Fish and Wildlife Projects

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

Alabama

Development of Genetics Management Plan for Alabama Pearlshell (Auburn University)

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.

Alaska

Invasive Mussel Detectors of Alaska (Anchorage)

Project Type:  This is a field project, not telework eligible.  

Location: Regional Office, Alaska Region (Legacy Region 7/Interior Region 11); Anchorage, AK.

Housing: Supported (Non-FWS housing, ~$2,500 total)

Project Background: Who wants to spend the summer outside on the lakes and streams of Southcentral Alaska helping to protect these places?  If you are, then read on.  The Alaska Region of the US Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking a motivated and resourceful individual to implement our newly developed invasive species early detection framework for Southcentral Alaska; the primary focus area being the Anchorage Municipality and invasive mussels.  Invasive species are one of the greatest threats to Alaska’s natural environment and our way of life.  Detecting infestations early on is key to having a chance of eradicating the species before it significantly impacts its new environment and responding while it is still relatively low in cost.  Bolstering our collaborative early detection efforts in Alaska is a priority for the Alaska Region, the Department of Interior, and the Arctic Council.  

Project Duties: The Fellow will be based out of the Alaska Regional Office in Anchorage and work closely with our Conservation Genetics Lab as part of our invasive species team and will have ample opportunities to connect with staff from the National Wildlife Refuge Program, Fisheries and Aquatic Conservation Program. The individual will also work closely with our many partners, gaining an in-depth view into the diversity of the agencies and Alaska’s people and its natural treasures.   The Fellow’s primary duties will include: 1) gaining awareness of invasive species issues in Alaska; 2) finalizing a prioritized list of waterbodies to conduct surveys for invasive and native mussels; 3) conducting field surveys and laboratory work to look for invasive mussels and help the Region verify environmental DNA (eDNA) markers for invasive mussels; 4) identify and estimate abundance of invasive mussels captured in field collections; 5) write a summary report of initial findings with suggestions on how to improve the project for full implementation across a larger landscape; 6) develop and provide a presentation on the work. Come learn about Alaska’s rich natural resources and the cultures that depend on them while making a difference in preserving them for everyone to enjoy.

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 or closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: A valid driver’s license; Ability to conduct field work involving hiking and carrying equipment; Ability to lift/carry 50 lbs.

Desired Characteristics: Experience keying out invertebrates, mussels, plants; Basic understanding of genetic analyses; Interpersonal communication; Cross-cultural communication; Partnership building; Project management experience; Teamwork; Technical writing.

California

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.

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.

 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.

Colorado

Updating the Legacy Region 6 Mega Biological Opinion: 2 positions available (Denver)

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

Location: Legacy Region 6, Ecological Services, Regional Office, Denver, CO

Housing: Supported ($4,600 housing stipend for the summer)

Project Background: Section 9 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) prohibits taking federally listed species unless authorized by the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA allows for the issuance of recovery permits for otherwise prohibited acts if the activity is for scientific purposes. Permits may be issued for activities including but not limited to scientific research, monitoring populations, and performing educational programs that further the recovery of a federally listed species. The 2022 DFP project introduces the Fellow to crucial sections of the ESA to improve the understanding of how the recovery permitting program impacts listed species and their conservation range wide. The project is an ongoing effort and an extension of previous DFP efforts to revise and restructure the Mega Biological Opinion for Region’s recovery permitting program over the past two years. The Fellow will be guided by the DFP project manager, through this 11-week project to gain a strong foundation in how the FWS works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Project Duties: The Fellow will: 1) review the history of the FWS’s Ecological Services Program and the statutes, the Endangered Species Act, the Section 7 Handbook, the Section 10 Handbook, and other materials provided to understand the basis of the Mega Biological Opinion (herein referred to as the Mega BO), 2) update species status, environmental baselines, and conservation measures sections of the Mega BO for the four Colorado River fish, 3) use specialized tools (i.e., a Topeka shiner) as a template for these sections and as illustrations of this new structure, 4) work with the Species’ Leads for these species to populate the new template structure for the status of the species/critical habitat and environmental baseline sections using the standardized template and guidance, and 5) develop a Teams-based presentation to the Regional and Field Offices showcasing project achievements. Join us and learn how the FWS administers the ESA, focusing on assessing the effects of our recovery permitting program through the section 7 consultation process by updating species status, environmental baseline, and conservation measures for the four Colorado River fish, work with local species experts and regional coordinators, and build skills in leadership, including critical and strategic thinking, innovation, creativity, and independent work habits.

