Scientists in Parks

Experience National Parks

“I think these are incredible opportunities to gauge where your passions and interests are, and what a wonderful place to do it.”
- Jessie Pearl, Summer 2018 Participant at Saguaro National Park


Shari Rohret

Winter 2018 and Summer 2019 Participant,
Aquatic Ecology, Cape Cod National Seashore

A woman in a wet suit smiles with the ocean and buoys in the background.

Shari spent a year investigating how water quality and sediment composition in Pleasant Bay impacts the bay's benthic species communities, including invertebrates. Shari created a detailed understanding of the bay’s ecological baselines by analyzing the physical and biological data she collected in the field. Her work also evaluated how variations in the water quality and nutrient enrichment impact benthic invertebrates living in coastal habitats. As future changes in the coastline environment occur, Shari's work will help evaluate impacts on the structure of benthic species communities, which often support higher trophic levels of the food web. Shari virtually presented her project results at GSA 2020 Connects Online.


Phil Varela

Summer 2019 Participant,
Paleontology, Chaco Culture National Historical Park

A young man stands with a woman in a desert setting with a stone wall structure in the background.

Phil created a comprehensive report of paleontological resources. This involved summarizing & evaluating field data to assess scientifically significant resources, and providing an overview of all paleontological work. Phil updated site databases, worked with the park’s paleontology collections, and provided descriptions of significant paleontological localities. He compiled a comprehensive taxa list and literature review. His final report will help guide future paleontological research, interpretation, and management recommendations for the park. Phil also conducted field checks of paleontological sites, where he gathered photographs, data, and completed site condition assessments.


Hannah Gershone

Winter 2019 and Summer 2020 Participant,
Acoustics and Soundscapes, Grand Canyon National Park

A young woman wearing glasses holds up a horned lizard toward the camera and smiles.

Hannah mobilized the park’s soundscapes program to expand interpretation and research projects during COVID-19. This included using bioacoustics data to understand how species diversity is affected by sound from flight paths over the park. She processed hundreds of hours of overflight data, and completed four field acoustic equipment setups to capture overflight data during COVID-19. Hannah also created training materials for other future soundscapes assistants. Her efforts produced the park’s first soundscape equipment training video, and a manual specifically designed for soundscapes interns.