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Biological Science Intern

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/NM Conservation Corps

Roswell, New Mexico

Job Type AmeriCorps
Salary Details $600/week plus housing and $500 for relocation expenses
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

Start/End Date: Mid-July 2024 to Late June 2025 (anticipated)

Term Length:  49 weeks

Living Stipend: $600/week

Housing: Available onsite at no cost

Reports To: Wildlife Biologist

Location: Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge - 4200 E. Pine Lodge Road, Roswell, NM 88201

Status: 1700-hour AmeriCorps Service Term

Benefits: Relocation assistance $500, details will be provided during the interview process; professional development funds $620; health insurance eligible; Public Lands Corps Certificate* (that allows for competitive hiring for USA jobs/government jobs) and AmeriCorps Education Award $6,895 - both with successful completion of the internship.

AmeriCorps is the federal agency for national service and volunteerism. AmeriCorps provides opportunities for Americans of all backgrounds to serve their country, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, and improve lives and communities. Environmental stewardship programs help conserve natural habitats, improve energy efficiency, protect clean air and water, and help to mitigate the effects of climate change among other environmental efforts.

Conservation Corps New Mexico (CCNM)

Conservation Corps New Mexico, a program of Conservation Legacy and AmeriCorps partner, aims to continue the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930's. CCNM is focused on connecting youth, young adults, and recent era military veterans with conservation service work projects on public lands. CCNM operates programs across New Mexico and Texas that engage individuals and strengthen communities through service and conservation. The CCNM Las Cruces office manages the Individual Placement Program.

Mentorship

These Individual Placement Positions are unique development opportunities. Interns are paired with a local supervisor and gain technical, hands-on experience in the work of these organizations or agencies. Site supervisors commit to facilitate career development; provide an introduction to numerous pathways within the conservation field; and create accessible, meaningful, learning opportunities and experiences for interns.

Position Summary:

Under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), The National Wildlife Refuge System is established to serve a statutory purpose that targets the conservation of native species dependent on its lands and water. All activities on those acres are reviewed for compatibility with this statutory purpose.

The Refuge System deploys a host of scientifically sound management tools to address biological challenges. These tools, which range from active water management to wilderness character monitoring, are all aimed at ensuring a balanced conservation approach that enables wildlife and people to thrive.

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) manages 24,536 acres of spring-fed wetlands and short grass prairie in Southeast New Mexico. The refuge provides important habitat for 10 Threatened and Endangered species and migratory waterfowl.

The selected intern will assist Bitter Lake NWR staff with conducting research and management activities on the Federally Threatened Wright's marsh thistle – an important plant for the spring-fed wetland system on the refuge. Wright’s marsh thistle provides an importance source of food for pollinators and birds and this rare wetland-dependent species was recently discovered to have insect pest(s) consuming the vast majority of its seeds. The intern will map plant locations, map and identify the presence of insects throughout the plant's development, and collect seeds for planting and seed banking. These activities will provide important information on how to conserve this species in the future.

The intern will be mentored by the Refuge Biologist and in addition to assisting with the main project, the intern will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities including invasive species treatments, wetland management, Endangered invertebrate and fish surveys, and wetland bird surveys. Time permitting, the intern will be able to the FWS’ Early Career Conservationists Workshop in Albuquerque, NM in late July. This event will allow the intern to network with other early career professionals and FWS employees. The intern will also get the chance to interact with other partner agencies such as the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the Bureau of Land Management.

Essential Responsibilities and Functions: 

  • Map locations of Threatened plants and insect pests using Arc FieldMaps.
    •  Identify Threatened plants and insect pests.
    •  Manage spatial records in ArcGIS Pro.
    • Develop written protocol for insect pest surveys and seed collection.
  • Wildlife surveys
    • Participate in Waterbird, Endangered invertebrate, and fish surveys.
    • Enter data on datasheets, Survey 123, and Microsoft Excel.
  •  Water quality, air quality, and weather monitoring
    • Conduct water quality monitoring.
    • Change air quality filters.
    • Daily weather monitoring.
    • Enter and manage data on datasheets and Microsoft Excel.
  •  Wetland management
    • Maintain water control structures.
    • Assist with managing water levels in wetlands.

