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Field Research and Communications Intern - Colorado Fourteeners Initiative

Brief Description of Agency or Firm's Mission:
Colorado Fourteeners Initiative was founded in 1994 to preserve and protect the natural integrity of the state’s 54 peaks exceeding 14,000 feet—the “Fourteeners” (or “14ers”)—through active stewardship and public education. To date CFI has built 31 sustainably designed summit trails on 28 peaks and has engaged an average of more than 1500 volunteer days of trail stewardship annually.

Describe the value of the proposed Internship to the Agency/Firm:
The CLIMB intern will augment a lean core staff of six full-time employees during CFI’s busiest period—the brief, snow-free summer months when the high-alpine 14ers are available for trail reconstruction, vegetation restoration, research and hiker education. The intern will play an important role in helping collect data from 22 remote monitoring sites on the 14ers using compact infrared trail counters. Data collected will integrate into CFI’s “Sustainable Trails Program” that tracks on-the-ground conditions on 14er summit trails based on the amount of hiking use, trail reconstruction and maintenance work performed and impacts from erosion. The intern will also assist in the production of around 10 educational videos regarding mountain safety and other 14er-related topics, including helping in transcribing footage for editing purposes. The intern will assist with regular website updates and social media posts from CFI’s 20+ seasonal field staff regarding the progress of season-long trail reconstruction efforts, short-term volunteer trail maintenance projects and other timely activities. Communication channels include Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, CFI’s crew blog and quarterly email newsletters. The intern will also research donors and participate in a few fundraising efforts over the course of the summer to help bring in needed revenue.

Describe the value of the proposed Internship to the Intern:
CFI is the nation’s premiere alpine trail-building organization, with multiple awards and accolades received from several organizations over its 25-year history. The intern will work with a talented team of passionate, multi-talented individuals who will provide regular opportunities to understand what is involved in running a small, conservation-oriented nonprofit. The intern will get to interact with 14er hikers, participate in fundraising events with high-profile supporters, and meet periodically with Forest Service agency staff. The intern will get to work on an innovative field research project that is gaining significant attention within state and federal land managers regarding management of one of the country’s most technical trail networks.

Job Description (should include: hours of work, job responsibilities, reporting structure -- chain of command, a description of the intern's "typical" day):
This internship will be an ideal fit for an active, outdoor oriented individual in great shape who will need to do long day hikes/climbs and a few multi-day, overnight backpacking trips to remote locations for several days at a time as part of the data collection process. The intern will split time between the field and CFI’s Golden office. This schedule will vary by week throughout the summer. The field research involves placement of trail counters with an exacting attention to detail to ensure accurate counts. Some onsite observational monitoring may also be needed to test the accuracy of the counters. In the office, the intern will help core staff with marketing, communications and outreach campaigns, while also contributing time towards extracting important information from CFI’s donor database for reporting and fundraising. The successful applicant will be a strong communicator in written, visual and oral forms. The hiking use research work involves a high degree of data analysis and strong experiential knowledge of the R Studio program.

Management Goals: (should include: role of supervisor, frequency of intermediate reviews, expectations of intern, and an explanation of how the intern fits into the organization's goals -- please indicate whether supervisor works full-time or part-time): The intern will work closely with CFI’s six-member staff throughout the summer. Most contact will be with the Executive Director and Development/Communications Manager, both of which are full-time positions. Some field work may be under the direction of CFI’s Field Programs Director. The intern will be integrated fully into the CFI office structure and will be subject to organizational policies and procedures affecting all employees. Upon arrival, the intern will meet with the Executive Director to map out expectations so that the internship is productive for CFI and a valuable learning opportunity for the intern. Feedback will be ongoing throughout the internship. The position is full time and requires extensive travel and time away from the Denver metro area, occasionally missing group CLIMB activities.

Special Job Requirements (i.e. transportation, language, technical or other skills):
The emphasis on field work in this position means that any applicant must be fit, capable of hiking for five hours in mountainous environments and lifting 25+ pound rocks. Many of the field trips will involve overnight backpacking and camping in remote locations. The applicant will be expected to provide his/her own personal hiking and backpacking gear. The intern must also have a valid driver’s license and a personal vehicle for transportation to and from CFI’s Golden office—often for pre-dawn departures to the mountains—which is about 15 miles from downtown Denver. Candidates should possess strong research, data analysis and communication skills.

Additional Information:
Please submit a cover letter, professional resume and list of relevant field research and/or outdoor/backpacking/climbing experience. All materials must be submitted electronically via Handshake.

Students from previous year -- 2018: Nick Dahl (Yale) 2017: Claire Gomba (Middlebury) ; 2016: Emily Barnes (Yale); 2015: Brandon Morgan (Yale), 2014: Morgan Childs (Middlebury), 2013: Nathan Kowalski (Middlebury)
Student from previous year's email -- Nick.dahl@yale.edu; cgomba@middlebury.edu; Emily.Barnes@yale.edu; Brandon.morgan@yale.edu, mochilds55@gmail.com, nkowalski@middlebury.edu

Additional Information:
Please submit a cover letter, professional resume and list of relevant field research and/or outdoor/backpacking/climbing experience. All materials must be submitted electronically through Handshake.
Please address cover letter to:
Mr. Lloyd Athearn
Colorado Fourteeners Initiative
1600 Jackson St, Suite 205
Golden, CO 80401