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Conservation Intern Full-time

at National Audubon Society, Inc. in Florida (Published at 13-07-2018)

Overview

Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action. By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive. And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level. What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country. Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

Position Summary

The Conservation Intern will gain valuable hands-on experience and professional skills in natural resource management and conservation ecology. Working at the 13,000-acre Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in southwestern Florida, the intern will assist with the implementation of an ecologically-sound land management program and assist with on- and off-site hydrology and wildlife monitoring projects. Each month, the work breakdown for interns will be roughly 70% resource management work and 30% research.

This paid full-time six-month internship will run from September 2018 through February 2019 and will not exceed 40 hours per week, with occasional weekend work, as needed.

On-site housing is required due to the relatively remote location of the Sanctuary and early field hours. Housing is a furnished one-level dormitory-style building with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, two joined kitchens, a living room and a screened porch. Wireless internet, water, electricity and local phone service are provided. Rooms may be shared (gender inclusive) with other interns and the dormitory may be shared by interns, visiting researchers, Americorps team members, or other special guests.

National Audubon Society is dedicated to building a culturally diverse organization and strongly encourages applications from people of color and women.

Essential Functions

Under the guidance of Audubon staff, the intern will develop skills in a variety of conservation activities, including:
  • Managing non-native, invasive and native nuisance species using a wide variety of tools such as herbicide sprayers, chainsaws, and hand tools;
  • Helping with planning, execution, and follow-up monitoring of prescribed fire operations in a variety of natural habitats;
  • Participating in ecological monitoring of hydrology (water level and rainfall) and wildlife populations to guide conservation and restoration. Wildlife monitoring will include a combination of aquatic fauna sampling (and laboratory processing), wading bird surveys, herpetofauna surveys, and mammal monitoring (trailcam maintenance and image processing). Interns may also be asked to assist with wading bird monitoring flights using a fixed-wing aircraft; and
  • Communication and outreach through various avenues such as social media, print media, and more (as directed by supervising staff)
Interns are expected to assist with additional Sanctuary events and activities, as needed.

Qualifications and Experience

The candidate must:
  • Be currently enrolled in or a recent graduate of an institution of higher learning, pursuing a degree in natural science or related field;
  • Excel in interpersonal communications and interpersonal skills while maintaining a team-focused attitude;
  • Demonstrate strong attention to detail in field, laboratory, and office activities.
  • Possess a basic understanding of ecology and a desire to learn about conservation;
  • Demonstrate the ability to exercise sound judgment and adaptability to changing work conditions;
  • Possess a valid driver’s license (experience with ATVs, 4WD vehicles and the ability to operate a manual transmission is a plus); and
  • Commit to the full duration of the internship (September 2018 through Ferbruary 2019).

Physical requirements include:
  • Ability to work long hours in the field in sub-tropical wetland environments, exposed to harsh South Florida environment (sun, biting insects, severe summer storms), sometimes alone and carrying field gear (up to 40 lbs.) for extended periods; and
  • Ability and willingness to work in murky waters and thick vegetation that serve as home for potentially dangerous wildlife such as alligators and venomous snakes


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