California Projects

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

Developing population viability analyses for endangered plants (Sacramento)

Location: Legacy Region 8, Pacific Southwest, San Francisco Bay-Delta Fish and Wildlife Office, Sacramento, California

Housing: Supported, housing stipend amount dependent on documentation of actual cost of rent at remote work location ($1,000/month max)

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

Project Background:  The Endangered Species Act (ESA) sets high standards for the recovery of threatened and endangered species, and indicates that recovery plans should include “objective, measurable criteria” for determining if a given species should be removed from the endangered species list (ESA, Section 4(f)(1)(B)(ii)).  Service biologists often use population viability analyses (PVAs) for developing these criteria. PVAs often employ numerical approaches and simulations to determine how viable a given population would be under various plausible situations, and these analyses can in turn be used to determine appropriate recovery criteria for a given species. This project is mission critical because it will help support the Service’s goal of developing objective criteria for recovery of plant species listed under the ESA. https://www.fws.gov/endangered/esa-library/pdf/ESAall.pdf

Project Duties: The Fellow will help develop population viability analyses (PVAs) or endangered plants associated with a riverine dune ecosystem in California. The Fellow will use standard mathematical approaches and simulations to explore whether the recovery criteria currently used for several endangered plant species in California are appropriate, given the results of the PVA analyses; this approach could then also be used for other endangered plant species in other areas. We anticipate that this project will contribute to at least one peer-reviewed journal article in a scientific journal. Information from this project will also contribute to presentations at scientific and technical meetings.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in Biological Sciences, Information Technology, Computer Science, Statistics, and/or Mathematical Biology, or other closely related field.

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication; Partnership building; Public speaking; Leadership roles (school, extracurricular, etc.); Teamwork; Technical Writing; Interest in numerical modeling in the life sciences or a related field.

Conducting status assessments for threatened, endangered, or at-risk species (Carlsbad)

Location: Legacy Region 8, Pacific Southwest, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, Carlsbad CA

Housing: Supported by duty station, Non-FWS housing supported with $1,000 monthly stipend

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

Project Background: The project will use conservation biology principles to synthesize information, identify data gaps, and develop conservation actions to support species recovery. Status reviews of listed species are required by the Endangered Species Act. Status assessments update a species’ biology and threats and recommend future research and conservation actions. The project can be conducted completely remotely or in person depending on the COVID situation and the Fellow preferences. The Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office is in coastal northern San Diego County. The office includes primarily Ecological Services and the following divisions: Coastal Programs, Partners in Fish and Wildlife, Listing and Recovery, Permits and Consultations (Section 7 and 10).

Project Duties: Working with the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office (Carlsbad, CA), the Fellow will complete assessments for two species in southern California: 1) a status assessment or conservation strategy for a listed species, and 2) a rapid assessment to assess the status and conservation needs of an at-risk species, including facilitating an expert solicitation workshop. The Fellow will present the results of both assessments to the Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office. The Fellow will coordinate with researchers and State and Federal agencies to gather new information and identify important activities for conservation and recovery. With support from project supervisors, Fellow will work independently to review and synthesize new information. We emphasize developmental opportunities for Fellows to learn about the Endangered Species Act and the work of an Ecological Services Field office. For example, we encourage Fellows to network with Fish and Wildlife Service staff, participate in coordination meetings between staff biologists and partners, and attend trainings and webinars, as the project schedule permits. The project does not involve any required fieldwork, such as conducting surveys or monitoring. However, there may be opportunities for site visits to meet with land managers and species experts. 

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: 

Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in Biological Sciences i.e., Natural Resources Management, Biology, Wildlife Conservation, Fisheries, Zoology, Environmental Science, Ecology, Genetics, Microbiology, Chemistry, Land Management, Plant Science, Botany, Soil Science, Forestry, Invasive Species management, Plant Development, or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: None

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication, Partnership building, Public speaking, Leadership roles, Teamwork, and Technical writing.

Strategic Conservation Planning for Endangered Species Recovery (Sacramento)

Location: Legacy Region 8, Pacific Southwest, Ecological Services Program, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office, Sacramento, California

Housing: Supported by duty station, Non-FWS housing supported with $1,000 monthly stipend

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

Project Background: The Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office covers ecosystems in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Great Central Valley, and the California coast and estuaries. It is a large office, made up of 75 employees focused on conserving over 100 listed and at-risk species and their habitats. The office prides itself on creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone and is well-known for its conservation success through landscape-level HCPs, section 7 consultations, conservation banking, and working with others in creative ways to conserve and recover our trust species. Sacramento is a diverse community in the heart of Northern California providing vibrant city life with a variety nearby outdoor opportunity. San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, Napa Valley, and the Pacific Coast are all close by. Within a two-hour drive, you can be at the ocean or your favorite camping spot, or entertainment location. Summer months are sunny and dry, with daytime highs in the 90s and cool evenings in the 60s.

