Monarch Butterfly and Natural Resource Intern – Vandenberg Space Force Base

Position Description:

Interns will conduct monarch butterfly monitoring and habitat assessments using standardized protocols, working directly with biologists on the installation to identify priority habitat. Interns will be trained in conducting surveys using the Integrated Monarch Monitoring Protocol (IMMP) and will collect data on habitat, including milkweed presence and blooming plant species, as well as adult butterfly, eggs, and larvae presence.

Interns will also facilitate outreach and education programs that foster connections and awareness of monarchs, pollinators, and migratory species for military families. Interns will be encouraged to contribute blogs to our website and to attend virtual webinars that promote career development and exploration of careers in natural resources. Environment for the Americas (EFTA) will provide guidance on community outreach and engagement practices, and will facilitate field training along with our partners from Monarch Joint Ventures (MJV).

This program is funded by the Department of Defense (DoD) Legacy Program in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service International Programs. This partnership underscores a collective commitment to monarch butterfly monitoring/conservation efforts, particularly in the face of potential ESA listing in 2024.

Start Date: July 2024

Duration: 8 – 12 weeks depending on availability

Compensation: $600/week + health insurance (if needed). Housing expenses during the internship will be covered. Travel costs to the site and back home are also covered by the program.

Application Due: Accepting application on an ongoing basis as positions are filled. Apply ASAP.

Please Apply Here

Environment for the Americas engages ethnically and racially diverse young professionals in natural resource careers. The DoD Monarch program places a special emphasis on hiring and engaging veterans, military spouses and immediate family members of service members. 


  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Have a personal vehicle and driver’s license
  • Candidates local to the area will be considered priority

Intern Qualifications:

  • Ability to learn how to conduct monarch and vegetation surveys
  • Ability to take directions and work independently
  • Ability to develop and facilitate education activities
  • Ability to work well with coworkers and function effectively as a member of a team
  • Ability to work independently and communicate progress regularly with Program Manager
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Attention to detail and the ability to enter data accurately onto online portal
  • Critical thinking and problem solving skills

Motivated, independent worker willing to:

  • Spend time driving (sometimes long distances) to various monitoring sites
  • Spend time outdoors collecting data
  • Support workshops for the community
  • Utilize strong communication skills to work with local biologists, EFTA staff, government agency staff, and the public

Preferred Skills (not required):

  • Experience conducting fieldwork or working outdoors
  • Experience identifying plants in the field
  • Familiarity with milkweed species
  • Google Drive, Sheets, Docs and Microsoft Office (Excel, Word)

Training: The intern will receive training in:

  • Conducting monarch butterfly habitat surveys using the Integrated Monarch Monitoring Protocol (IMMP)
  • Navigating the unique challenges of conducting natural resource research on military installations
  • Identifying milkweed host plants
  • Locating monarch eggs and caterpillars
  • Performing adult butterfly surveys
  • Maintaining, organizing, and entering field data
  • Conducting data proofing and correction to ensure data accuracy
  • Maintaining regular contact with EFTA staff along with partners such as MJV, other monarch partners, and installation biologists
  • Identifying and developing community partnerships
  • Co-developing educational activities that engage military families
  • Lead nature walks and talks for service members and military families

EEO Statement

Environment for the Americas provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

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