Environmental Science
Government and Policy

Ecosystem Management Intern

Paid, $12/hour; plus mileage for your personal vehicle use40 hoursPhiladelphiaSpring Semester


This internship will include two separate ecosystem management project types; Invasive plant control (March 15 to May 1) and Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) suppression (May 1 to August 30).

Invasive plant control (March to May)
Philadelphia parks have been subject to the introduction of numerous species of invasive plants, including many species of trees, shrubs and vines. Interns will cut these invasive woody plants near ground level (and cut vines again at 6 ft above ground level), then treat the cut base with a systemic herbicide (Garlon 4), which will kill the plant’s root. Interns will be equipped with cutting tools (electric chainsaws, handsaws, loppers and hand pruners) and 2-quart herbicide sprayer. A single crew of 2-4 interns will perform this work.

EAB Suppression (May through August)
All North American ash species are susceptible to attack and eventual death following infestation by the emerald ash borer, an insect pest introduced from Asia. EAB is currently infesting trees in Philadelphia, and will eventually kill these trees, unless they are individually protected. Trees can be protected by injecting an insecticide (Emamectin benzoate) directly into the base of the tree. In an effort to save some of our park's ash trees, PPR interns treated approximately 1300 ash trees during summer 2015/2016. These same trees must now be re-treated to continue to protect them from EAB. Interns will systemically treat these individual trees using a micro-injection technique. Treatment data on each tree will be collected on electronic tablets. Two crews of two interns will perform this work.

Interns will receive field training on plant identification and also be trained as PA Dept of Agriculture “Registered Pesticide Application Technicians” prior to beginning invasive plant control and EAB suppression field work.

Specific Responsibilities:
 Work with PPR staff to obtain the Registered Pesticide Technician license.
 Learn to identify a variety of Philadelphia forest plants, both native and non-native/invasive.
 Drive to various sites throughout the park system to control plants/treat ash trees.
 Use sharp cutting tools, including chain saws, to cut invasive trees, shrubs and vines and to clear the base of ash trees
 Learn the skills required to properly measure trees, calculate quantities and use micro injection equipment
 Use pesticides safely and carefully to minimize personal and environmental exposure
 Maintain and care for field equipment, including micro injection equipment, hand tools and herbicide sprayers
 Use I-Pad Tablet to collect field data
 Work in a logical and consistent manner to maximize productivity.
 Communicate regularly with PPR Project Manager and courteously with citizens.

Compensation: $12/hour; plus mileage for your personal vehicle use. Mileage will be paid at a rate of approx. $0.50/mile for driving between project sites. The actual mileage rate will be based on the federal standard for business travel. A regular work week will be 40 hours (5 days @ 8 hours per day). Work day to begin at 7:30 AM.


 Must be a resident of the City of Philadelphia.
 Availability to commit to working for duration of project (approx. March 15 – August 30, 2018).
 Willingness to obtain the PA Registered Pesticide Application Technician training and apply pesticides.
 Ability to work in field conditions, carry equipment, and walk long distances over variable terrain.
 Familiar with electronic data collection and equipment use.
 Valid driver’s License. A vehicle will be required by each intern. PPR cannot provide transportation.

How to Apply: Send resume and brief cover letter to by February 16, 2018. For questions contact Curtis Helm, Project Manager, at 215-683-0239.