Project Duties: The Fellow will have the opportunity to develop a detailed step-by-step plan for conservation activities that will contribute to recovery of one or multiple species. The Fellow will be responsible for gathering information and working with both internal and external partners to assess the status of a threatened or endangered species and identify appropriate conservation activities. The Fellow will be expected to synthesize information into a written plan of action and present the plan to office leadership and staff. The project provides flexibility for the Fellow to utilize their unique skill set and interests while learning about multiple facets of the Endangered Species Act and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. During the project, the Fellow will have the opportunity to conduct site visits with species experts and interact with Regional Office biologists. 

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in the Biological sciences; education and outreach; social sciences; geographic information sciences; communications/marketing or other closely related field. 

Working Conditions/ Requirements: none

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication skills, partnership building, teamwork, and technical writing.

Multi-refuge Wetland Habitat Assessment Survey Coordinator (Calipatria)

Location: Legacy Region 8, Pacific Southwest, Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR, Calipatria, CA

Housing: Refuge bunkhouses at Modoc NWR, Kern NWR Complex, Stone Lakes NWR, and Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR at no cost to intern

Project Type: This field project will transition to telework or remote work if required by USFWS or DOI leadership. 

Project Background: The Multi-refuge Wetland Habitat Assessment Survey Coordinator Fellow will lead a field survey of plant seed production in managed wetlands across five National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) in Legacy Region 8. The Fellow will coordinate the implementation of the survey at Kern, Pixley, Stone Lakes, Modoc, and Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWRs, which span the longitudinal extent of California’s Pacific Flyway. The survey protocol framework provides a rigorous method to quantitatively assess food production for plant species that are the focus of moist soil management activities at the participating refuges. This survey provides valuable information to support the NWR System’s mission to provide habitat to migratory waterfowl. Survey results inform wetland management strategies by summarizing wetland seed production that results from wetland management activities. This Fellowship provides an excellent opportunity to develop leadership and data management skills while working with multiple organizational levels at a suite of NWRs and with the Refuges Inventory & Monitoring Program.

Project Duties: The Fellow will partner with refuge biologists and managers to conduct the field work at each station. The Fellow will: 1) manage a mobile data collection application, summarize the survey data following established procedures and scripts written for the program R, 2) expand the protocol framework by using established guidance to draft a site-specific protocol for the new station, and 3) provide a season summary report for each station and a final presentation on the season outcomes to refuge biologists, managers, and external FWS stakeholders. During the Fellowship, the Fellow will travel between refuges, work alongside refuge staff in the field and the office at each station and reside at station bunkhouses. The Fellow also could shadow FWS staff members at two or more stations and to meet and work with diverse natural resources staff at different organization levels. 

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

Working Conditions/Requirements: Valid driver’s license, ability to conduct field work involving hiking and carrying equipment, and ability and willingness to live in a remote camp for weeks at a time. 

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication skills, partnership building, project management experience, public speaking, leadership roles, teamwork, technical writing, experience scripting and summarizing data in R, experience with GIS applications, and use of Survey123, ArcCollector or AGOL online. Previous experience with ArcGIS and the R program is required, as are excellent written and oral communication skills. The Fellow should have demonstrated ability to excel at both independent and collaborative work.

Western Monarch Butterfly Outreach and Restoration (Ventura)

Location: Legacy Region 8, Pacific Southwest, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, Ventura, California

Housing: Supported, up to $2,000 per month will be provided for housing expenses. 

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

Project Background:

This position will be part of the 2022 Kendra Chan Fellowship program, a two-phase opportunity for an emerging conservation leader to participate in the USFWS’s Directorate Fellows Program (DFP) and the ESA’s Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability (SEEDS) Program.  Phase 1 will be work as a DFP and Phase 2 involves a year of participation with the Ecological Society of America SEEDs program as a SPUR Fellow. The monarch’s phenomenal transcontinental migration inspires awe among scientists and citizens alike and unfortunately, due to habitat loss and degradation, pesticide use, and climate change, the western monarch population has declined by more than 99 percent since the 1980s. An estimated 4.5 million monarchs overwintered on the California coast in the 1980s, whereas in 2020, the population estimate for migratory overwintering monarchs was less than 2,000 butterflies. This alarming decline has prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to list the western monarch butterfly as a candidate species and will evaluate the status of the species for listing in 2023. As we must all work together to save this iconic species, you too could join this conservation effort to save the western monarch butterflies! Join the Service, the National Park Service (NPS), and SAMOfund, a non-profit dedicated to protecting and facilitating appreciation of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, in their efforts to advance the conservation of the western monarch butterfly within Ventura and Los Angeles County

Project Duties: The Fellow will: 1) join outreach efforts to educate the public on ho w they can support the conservation of the western monarch butterfly, 2) independently developing a tracking system where the public can in data on where they planted the native milkweed and if the native milkweed survived, and 3) develop a program to provide crucial data to track the success of western monarch outreach efforts and native milkweed donation programs towards achieving western monarch butterfly conservation goals.  

