For the past four years, the
Grand Canyon National Park Foundation has provided funding for Polk Science
Fellowships, internship opportunities for top-level graduate students to work on
important park projects. This program offers invaluable field experience to the
interns while at the same time augmenting the park’s science staff. The
fellowships also introduce talented young scientists to careers with the
National Park Service. Since the program began in 2001, six Polk Fellows have
chosen to continue with the Park Service as employees or consultants. In 2004
two Polk Fellows worked with the condor project, one with the tamarisk component
of invasive species control, and one with the mesocarnivore project.
In 2004, the Foundation
initiated the Jeffrey Cook Internship for Archaeology with a generous
contribution from the Jeffrey R. Cook Charitable Trust. Grand Canyon National
Park contains an estimated 50,000 archaeological sites. To date only about
4,500 of these sites have been recorded – still an astonishing number. In 2004
our first Cook intern compiled a comprehensive “status of the resource” report
for a select group of fifty-two sites. In addition she helped with the
excavation of a pit house, participated in inventory surveys on the South Rim
and assisted with site monitoring of backcountry sites accessed from the
This summer the Foundation is
delighted to welcome our 2005 Polk and Cook Fellows, Kate Rutherford and Jessie
Kate will spend three months
this summer working with the National Park Service staff studying Desert Bighorn
Sheep in Grand Canyon. She will observe and document the movement patterns,
habitat, forge patterns and population dynamics of the Park’s sheep both along
the river corridor and in the remote backcountry. Kate grew up in the Alaskan
bush and now comes to us with a degree in field biology from Colorado College in
Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Jessie will be involved in
the Vanishing Treasures program with Grand Canyon National Park Service
archaeologist. The Vanishing Treasures initiatives preserve Park
archeological ruins that have original and intact architecture. Jessie will
conduct condition assessments of the Vanishing Treasures sites in the
Park’s backcountry, complete computerized data entry of field information and
help develop treatment recommendations and scopes of work for sites requiring
stabilization. Jessie recently graduated Magna Cum Laude with a
Batchelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Tennessee in
Knoxville. She is not a newcomer to the National Park Service; during her
undergraduate studies, she worked with the Student Conservation Association as
an archaeological intern at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Two projects have been designated for 2005 of the fellowship program; the first of which will run from June 1 – August 17. GCNPF is currently seeking applicants to fill this summer position for the assignments below. A second internship for Invasive Species will begin on August 15. Contact the GCNPF office for further information.
Congratulations to these two fine interns!
wish them the best
their endeavors and adventures
Grand Canyon this summer!