NYC Urban Field Station Internship


A partnership between the USDA Forest Service

and the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

with the NYC Natural Areas Conservancy



Jamaica Bay Social and Site Assessment

New York, NY


The New York City Urban Field Station, a partnership between the USDA Forest Service and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, seeks to improve the quality of life in urban areas by conducting and supporting research about social-ecological systems and natural resource management. Efforts focus on promoting natural resource stewardship and ecological literacy within New York City, as well as conducting comparative research that can be shared across a network of urban areas in the United States and beyond. The Natural Areas Conservancy (NAC) is a nonprofit organization that works with NYC Department of Parks & Recreation to restore, protect and manage the network of green and blue space that promotes a healthy, livable, and diverse New York City.


This field season, researchers from the U.S. Forest Service are collaborating with partners at the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation and the Natural Areas Conservancy to integrate social science research methods into a citywide ecological assessment. This Social and Site Assessment will focus on natural areas, open spaces, and neighborhoods in and around Jamaica Bay, where waterways, wetlands, islands, and urban density converge. The assessment seeks to:

  • Explore how communities perceive, value, use, and care for natural areas and open spaces in the area
  • Detect any change in perception, value, use, and management of natural areas as a result of Hurricane Sandy, which caused significant damage to human communities, and grey and green infrastructure, in and around Jamaica Bay.

Methods will include field observation, photographic documentation, and brief interviews with community members encountered in the field.



Field Research Supervisors will:

  • Supervise field research operations of a crew of 10 adults (ages 18-24).
  • Coordinate with other crew supervisors to manage logistics, supervise data collection, and troubleshoot in the field.
  • Coordinate with crew supervisors and other Field Research Coordinators to organize, code, and analyze data at regular intervals.
  • Communicate regularly with NYC Urban Field Station researchers on progress and challenges.


  • Graduate degree in Environmental Management, Environmental Science, Urban Planning, Urban Studies, Community Development, Sociology, Geography, Social Work, or related field (or current student working towards related degree)
  • Desire to work in diverse and dynamic urban environments
  • Ability to problem-solve in the field
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills
  • Strong organization and orientation skills (map-reading, street savvy, GIS familiarity a plus)
  • Experience/interest in social science research methods
  • Driver’s license valid in New York State
  • Flexible schedule—ability to work a few evenings, and some weekend days


  • 12-14 week internship
  • Mid-May through end of August (exact dates flexible).
  • 35 hours per week, 5 days per week
  • 5 day schedule occasionally includes weekend days (not in excess of 35 hours/week).

The FIELD RESEARCH SUPERVISOR will begin training and orientation around the middle of May, 2013. Fieldwork with research crews begins the first week of June.


  • $15/hour

To apply, please submit a letter of interest, a resume, and list of three references

Application review begins April 19, 2013. Position open until filled.