Alabama Projects

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To apply for any position(s), please email the project title and your resume to ansep.web@gmail.com

Development of Genetics Management Plan for Alabama Pearlshell

Project Type: Field – this field project will transition to telework or remote work if required by USFWS or DOI leadership

Location: Legacy Region 4, Southeast Region; Southeast Conservation Genetics Lab, Warm Springs Fish Technology Center, Auburn University, Alabama

Housing: Supported ($2,500 Stipend; If interested, the student may be able to stay in an Auburn University dorm, within walking distance of office.)

Project Background: The Southeast Conservation Genetics Lab is part of the Warm Springs Fish Technology Center and located at Auburn University in Alabama. The lab performs genetics research on at-risk, threatened, and endangered aquatic animals to improve conservation outcomes. One species of interest is the federally endangered Alabama Pearlshell mussel. 

This species of mussel has a very restricted range and efforts are underway to improve the species recovery plan and implement captive propagation and reintroduction of the species. However, a genetics management plan is needed to generate baseline data for future monitoring and to ensure that recovery efforts decrease chances of extinction. This position is a great opportunity for students interested in mollusk conservation, genetics analyses, and working with a diverse group of biologists that want to improve Alabama Pearlshell conservation!

Project Duties: The Fellow will be expected to: 1) generate genomics data, 2) analyze data, and 3) write a genetics management plan for Alabama Pearlshell as well as meet with federal and state partners at the Alabama Ecological Services Field Office and the Alabama Aquatic Biodiversity Center to learn about mussel conservation and explain findings of genetics work. The Fellow will also receive: 

  • Training on cutting-edge genomic data generation and analyses. 
  • Networking and professional development opportunities at the Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery and with other summer research interns at Auburn University. 
  • An opportunity to participate in the Service’s Conservation Genetics Community of Practice, which is a nationwide group of conservation geneticists. 

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in Biological Sciences, Computer Science (e.g., bioinformatics), or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: Valid Driver’s License (needed to drive a Government vehicle)

Desired Characteristics: Experience with effective interpersonal communication, project management, teamwork, leadership roles, and technical writing. Experience with molecular lab methods is a plus, but not required.

Characterizing Risk Associated with Natural Resource Damage Assessment and
Restoration (NRDA) Hazards to Regional Priority Species (Identification of Threatened, At-risk
and Priority Species in the Southeast) (Fairhope)

Project Type: This is a telework only project, Fellow will not report in person to a duty station

Location: Legacy Region 4, Southeast Region; Gulf Restoration Office; Fairhope, Alabama

Housing: Not Supported 

Project Background: The Deepwater Horizon Gulf Restoration Office (GRO) is in Fairhope, Alabama, approximately 20 miles east of Mobile, Alabama and 30 miles north of Gulf Shores, Alabama. The GRO was established after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill to identify and assess the extent of the injury to fish, wildlife, and other natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico under the Service’s Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) program. 

The GRO works with co-trustees and partners to restore the species and habitats that have been impacted by a variety of NRDAR cases, including DWH. The information from this project will build upon a former DFP project and will further help to identify areas where listed, at-risk, and regional priority species within the Southeast Region are most susceptible to threats of oil and hazardous substances. This information in turn can be utilized to inform future restoration planning to reduce risks to these species. In addition, this information may be used to aid recovery actions for listed species and conservation efforts for at-risk species. 

Project Duties: The project goals include gathering additional geospatial data on the presence of oil or hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants on the landscape in relation to listed, at-risk, and regional priority list species within the Southeast Region to further develop and refine the risk analysis and interactive map to be used in future restoration planning efforts. The interactive map, along with a presentation, will be delivered to GRO leadership and staff and possibly other partners.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Graduate student who has completed at least their first year of graduate school (Masters or PhD), and is pursuing a degree in biological sciences or geographic and information sciences or closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: Valid Driver’s License (needed to drive a Government vehicle), GIS certification or equivalent training

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication skills, teamwork, technical writing.

Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDA) Activities + Contribution to Service Goals (Fairhope)

Project Type: This is a telework only project, Fellow will not report in person to a duty station

Location:  Legacy Region 4, Southeast Region; Gulf Restoration Office; Fairhope, Alabama

Housing: Not Supported 

Project Background: The Deepwater Horizon Gulf Restoration Office (GRO) is in Fairhope, Alabama, approximately 20 miles east of Mobile, Alabama and 30 miles north of Gulf Shores, Alabama. The GRO was established after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill to identify and assess the extent of the injury to fish, wildlife, and other natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico under the Services’ Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) program. The GRO works with co-trustees and partners to restore species and habitats impacted by a variety of NRDAR cases, including DWH. 

This project would serve to document the contribution of NRDAR restoration to Service goals, with the intent of aiding future restoration planning, and other program management needs such as informing listing decisions and recovery planning efforts.

Project Duties: The project goals include the Fellow gathering NRDAR case data to assess contribution to priority species and habitats, recreational opportunities, and Tribal engagement from restoration work completed in the Southeast Region by utilizing qualitative and quantitative analysis techniques to produce a technical report and story maps. The technical report, along with a presentation, will be delivered to GRO leadership and staff, with the potential to present to co-trustees and partners. 

The Fellow will work closely with both internal and external stakeholders, including individuals in multiple organizational levels within the Services, co-trustees and other partners (i.e., local and state agencies, non-profit organizations) associated with Southeastern NRDAR projects.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in Biological Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities, Geographic and Information Sciences, Physical Sciences (i.e., toxicology, contaminants) or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: Valid Driver’s License, GIS certification or equivalent training

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication skills, teamwork, technical writing.