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: Valid Driver’s License and ability to drive federal vehicles.

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal Communication, Project Management Experience, Leadership Roles, Teamwork, and Technical Writing.

Biological Effects Analyst, Threatened and Endangered Species (Grand Junction)

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

Location: Legacy Region 6, Western Colorado Field Office, Grand Junction, Colorado

Housing: Supported ($4,000 housing stipend for summer)

Project Background: This position is within the Ecological Services Program and is stationed at the Western Colorado Field Office located in Grand Junction, Colorado. The Fellow will develop conservation measures that will be incorporated into the Effects Pathway Manager (EPM) of the Service’s Environmental Conservation Online System (ECOS) to deliver robust conservation measures online to agencies and the public. Information collected and entered into EPM will help our Field Offices better evaluate potential impacts from proposed projects and allow Service biologists to focus on issues that have the largest potential conservation impact.

Project Duties: The Fellow will review available biological data and work with field biologists and species experts to develop conservation measures to protect Threatened and Endangered species. By compiling the extensive institutional knowledge of the Western Colorado Field Office’s experienced biologists, as well as documenting relevant citations and updating conservation measures to incorporate new science, the Fellow will create one-stop guidance for all Field Office biologists that is specific to and inclusive of all western Colorado listed species, thereby improving efficiency, and making defensible and consistent conservation recommendations for all our listed species. 

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: General knowledge of wildlife ecology, how to conduct a literature search, development/use of spreadsheets, and the ability to synthesize information gathered from a variety of sources.

Desired Characteristics: Self-motivated, yet team oriented. Students should be comfortable working with a variety of people as well as independently.

Georgia

Wildlife Trafficking Parliamentarian Forum (Glynco)

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

Location: This is project is based out of Region 9 (Headquarters) Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Glynco, GA.

Housing: Supported (on-site, free). The FLETC houses about 3000 students per week in hotel style accommodations.

Project Background: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement is accepting applications for a Directorate Fellow on a project to support the Wildlife Trafficking Parliamentarian Form training program.  Work will occur at the Branch of Training office on the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), Glynco, GA.  The Fellow will stay on center for the duration of the project except for travel to and from the National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, WV and attendance at the International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training, Dallas, TX.   This is a collaborative project, and the team will include special agents, Department of Justice Attorney’s, U.S. Attorney’s, Service congressional affairs staff, contract training staff and Branch of Training staff. The typical work schedule for this program is Monday – Friday, 7:30am to 4:30pm. This Fellow will be mentored and supervised by a Branch of Training Senior Special Agent.

Project Duties: The Fellow will research and collect data of domestic and international wildlife legislation to support counter wildlife trafficking.  In addition, the Fellow will provide draft model legislation that will be presented at the Wildlife Trafficking Parliamentarian Forum in November 2022.  The Fellow will be invited back to provide a presentation on the research and model law development. There will be opportunities to engage with foreign nationals responsible for counter wildlife trafficking enforcement throughout this project. 

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in law enforcement/criminal justice, social sciences, or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: Valid Driver’s License, Ability, and willingness to use a firearm

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal skills, cross-cultural communication skills, partnership building, project management experience, public speaking, leadership roles, teamwork, and management/facilitation.

Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge Community Engagement: Redefining Our Relationship (Townsend)

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; Savannah Coastal Refuges Complex/Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge

Housing: Supported (Bunkhouse on Refuge)

Project Background: Interested in a project where natural resources and cultures clash? The history at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge – from its time as a World War II airfield to the important habitat it provides for the threatened wood stork and the direct descendants’ connection to the land – provides a myriad of challenges and opportunities. The Service is keenly focused on future engagement with the community to include them in a dialogue while working together. The community of Harris Neck and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are now working together to engage in a forward-looking perspective. The Fellow will be exposed to leadership at all levels in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the local community, and external organizations, and will gain experience in strategic thinking, leadership, and change management. The Fellow will work in a team setting, while afforded autonomy and independence. Those interested in challenge, change, conservation, and culture should apply.

Project Duties: The Fellow will assist in this change and will be involved in everything from community engagement, refuge events, community assisted cultural interpretation projects, and strategic planning. Tasks will include leading the development of a cultural/natural interpretive projects while including community members in its development. The Fellow will also plan and deliver at least one event on the refuge (can be virtual if remote work is required) such as but not limited to youth fishing days, ethno-botany tours, cultural interpretation, etc. 