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in biological sciences; education and outreach; social sciences; communications/marketing; or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: Valid driver’s license; Fluency in Spanish.

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal or Cross-Cultural communication skills; Partnership building; Public speaking; Leadership roles (school, extracurricular, etc.); Teamwork; Conflict Mgmt./Facilitation.

IPaC Species Data Entry in the Pacific Southwest Region (Carlsbad)

Location: Legacy Region 8, Pacific Southwest, Carlsbad Fish and Wildlife Office, Carlsbad, CA 

Housing: Supported, a $1,000 per month housing allowance will be provided to student for costs associated with housing during the Fellowship 

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

Project Background: The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Information for Planning and Consultation (IPaC) system delivers important information about threatened and endangered species to the USFWS’s public consultation partners and provides essential services for them to complete much of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) section 7 consultation process online. Development and utilization of the IPaC system is a top priority for the USFWS Pacific Southwest Endangered Species Program. 

Project Duties: The Fellow will: 1) conduct extensive literature reviews, 2) build a reference library, 3) work closely with our lead species’ biologists and other experts, 4) compile life history data such as life stages and resource needs, 4) collate conservation measures, analyze, and describe effects of project activities on each species, and 4) conduct reviews of the information, and objectively annotate and enter this data into the USFWS’s Effect Pathway Manager database. The Fellow will do this for one to three ESA-listed species in California, Nevada, or the Klamath Basin, and will work remotely with the Carlsbad Field Office. Additionally, the Fellow may do similar document review, build, and create a Determination Key for one or more species, agencies, or project types that will assist the public with evaluating consultation projects under a programmatic framework. The Fellow will give a final presentation of their work to the Regional and Field Offices. This critically important computer-only work supports the conservation of threatened and endangered species. The Fellow will learn about each species in detail while working closely with species experts, and about one of the important processes of the ESA, Interagency Consultation.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in Biological Sciences or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: Work independently and with a team exceptionally well. Ability to read and objectively extract pertinent data from scientific documents. Document all work in detail. Communicate effectively and tactfully. Strong ability to summarize/assimilate information into a usable work product. Familiarity with wildlife ecology.

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication, Partnership building, Project Management experience, Public Speaking, Leadership roles, Teamwork, Technical Writing, Knowledge of ESA section 7, project types and activities.

IPaC Species Data Entry in the Pacific Southwest Region (Sacramento)

Location: Legacy Region 8, Pacific Southwest, Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office

Housing: Supported, $3,000 Provided for Non-FWS Housing

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

Project Background: The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Information for Planning and Consultation (IPaC) system delivers important information about threatened and endangered species to the USFWS’s public consultation partners and provides essential services for them to complete much of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) section 7 consultation process on-line. Development and utilization of the IPaC system is a top priority for the USFWS Pacific Southwest Endangered Species Program. This critically important computer-only work supports the conservation of threatened and endangered species. The Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office covers ecosystems in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Great Central Valley, and the California coast and estuaries. It is a large office, made up of 75 employees focused on conserving over 100 listed and at-risk species and their habitats. The office prides itself on creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone. Sacramento is a diverse community in the heart of Northern California providing vibrant city life with a variety nearby outdoor opportunity. San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, Napa Valley, and the Pacific Coast are all close by. Summer months are sunny and dry, with daytime highs in the 90s and cool evenings in the 60s.

Project Duties: To support this effort, the Fellow will: conduct extensive literature reviews and build a reference library, work closely with our lead species’ biologists and other experts, compile life history data such as life stages and resource needs, collate conservation measures, analyze, and describe effects of project activities on each species, conduct reviews of the information, and objectively annotate and enter this data into the USFWS’s Effect Pathway Manager database. The Fellow will do this for one to three ESA-listed species in California, Nevada, or the Klamath Basin, and will work remotely with the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office. They will learn about each species in detail while working closely with species experts, and about one of the important processes of the ESA, Interagency Consultation. Additionally, the Fellow may do similar document review and writing to build a Determination Key for one or more species, agencies, or project types that will assist the public with evaluating consultation projects under a programmatic framework. The Fellow will give a final presentation of their work to the Regional and Field Offices.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in Biological Sciences or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: Work independently and with a team exceptionally well. Ability to read and objectively extract pertinent data from scientific documents. Document all work in detail. Communicate effectively and tactfully. Strong ability to summarize/assimilate information into a usable work product. Familiarity with wildlife ecology.

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication, Partnership building, Project Management experience, Public Speaking, Leadership roles, Teamwork, Technical Writing, Knowledge of ESA section 7.