 Trainings Provided:

  • GIS applications as needed.
  • Relevant plant, insect, bird, aquatic invertebrate, and fish identification.
  • YSI water quality probe calibration.
  • Demonstration for operating water control structures.

Working Conditions: Uneven terrain; hiking off trail; heat exhaustion and venomous snakes are of critical concern during this project.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Per federal grant requirements, this internship is for young adults between the ages of 18-30 (35 for veterans), inclusive, at the time the individual begins term of service.
  • Bachelor’s or Associate Degree in Biology, Ecology, Wildlife and Fisheries, or related field.
  • Valid U.S Driver’s License – Drivers must be over 21 or have had a license for at least 3 years.
  • U.S Citizen, U.S National, or Lawful Permanent Resident.
  • Willing to undergo and must pass required criminal history checks.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Familiar with GIS applications.
  • Experience with plant and insect identification.

Physical Requirements:

  • To successfully perform essential functions, the individual is required to sit, stand, walk, speak, hear, etc. May be required to stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl for significant periods of time and be able to safely lift 50 pounds on a routine basis. He/she must be able to operate office equipment, telephone, and computer and reach with hands and arms.
  • Ability to hike and navigate in rough terrain.
  • Reasonable accommodation may be made for qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

Participant Essential Eligibility Requirements/Participation and Expedition Behavior:

  • Work effectively as a member of a team despite potentially stressful and difficult conditions. This may require problem solving on an interpersonal or group level as well as a willingness to accept differences.
  • Contribute to a safe learning environment, no harassment of others for any reason.
  • Willingness and ability to complete all aspects of the program including conservation projects, education, training, and national service.
  • Effectively communicate ideas and concerns as they arise directly to supervisors, colleagues, and organization staff.
  • Appropriately represent Conservation Corps New Mexico, U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, and AmeriCorps to the public and partners at all times.
  • Flexibility, adaptability, and capacity to work in a fluid, changing work environment.

Safety and Judgment:

  • Effectively communicate danger to others in the form of either a warning of danger others may be encountering or a notification of personal distress, injury or need for assistance. Must be able to do so at a distance of up to 50 meters and in conditions with limited visibility or loud background noise such as darkness or high winds.
  • Effectively perceive and understand significant and apparent hazards and follow direction by others so that you will be able to successfully execute techniques to manage hazards. These directions may be given before the hazard is encountered or may need to be given during the exposure to the hazard. Ability to respond appropriately to stress or crises.
  • Stay alert and focused for several hours at a time while traveling and working in varied weather conditions.
  • If taking prescription medications, participants must be able to maintain proper dosage by self- medicating without assistance from others.

Substance Free:

In accordance with a drug free workplace, alcohol and drugs are prohibited while participating in AmeriCorps and program activities and while on organization property.

Background Check:

A DOI background clearance must be completed before the selected candidate may report to duty. FWS will provide instructions for completion of the clearance after an intern has been selected and will notify them when they have been cleared to start the internship. This process will determine the internship’s exact start date.

 Interns will have access to government facilities and systems, and will be supplied with access to gov’t vehicles, equipment, and materials needed to work on the projects and activities as outlined above. Interns must adhere to all government regulations and policies for operating equipment, vehicles, security awareness, and safety.

*To be eligible for a Public Lands Corps certificate, interns must be between the ages of 18-30 (35 for veterans), inclusive, at the time the individual begins the term of service.

Conservation Legacy is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to hiring a breadth of diverse professionals and encourage members of diverse groups to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, political affiliation, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during application or recruiting process, please send a request to the hiring manager.

HOW TO APPLY

To Apply: Please submit an updated resume and cover letter along with the online application at https://corpsnm.org/individual-placement-openings . Consideration will be given as resumes are received and this position may close at any time. If you have questions, contact CCNM’s Individual Placement Program Coordinator, SamJean Simmons at ssimmons@conservationlegacy.org.

For more information about Conservation Corps New Mexico, please visit www.corpsnm.org. Conservation Corps New Mexico is a program of Conservation Legacy.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Botany, Ecology, Wildlife
Tags Conservation Corps, GIS, Wetland, Ornithology, Entomology