Bird Conservation Database

All supplies and equipment are supplied by the Wildlife Resources Commission. All work-related travel expenses are paid by the Wildlife Resources Commission. All interns are paid overtime in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards act and agency policy. Please note that housing is the responsibility of the intern.

Project Name: Bird Conservation Database

We live in a world of unprecedented information availability; but without structure and context. New technologies are being developed to put these data into a format that is more easily found, shared, and combined with other data (i.e., the semantic web).The modern biologist will have to balance knowledge of natural systems with the ability to harness new technologies to inform the general public about conservation issues, resulting in increased effectiveness of conservation efforts. This internship will provide a unique balance of knowledge of web technologies and of biological concepts to compile and make available structured data related to bird conservation and the conservation community at large. The successful intern will be responsible for assisting in the design, building, and population of a bird conservation database, mapping relationships between researchers, conservation plans, bird species, habitats, and conservation organizations/initiatives. The resulting database will be a resource for conservation professionals and laypeople, providing a map of bird conservation in North Carolina and beyond. The goal is to provide an overall picture of the key biological relationships between species and their habitats as well as working relationships between conservation professionals and organizations. This project will result in a fully-developed framework for populating bird conservation data. These data will be publicly available in a user-friendly format on the NC Partners in Flight website. Development of the database will include assisting in research of semantic web platforms (e.g., freebase, mediawiki, etc.) writing full documentation of the resulting database structure (with examples), and populating the database with data for evaluation.


Objective:

With the project supervisor, design and build a  database of bird conservation  structure, mapping relationships between researchers, conservation plans, bird species, habitats, and conservation organizations/initiatives. The resulting database will be publicly available resource for conservation professionals and laypeople, providing a map of bird conservation in North Carolina and beyond. The goal is to provide an overall picture of the key relationships between species and their habitats as well as current activities in conservation of these species/habitats. 


Project Location:

County: Wake

Location: This position will be either in the Raleigh Office or in a home office, depending on availability.

Location Description: Home Office within the work area; Raleigh Office


Academic Majors:

Biology, Wildlife, Zoology, Computer Science


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required:

  • Basic knowledge of wildlife conservation principles
  • Familiarity with basic web page technologies (HTML)
  • Familiarity with relational database concept
  • Ability to work independently
  • Enthusiasm for the project

Tasks and Duties:

  • Assist the project supervisor to devise and test the best platform and structure for a low-cost, publically-accessible database of bird conservation relationships. (20%)
  • Research potential database models/platforms (e.g., freebase, wikipedia, etc.) and evaluate their appropriateness to the task. Potential platforms should be low-/no- cost, publicly available, and easy to use (10%)
  • Write documentation of the selection process and of the resulting database. (10%)
  • Enter some subset of data into the database structure. (50%)
  • Evaluate the framework developed; suggest improvements. (5%)
  • Participate in field activities of ongoing research projects (5%)

Travel Required:

No travel required


Work Schedule:

Weekdays (M-F)


Final Product:

This project will result in a fully-developed framework for populating bird conservation data. These data will be publicly available in a user-friendly format on the NC Partners in Flight website (http://www.ncpartnersinflight.org/). Development of the database will include writing full documentation of the decision process, including illustration of the database structure and examples

Knowledge Gained:

  1. Broad knowledge of the bird conservation community and connections between conservation efforts across the state.
  2. Experience working with web technologies such as (freebase[http://www.freebase.com/] and wiki[http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki] software)
  3. Real-world experience evaluating the use of various web technologies for a given task.
  4. Some experience participating in ongoing field research (riparian breeding bird surveys, bachman’s sparrow surveys)

    How to Apply:


    Learn about the application process.