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 major in Education/Outreach, Social Science/Humanities, or closely related field.

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

Desired Characteristics: Leadership, partnerships, collaboration, and communication.

Maryland

Assessment of Renewable Energy Investment at Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries (Laurel)

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

Location: North Atlantic Appalachian Region, Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, MD 

Housing: Supported, housing provided onsite, rent-free

Project Background: This project has two focus areas: First, the Fellow will canvass the Legacy Region Stations (NWRS and FAC) at which green infrastructure investments have been made already to ascertain whether they have lived up to expectations, as well as any lessons learned since implementations. Photovoltaic systems have been installed at 43 stations; 3 stations have wind turbines; 1 station installed a small hydro-turbine; and 15 stations have had geothermal systems installed. Site visits to representative stations from this list to talk to field staff would be an important aspect of the project. The second aspect of this project would be to write a report/presentation recommending specific future investments in green energy within the region.

Project Duties: Evaluating the efficacy of these investments, as well as highlighting unforeseen challenges associated with them will better inform the region in pursuing future green energy investments.  The Fellow will also write a report/presentation recommending specific future investments in green energy within the region. The recommendations within this report/presentation should reflect investment areas consistent with Biden-Harris Administration and DOI priorities for a “Clean Energy Future”. Some outstanding questions to address: How should we expand our green infrastructure footprint? How do we shift our reliance toward a cleaner energy vehicle fleet, and what infrastructure do we need in to make it possible? Are there options and locations for the Region to implement larger projects on Service-owned lands consistent with the FWS mission? Through this project, the Fellow will help the Service plan more strategically with respect to investing in future green energy projects. Site visits to representative stations from this list to talk to field staff will expected during the project.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in renewable energy, natural resource management, land management, environmental engagement, engineering, or other closely related field. 

Working Conditions/Requirements: Valid driver’s license and an ability to drive federal vehicles.

Desired Characteristics: An ideal candidate for this position would have skills and/or experience in the following areas: project management, technical writing, interpersonal communication, public speaking, teamwork, and leadership (school, extracurricular, etc.).

Minnesota

Wetland bathymetry and a synthesis of cattail management (Middle River)

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

Location: Legacy Region 3 (Midwest); Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge, Middle River, Minnesota

Housing: Supported, bunkhouse, on-site

Project Background: This Fellowship position is located at Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge, located in northwest Minnesota within an ecologically unique transition zone between deciduous and boreal forests to the east and tallgrass prairie to the west. Agassiz NWR consists of 61,500 acres with the majority (60%) considered wetland habitat; much of this is in the form of actively managed wetland impoundments. The Refuge provides critical breeding and migratory habitat for numerous species of waterfowl, shorebirds, and other avian populations, and is home to a variety of resident wildlife including moose, bears, wolves, deer, grouse, and turkey. Cattail species are an ongoing threat to wetland habitat on the Refuge due to the aggressive growth of hybrid cattail which eliminates important habitat for nesting and migratory birds. The Refuge has been managing invasive cattail for >10 years with varying levels of success in different pools. This project would aim to inform management on how cattail is affecting wetland habitat quality, pool storage capacity, and in turn, how Agassiz management is affecting cattail. 

Project Duties: The Fellow will 1) collect bathymetry data on a wetland impoundment, and 2) incorporate that data into an evaluation of past cattail management records on the Refuge.

This work will include field data collection, input, and analysis (via ArcGIS); reviewing Refuge records on past management; and exploring correlations or trends between management techniques, water levels, and cattail recovery or regeneration patterns. The Fellow will incorporate their findings on the bathymetry work to examine water depth relationships with cattail extent. The Fellow will produce a final report and presentation on their investigation of cattail management at Agassiz NWR. In addition, the Fellow will get to attend the week-long Student Intern Workshop at the Regional Office to gain exposure to all the opportunities within the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in Biological Sciences, Geographic Information Sciences or other closely related field (e.g., 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) are qualified. Graduate students are also encouraged to apply. 

Working Conditions/Requirements: A valid driver’s license and an ability to drive federal vehicles, ability to conduct field work involving hiking and carrying equipment, ability to lift/carry 50 lbs., ability, and willingness to live in a remote area for weeks at a time, and experience with ArcGIS.

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication skills, project management experience, public speaking skills or interest, conflict management and resolution skills, management and facilitation skills, technical writing skills, and interest in data analysis.

