW VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION for Armand Bayou Nature Center: April 21 and April 28 
Volunteers are critical to the ABNC education and stewardship mission. They need volunteers for a wide variety of fun and important jobs, from teaching to maintenance, from science to administration, indoor, outdoor, regular assignments, special projects...there is a job for you. Find out how your talents and skills can be applied. No skills? No problem. They'll train you. Find out about training and the benefits of volunteer service. Join them for Orientation on Saturday April 21 from 9:00AM to 2:00PM (they'll even provide lunch!) and Basic Training on Saturday April 28 from 9:00AM to 2:00PM.

Please let them know you are coming. Pick up a Volunteer Application at ABNC or reserve your seat by calling 281-474-2551 x 10.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Post-doctoral position in Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Propagation Research in Ocean Springs, MS

A post-doctoral position is immediately available at The University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, located in Ocean Springs MS, in the Center for Plant Restoration and Coastal Plant Research (CPR), headed by Dr Patrick Biber ( Our research group is interested in developing protocols to propagate Vallisneria and Ruppia in a nursery setting, for future restoration projects in the Northern Gulf of Mexico related to the 2010 oil spill. Existing facilities include 4 incubation chambers, a laminar-flow hood, a large dedicated wet-lab with aquaria and high-output growlights, as well as extensive outdoor mesocosms for large scale growout.

Candidates require a PhD with a strong background in plant ecology or reproductive biology in aquatic systems, and proven experience in one or more of the following fields: plant propagation, SAV restoration, micropropagation, or plant biology. He/she will be responsible for leading a team of scientists and technicians in all aspects of the state-funded project including: the experimental data collections, the analysis and synthesis of this data with other ongoing projects, and the publication of findings in leading research journals.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please upload your application to
Documents must include your CV, a cover letter outlining your research experience and interests, and contact information for 3 references. Please also forward a copy of your completed application by e-mail to  Closing date is May 30, 2012 or when the position is filled.