Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy

Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy formed as a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2001. AFC's mission is preserving lands and restoring wildlife habitat in and around urbanized areas of the San Gabriel and Crescenta Valleys, protecting natural areas for birds and wildlife, and providing access and educational experiences for the community. We work with urgency to save these precious places before they are swallowed up by relentless development. Our goals are (1) to steward these unique areas for survival of wildlife and enjoyment by the surrounding communities; (2) to stimulate community service through volunteer participation in restoration and maintenance activities; (3) to offer life-long educational experiences for children and adults; and (4) to ensure in perpetuity the preservation of these environmental "oases" in our ever more complex and hectic world.

AFC has conserved and now stewards properties comprising more than 70 acres of natural open space along the San Gabriel Mountains and San Rafael Hills. Our current services engage the communities surrounding each of our properties and include an interpretive trail and outdoor classroom; monthly habitat restoration events; open gate events and docent-led tours; free field trips; habitat restoration projects; multiple Boy and Girl Scout projects; and a partnership with La Crescenta Public Library resulting in the Rosemont Preserve Photo Exhibition & Speakers’ Series along with the establishment of the first California Native Seed Lending Library. We reach out to disadvantaged youth unable to visit any of our properties with our Wildlife Movement Education Project that installs cameras on our properties to document wildlife movement, and our biologists and educators create free online curriculum about wildlife corridors.

The Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy will benefit from hosting a Princeton intern by training them to assess wildlife corridor use with camera traps, and to develop wildlife corridor educational modules for K-12 classrooms. Additionally, the intern would participate in our regularly scheduled Summer Internship Program, and gain a well-rounded experience in trail building, habitat restoration, and educational hikes and field trips focusing on California’s biodiversity and history.

City/State

Pasadena, CA

Internship Description

Our PICS intern last summer was trained to assess wildlife corridor use with camera traps, and helped to develop wildlife corridor educational modules for K-12 classrooms. Additionally, our PICS intern will participate in our regularly scheduled Summer Internship Program, and gain a well-rounded experience in trail building, habitat restoration, and educational hikes and field trips focusing on California’s biodiversity and history.

Internship #1 Description:

Assessing wildlife corridor use with camera traps – Establishment of suitable corridors for wildlife conservation is a key goal for sustainability as urbanization and habitat modification continue to rise. Yet, identifying ideal sites for corridor placement and management can be challenging, as wildlife remain cryptic when using habitat corridors. This challenge can be overcome with the use of automated camera traps to monitor wildlife movement through putative habitat corridors. In this project, the intern will participate in studying camera trap data from an established transect through the highly urbanized Los Angeles landscape.

The intern will learn how to manage the photo database, upload images to an international network (Urban Wildlife Information Network, UWIN), and analyze a large wildlife image dataset. In addition, the intern will become familiar with urban wildlife corridors, their ecological role, design, and conservation. The intern will be expected to complete an independent project during the 8-week program using the database. Potential projects include but are not limited to: 1) modeling corridors for individual species, 2) analyzing movement patterns through the corridor, 3) quantifying species presence throughout the corridor. The research conducted by the intern will not only contribute to conservation of wildlife in Los Angeles, but will also contribute to a long-term scientific research project.

Internship #2 Description:

Developing wildlife corridor educational modules for K-12 classrooms – Conservation of the world’s wildlife amidst the growing biodiversity crisis requires an informed public. Education is key to developing the public’s understanding of and appreciation for wildlife. Partnerships between local conservation organizations and schools can help students learn about the nature in their own backyards, giving students a stronger connection to and responsibility for protecting wildlife. In this project, the intern will be responsible for developing educational materials for K-12 classrooms for the Wildlife Movement Curriculum, using data from automated camera traps set up through a major wildlife corridor in the highly urbanized Los Angeles landscape.

The intern will create age-appropriate classroom activities centered around wildlife corridors that not only help students learn about wildlife conservation but also bolster STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) curriculum that the students are already learning. Potential educational modules include but are not limited to: 1) identifying and documenting urban wildlife through citizen science, 2) creating graphs from biodiversity data, 3) quantifying geospatial biodiversity data through maps. The educational materials developed will be made available for teachers to download from the AFC website along with instructional materials so that they can easily be used and adapted in any classroom. The intern will learn about important conservation initiatives while at the same time develop skills in creating goal-oriented classroom modules.

# of weeks

Required Dates

Start Time

End Time

Public Transportation

Housing 

Format

8 June 13- Aug. 5, 2022 8:00am 4:00pm No No In-person

Housing Information

We may be able to reach out to our network to identify housing for our PICS intern. Otherwise, other housing accommodations in the area may be necessary for the intern to identify. The intern may also participate remotely for part of the program.

Internship Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have the following experience:

  • Preferably a focus or major in Biology, Environmental Science, or some other field related to the environment, sustainability, or conservation.

Additional or Preferred Qualifications

  • Desire to work in the field
  • Applicant must enjoy being in the mountains, forests, streams and trails
  • Applicant must enjoy hiking and physical labor out in nature.
  • Ability to work both in the field and in the lab/office.

Writing Sample Requirement

None

Special Requirements

None