Summer Science Jobs in Alaska
Seasonal science jobs are usually open to advanced undergraduates, graduate students, or professional scientists, although some internships are more flexible.
Many of these jobs are offered by government organizations like the National Park Service (NPS) and the Forest Service, or by supporting organizations. Others are offered by independent research institutes and science centers.
These jobs are competitive and require special knowledge and skills, but can be a great way to see Alaska's backcountry while contributing to important scientific research. Be sure to check out our green collar jobs section if this type of employment is of interest to you.
Also keep in mind that some of these jobs offer stipends or lower pay in exchange for the research experience. Some of these positions will provide housing and meals in lieu of payment, or with a small stipend.
The descriptions below provide the basic information about some common research positions. Keep in mind that most of these positions will require you to work long hours. In some positions you may work several days without a day off. You will have to work as part of a team, so you should be able to get along with and work well with other scientists. In addition, you will often need to know first aid and CPR, or have some ability to hike or work in a rugged terrain or environment. Your fellow researchers may be the only other people you encounter for several days at a time. You must have a very strong interest in the research and the ability to focus on details and scientific methods for long hours at a time.
Seasonal Biologists and Ecologists
Both the government and private research institutes and science centers hire seasonal biologists for plant surveys, population and migration studies, and other scientific jobs. These jobs usually require a lot of work in the field. You may be studying the environmental impacts on a specific type of animal or plant population, or conducting other studies.
Seasonal Geologists and Paleontologists
The NPS, the Forest Service, and other government organizations often hire seasonal geologists and paleontologists. Many of these jobs are offered to undergraduate and graduate students via the GeoCorps™America program or through the federal government's Student Temporary Employment (STEP) program.
Seasonal geoscientists may participate in research, inventory and monitoring projects, mapping, and other outdoor work. This is very good experience for students and can lead to good paying jobs once they graduate.
Soil Scientists and Seasonal Foresters
The USDA Forest Service, a federal agency, sometimes hires seasonal foresters and soil scientists to work in Alaska's national forests. Duties may include conducting surveys and scientific studies.
For more information on park and government jobs, visit JobMonkey's Outdoor Jobs section.