Montana

Ultrasound Guided Identification of Atresia in Pallid Sturgeon (Bozeman)

Project Type: This field project will be cancelled if telework or remote work is required by USFWS or DOI leadership.

Location: Legacy Region 6, Bozeman Fish Technology and Health Center, Bozeman, Montana

Housing: Supported ($6,000 housing stipend for the summer)

Project Background: The DFP Fellow will be working at the Bozeman Fish Technology and Health Center in Bozeman, MT. A high rate of follicular atresia has been identified in hatchery-origin pallid sturgeon during their first gametogenic cycle as well as wild pallid sturgeon. Population modelling for the species requires accurate information about age at first spawning and spawning periodicity to assess spawning stock biomass. The specific objective will be to develop a Guide to Identification of Follicular Atresia Using Ultrasonography in Pallid Sturgeon. This guide will be a field guide provided to all state and federal agencies and universities working with pallid sturgeon in the Missouri, Yellowstone, and Mississippi Rivers. The guide will be invaluable for identification of atresia using ultrasonography and allow for an assessment of atresia across the species range in a non-invasive manner. A final presentation will be given to the Basin-wide Pallid Sturgeon Propagation Committee.

Project Duties: The Fellow will work to develop a Guide to Identification of Follicular Atresia Using Ultrasonography in Pallid Sturgeon. The Fellow will participate in the final presentation given to the Basin-wide Pallid Sturgeon Propagation Committee.

The Fellow will receive training and experience in the care of fishes, reproductive physiology of fishes, and assessment of tools used to assign sex and stage of maturity in our threatened and endangered aquatic species, though the Fellow will be working directly with the endangered pallid sturgeon. 

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

Working Conditions/Requirements: Project will take place in a laboratory as well as a wet laboratory. Valid driver’s license and the ability to lift and carry 50 lbs.

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication, teamwork, technical writing, and eagerness to learn.

Human-Grizzly Bear Conflict Reduction Coordinator (Billings)

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

Location:  This is project is based out of Region 6, Billings, MT RAC Office.

Housing: Supported (one time, $3000 housing stipend).

Project Background: As a Fellow with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement in Montana you will be working with highly trained and experienced special agents and biologists with the USFWS, state conservation officers, biologists and managers, tribal conservation officers and officials, and citizen committee members to help solve a challenging problem involving human-grizzly bear conflicts. 

Project Duties: The Fellowship will provide opportunity to travel to three different states to obtain information critical to this project and interact with numerous conservation minded individuals.  The selected Fellow will: 1) work independently while reviewing critical information, 2) critically assess data, and 3) identify previously unidentified actions/causes/behaviors/circumstances and/or commonalities involved in human-grizzly bear conflicts.  The Fellow will consolidate the data and create a written recommendation report on how to appropriately address these newly identified actions/causes/behaviors/circumstances and/or commonalities to help reduce and/or eliminate future human-grizzly bear conflicts.  There will be opportunity for the Fellow to accompany USFWS agents and biologists and state and tribal conservation officers and biologists to the safe scenes where human-grizzly bear conflicts have occurred to get first-hand experience with a variety of different conflicts. The Fellow may need to be able hike while carrying heavy equipment in adverse weather conditions in remote, rugged terrain.  The project will require you to tap into critical thinking, problem solving, interpersonal skills and technical writing.  At the finish of this project, the Fellow will present their recommendations on based on their findings. 

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in biological sciences, law enforcement/criminal justice, education/outreach, social sciences/humanities, communications/marketing, Geographic Information Sciences, or other related fields.

Requirements/Working Conditions:  Valid driver’s license, ability to lift/carry up to 50 pounds, ability to conduct field work potentially involving hiking and carrying equipment, ability to work in various weather conditions and stomach various degrees of animal decomposition.  Carry and deploy bear spray and be certified in basic first aid and CPR.

Desired Characteristics:  Teamwork, partnership building, interpersonal skills, cross-cultural communication and technical writing skills, public speaking, and leadership roles.

Nebraska

Managing Sustainable Wetland Habitat Restorations (Funk)

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

Location: Legacy Region 6, Rainwater Basin WMD, Funk, Nebraska

Housing: Supported: Onsite bunkhouse (No cost to Fellow. Built in 2019 and still very new and clean. Fellow will have own bedroom and personal bathroom and shared kitchen/living room.)

