Environmental Services Intern (Bio/Avian/Herp Surveys)

CA State Parks

Borrego Springs, California

Job Type Paid Internship
Salary Details $2,868-$3,823/month DOE
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

Up to six limited-term, seasonal positions will work under the direction of the District Senior Environmental Scientist and report to Lead Environmental Scientist(s). The reporting location is the Colorado Desert District Office, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park® (ABDSP), Borrego Springs, California. Work will occur throughout the Colorado Desert District, including ABDSP, Cuyamaca Rancho State Park (CRSP) in Julian, and Palomar Mountain State Park (PMSP) in Palomar, CA. The positions have available funding for 40 hours per week, as five 8-hour workdays. Alternate schedules may occur as needed, and overtime hours may be available based on current project needs.

The date range is May through September 2023, and may be extended to up to approximately nine months or 189 working days. Positions will remain open until filled.

Housing may be available upon request and is needed if you do not live in the greater Borrego Springs area.

Initial main duties may consist of riparian bird surveys, flat-tailed horned lizard (FTHL) and other herpetofauna surveys, record keeping, and data management, as assigned. Additional field work may involve aquatic animals, native and invasive plant surveys, small mammal surveys, camera trapping, and forestry/measuring fuel loading. Assignments may involve participation in public and volunteer outreach events, editing documents, and creation of visitor/staff updates. This position requires driving and maintaining State 4WD and other street-legal vehicles, handheld phone/tablet and paper data recording, and may include use of hand and power tools to maintain trails or other natural resources.

The Job Duties include, but are not limited to the following:

  • 50% Species Monitoring, Field Surveys. This position will serve as team member for district Natural Resources Program field surveys and other natural resource project operations. The role will focus on district and unit management, project monitoring operations, invasive species reduction efforts, and habitat restoration for the Colorado Desert District. Field surveys take place year-round in often extreme and remote conditions. Field surveys will include but not be limited to: avian point counts and listed species surveys, aquatic sampling, herpetofauna visual/audio encounter surveys, native and invasive plant population management, geological and paleontological damage recording, forestry/fuel loading surveys, mapping of project areas and invasion areas with handheld GPS devices. Participates in public outreach during weekly weeding, ABDSP Bighorn Sheep Count, and other public outreach efforts.
  • 15% Record keeping, Data Management, Research. Accurate record keeping is an ongoing requirement. Data input and QA/QC for project data is required. This will include budgeting, timekeeping, safety meetings and records, upkeep of certifications, and handheld mapping and data collection of the project area and incidental records. Transcribing historic data from archives, note-taking during meetings, directed research of peer-reviewed science for best-management practices and written recommendations will be required. Document review and editing.
  • 10% Natural Resource Restoration. Participation in physical restoration efforts in each park unit. This may include restoration of illegal incursion, removing invasive species, out-planting native plants, seed collection, native plant propagation, removal of fire rings waste and other litter, and installation of natural resource exclusion fencing and signage. Field work may require gas-powered handheld tool operation, use of hand-tools, safety equipment, communication equipment, Incinerator operations, herbicide or pesticide application and mixing. Wildland Firefighter training may be provided, if required for job assignments.
  • 5% District Project Development, Review and Record Keeping. Begin developing and reviewing target projects to learn internal state processes. Data input and Maximo accounting software record tracking, note taking, and natural resource interpretation document creation.
  • 5% District Outreach and Cross-Program Interaction. Includes participation in other State Park led outreach programs. Visitor Center “Junior Ranger” program, high-school internship program, campfire programs, Anza-Borrego Foundation outreach and other partnership programs that may be assigned.
  • 5% Contract, Public, and State Field Crew Liaison. This position may serve as lead on-the-ground liaison for contracted or other State Park-run field crews on this project. The liaison role will be to communicate project needs and goals to other crews, run daily safety meetings and goals, and make sure State goals and targets are being met by contracted and other field crews. Communication of ongoing field goals and needs to District Environmental Scientist Lead and Senior Environmental Scientist required. Will be responsible for posting signs and warnings for in-District field operations that require heavy equipment or fire management. May have to pass out Fire Awareness fliers in local business and work with community outreach during Prescribed Fires.
  • 5% Training Sections and Equipment/Vehicle Maintenance. Certain job required training will occur throughout the work season. This position may be responsible for driving and maintaining a State work truck and many hand and power tools. This will include minimum monthly use and maintenance reports, fuel logs, proper cleaning and repair and upkeep of vehicles and tools.
  • 5% Other District needs as assigned. May be assigned other district tasks as time and funding sources allow, at the discretion of the Senior Environmental Scientist.

Qualification: See https://www.calhr.ca.gov/state-hr-professionals/Pages/4708.aspx  for required qualifications.

Additional requirements: A Class C drivers license in required. For avian surveys, excellent hearing and color vision, and the ability to identify or quickly learn southwestern US riparian birds by sight and sound. Previous experience with avian or herpetofauna surveys preferred. Desert field experience preferred. All field work occurs in remote and often extreme conditions, with maximum temperatures of 104°F (avian surveys) to 115°F (FTHL surveys). Must be able to start early each morning, driving a 4WD vehicle in off-road conditions with a partner to remote sites and hiking off-trail in rugged terrain carrying moderate loads for several hours. May hike up to 10 miles a day. ArcGIS suite, Microsoft 365 Office Suite proficiencies recommended. 


How to apply: Send a signed standard California State Application Form (STD 678: https://jobs.ca.gov/pdf/std678.pdf ) to: 

California State Parks, Colorado Desert District

Attention: Dan McCamish

200 Palm Canyon Drive Borrego Springs, CA 92004

Or, to apply online, submit an application by email with subject “CDD ESI application” to:

danny.mccamish@parks.ca.gov and cc: Shannon.McNeil@parks.ca.gov

For questions regarding the position, please contact: Senior Environmental Scientist: Dan McCamish, danny.mccamish@parks.ca.gov  or District Environmental Scientist: Shannon McNeil, Shannon.McNeil@parks.ca.gov , (520) 440-8026

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

Category Ecology, General / Stewardship, Wildlife
Tags GIS, Ornithology, Herpetology