IPaC Species Data Entry in the Pacific Southwest Region (Ventura)

Location: Legacy Region 8, Pacific Southwest, Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, Ventura, California

Housing: Supported, a $1,000 per month housing allowance will be provided to the student for costs associated with housing during the Fellowship 

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

Project Background: The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Information for Planning and Consultation (IPaC) system delivers important information about threatened and endangered species to the USFWS’s public consultation partners and provides essential services for them to complete much of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) section 7 consultation process online. Development and utilization of the IPaC system is a top priority for the USFWS Pacific Southwest Endangered Species Program. The California red-legged frog is the most frequent species that is subject of section 7 consultation in our field office, and this will be one of the focal species. This critically important computer-only work supports the conservation of threatened and endangered species.

Project Duties: To support this effort, the Fellow will remotely join the Ventura Fish and Wildlife office to: conduct extensive literature reviews and build a reference library, work closely with our lead species’ biologists and other experts, compile life history data such as life stages and resource needs, collate conservation measures, analyze and describe effects of project activities on each species, conduct reviews of the information, and objectively annotate and enter this data into the USFWS’s Effect Pathway Manager database. The Fellow will do this for one to three ESA-listed species within the Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office’s jurisdiction (California’s central coast).  The Fellow will learn about the California red-legged frog and other species in detail while working closely with species experts, while becoming familiar with one of the important processes of the ESA, Interagency Consultation. Additionally, the Fellow may do similar document review and writing to build a Determination Key for one or more species, agencies, or project types that will assist the public with evaluating consultation projects under a programmatic framework. The Fellow will give a final presentation of their work to the Regional and Field Offices. 

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in Biological Sciences or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: Work independently and with a team exceptionally well. Ability to read and objectively extract pertinent data from scientific documents. Document all work in detail. Communicate effectively and tactfully. Strong ability to summarize/assimilate information into a usable work product. Familiarity with wildlife ecology.

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication, Partnership building, Project Management experience, Public Speaking, Leadership roles, Teamwork, Technical Writing, Knowledge of ESA section 7, project types and activities.

Southern Oregon and Northern California Bumble Bee Habitat Surveys: 2 Positions Available (Yreka)

Location: R8: Yreka Fish & Wildlife Office, Yreka, CA, and R1: Oregon Fish & Wildlife Office, Portland, OR

Housing: Supported, up to $280/week provided for local housing in Ashland, OR

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

Project Background: Widespread declines in bumble bees and other pollinators have been documented in recent decades. Southern Oregon and northern California offer extensive high-quality habitat, particularly at higher elevations, for native pollinators such as Franklin’s bumble bee, yet more surveys and thorough habitat assessments are needed. Surveys will be coordinated with other agencies and individuals including the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Arcata FWO, other researchers and surveyors, and the U.S. Geological Survey. This project is an excellent opportunity to learn about the Service’s Ecological Services programs and gather data that will be used for Species Status Assessments (SSA), recovery planning, and conservation on a landscape scale. Two Fellows will coordinate with both office locations listed above and complete all fieldwork together. The team will be based in Ashland, Oregon, a center of arts and culture nestled in a valley between rugged mountains.

Project Duties: The Fellows will systematically survey and sample known historic bumble bee locations during the FY22 field season, and a selection of highly suitable habitat sites will be developed from a digitized GIS habitat layer. The Fellows will: 1) catch and identify bumble bees, 2) gather habitat information, including the availability of floral resources throughout the growing season, and 3) collect genetic samples. Fellows will network with various partners at the yearly bumble bee Survey on Mt Ashland in July and may also participate in other fieldwork and learning opportunities with FWS employees and local partners. One Fellow will be supervised by the Oregon FWO and one Fellow will be supervised by the Yreka FWO. After data collection is complete, the Fellows will develop a written report and deliver an oral presentation to the Service and our partners sharing their results. 

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: 

Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in Biological Sciences (i.e., Natural Resources Mgmt., Biology, Wildlife Conservation, Fisheries, Enviro. Science, Land Mgmt., Plant Science, Soil Sci., Forestry, Invasive Species Mgmt., Plant Development), Geographic & Information Sciences, Geology, Spatial Analysis, Remote Sensing), or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: Valid driver’s license (needed to drive a Government vehicle); Ability to conduct field work involving hiking and carrying equipment; Ability to lift/carry 50 lbs; Familiarity with ESRI software and apps (e.g., ArcGIS Pro and Collector) and an ability to operate a GPS unit. Fellows will be required to hike, camp, work remotely in pairs, and drive on four-wheel drive roads.

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication skills; Partnership building; Project Mgmt. experience; Leadership roles (school, extracurricular, etc.); Teamwork; Insect identification, especially bumble bees; Plant identification and pollinator ecology; Wilderness or back-country first aid/survival skills.