Wildlife Biologist RA – ONSITE – Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands, Pine Ridge Ranger District

Start/End Dates: July 7, 2024 – July 7, 2025

Compensation: $750 per week + $1000 monthly for housing

Medical Insurance provided upon request

Application Due: April 26, 2024

The Resource Assistants Program seeks to engage ethnically and racially diverse young professionals in natural resource careers. You must be:

  • a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • a college graduate

 

* A personal vehicle is required for this position. 

Please Apply Here

Position Description: 

The work performed is traditional hands-on biological sciences work. The Resource Assistant Program Intern (RA) conducts field surveys, compiling data and storing them in an appropriate management system. RA will work on interdisciplinary teams on a variety of projects. RA will be responsible for preparing professional reports to help inform management decisions and coordinate with a variety of Federal, State, Tribal, and Non-governmental cooperative partners.

 

Responsibilities:

TERRESTRIAL WILDLIFE Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assist in active prairie dog colony mapping on the Oglala National Grassland. This will require learning survey protocol and using a GPS unit to collect data, as well as downloading and interfacing geospatially with GIS Pro software.
  • Conduct presence/absence surveys for northern leopard frogs in both known and suspected areas occupied within the Oglala National Grassland. This will require basic amphibian identification and the use of personal protective equipment during the capture of individuals.
  • Conduct surveys for a variety of other terrestrial species, including but not limited to burrowing owls, swift fox, prairie grouse, bats, migratory birds, and bumblebees adhering to established protocols and using the required equipment.
  • Regularly maintain wildlife structures as needed. This may include various structures such as grouse viewing blinds, bat boxes, owl nest boxes, wildlife enclosure fencing, and wildlife guzzlers, among others.
  • Office duties involve assignments focused on collecting, analyzing, summarizing, and maintaining data, as well as developing reports regarding its application.
  • RA will establish and maintain collaborative relationships with other federal, Tribal, state, county, nongovernmental and university partners, and participate in interdisciplinary teams.
  • RA will work and communicate with an Environment for the Americas Program Manager during their internship.
  • RA will be expected to participate in scheduled conference calls, webinars, and meetings conducted throughout their term.
  • RA will capture photos and/or videos for reporting purposes and submit 6 blog posts highlighting their experience and development.

FISHERIES Duties and Responsibilities

The Wildlife Program supports the management of aquatic habitats and the fauna that relies on these resources. Tasks may include off-trail hiking across steep terrain and alongside streams while carrying field gear and monitoring equipment. Training in field and safety protocols will be provided.

  • Collect biological data from project sites across the forest, including macroinvertebrate samples, fish population estimates, and environmental DNA.
  • Record and store data using Survey123 and field notes for management and process purposes.
  • Develop skills and safety procedures related to fisheries equipment, including backpack electrofishers, water quality monitoring devices, environmental DNA sampling, habitat monitoring tools, and other sampling protocols.
  • Work closely with the Nebraska Game and Parks personnel on fisheries-related projects, given the absence of a standalone fisheries program on the Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands and potential limitations in equipment availability.

 

PLANT ECOLOGY Duties and Responsibilities

The Wildlife Program supports rare plant conservation, native plant material collection, and weed management efforts. This work will involve extensive off-trail hiking in prairie, forest, and riparian settings.

  • Rare plant conservation will primarily involve surveying for new populations and revisiting known populations of rare plants. You will learn how to identify plants to the species level and be instructed in field survey techniques and population monitoring methods. ‘
  • Native plant material collection involves learning how to collect, prepare, and create seed mixes, as well as how to gather willow and cottonwood cuttings. You will also learn how these materials are utilized in revegetation and restoration projects.
  • In weed management, you will learn how to identify weeds to the species level and to implement integrated pest management strategies for managing weed populations.

Qualifications:

Major studies relevant to this position include Wildlife Biology, Fisheries and Wildlife, Wildlife Ecology, and Natural Resources

  • An appropriate education relevant to this position, along with some field experience in the field of wildlife biology. A desired qualification is knowing how to orient yourself in the field with both GPS and maps.
  • Minimum Qualifications: Successful applicants must have a valid driver’s license and be capable  of operaterating 4×4 vehicles. They should be willing to work outdoors in all weather conditions, proficient in open range fence gates, skilled in using binoculars and a spotting scope, and able to work safely and effectively both independently and in a team environment.
  • US Forest Service Orientation Training is mandatory and will be provided early in your tenure.
  • Critical thinking: Critical thinking is necessary when developing plans that respond to threats to wildlife or their habitats.
  • Communication: Strong verbal and written communication skills l allow you to present and clearly articulate your findings to others, including those who do not have a scientific background as well as government officials.
  • Analytical skills: Properly analyzing collected field data can help you to assess wildlife habitat and solve problems.
  • Interpersonal skills: You will collaborate with other scientists and public officials.
  • Time management and organizational skills: You must be able to achieve goals, work independently, and meet deadlines while handling multiple tasks.
  • Computer skills: You must be proficient in writing and spreadsheet software for data extraction and reporting.
  • Physical stamina: Field work may involve hiking to remote locations while carrying testing and sampling equipment.

Direct Hire Authority (DHA)

All RAP interns receive Direct Hire Authority (DHA) at the successful conclusion of their internship. DHA status enables an agency to hire, after public notice is given, any qualified applicant. A DHA expedites hiring by eliminating competitive rating and ranking, veterans’ preference, and “rule of three” procedures. For more information, please click HERE.

 

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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