Project Background: Rainwater Basin wetlands are noted internationally for their importance to waterfowl, especially during spring migration. An estimated 10 million spring-migrating ducks and geese annually use the RWB, acquiring nutrient reserves for continued migration and for reproduction on the breeding grounds. Forty-two percent of confirmed Whooping Crane observations in Nebraska have been reported within Rainwater Basin wetlands, which provide more whooping crane use-days during fall migration than any other known migration habitat in the U.S. portion of the Central Flyway. Currently, Rainwater Basin Wetland Management District staff are developing a 5-year Habitat Management plan focused on restoring priority wetland basins on fee-title property to support migrating birds, including Whooping Crane usage. The Fellow’s work will support the plan by developing an ecologically sustainable wetland restoration at Funk Waterfowl Production Area (WPA) supporting the models developed within the Rainwater Basin WMD Habitat Management Plan.

Project Duties: The Fellow will identify and contact appropriate stakeholders; prepare an operational list involving all facets of the design and implementation of the restoration project; and participate and oversee the proposed wetland model while networking with all necessary Partners and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) within the Rainwater Basin region at the field level. The Fellow will develop a written report of the results of the 11- week Fellowship for Service and other partners and representatives within the Rainwater Basin region (e.g., Rainwater Basin Joint Venture, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Ducks Unlimited) and develop and deliver an oral presentation of the project results to Service staff, NGOs, volunteer groups, and possibly present at a scientific meeting (TBD) such as the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture Seminar. The work done by the Fellow will be invaluable for the success of the Rainwater Basin WMD, wildlife resources and habitat.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in biological sciences including conservation biology, wildlife biology, fisheries, ecology, or natural resource management; geographic and information sciences including GIS; or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: Valid driver license and an ability to drive federal vehicles. Written and oral proficiency in English.

New Mexico

Bolson Tortoise Habitat Suitability (Albuquerque)

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

Location: Southwest Region, New Mexico Ecological Service Field Office – Albuquerque, NM

Housing: Supported, Offsite 100 miles away, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Project Background: The DFP Fellow would advance achievement of recovery actions for the Bolson tortoise (Gopherus flavomarginatus) an endangered federally listed species. The historic range or this species includes the southwestern United States but identifying land expanses without management issues for the purposes of repatriation is important to this species survival.  Visits to the Armendariz and Ladder Ranches will be important since there is a captive breeding program and monitoring of transmitter tagged tortoises on the ranches. Habitat and site conditions will be characterized to use as a proxy for re-introduction efforts on Bosque del Apache and Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuges. 

Logistics planning would require coordination with Turner Endangered Species Fund staff and Refuge Managers/biologists. Successful implementation of the project plan would require a high degree of autonomy, personal responsibility, and project management skills. If necessary, a telework-based alternative can be adopted; however, site visits will be necessary to understand the dynamics of the habitat.

Project Duties: The DFP Fellow will: 1) plan field tours with Turner Endangered Species Fund personnel and National Wildlife Refuges to discover suitable translocation areas, 2) collect and manage geospatial data, and 3) photo document with pictures needed for the final report and presentation The Fellow will produce a report with methodology, habitat conditions, pictures, geospatial data, and recommended actions for the USFWS. The Fellow will produce an oral presentation that will cover project methods, achievements and recommendations for future would be given to leadership at the end of the Fellowship.

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 (biology, ecology, wildlife management, and geographic and information sciences) or a closely related field.

Endemic salamander occupancy and habitat survey work (Albuquerque)

Project Type: Field. This field project will be canceled if telework or remote work is required by USFWS or DOI leadership.

Location: Legacy Region 2, Southwest Region, New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office – Albuquerque, NM

Housing: Supported, shared National Park Service/US Forest Service, Jemez Springs, NM

Project Background: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Albuquerque NM Ecological Services Field Office (NMESFO) is seeking an individual to assist with occupancy surveys for the Jemez Mountains salamander (Plethodon neomexicanus; JMS). The individual will assist the NMESFO species lead and other species experts during the active season (mainly in July and August) for this salamander. Additionally, the individual will assist with habitat assessment surveys in areas without more recent salamander detections to determine habitat suitability. Habitat surveys are needed due to recent fire (i.e., Las Conchas in 2011, Thompson Ridge in 2013, etc.) activity in the Jemez Mountains and the need to identify management areas for the Recovery Plan. 

Project Duties: The Fellow will be expected to generate a map of occupancy and habitat survey information, draft a habitat survey report, and present this information to the USFWS and others. The occupancy and habitat survey information will be used to help identify and clarify areas for population units (from the JMS Species Status Assessment) or to target for management actions (for the upcoming JMS Recovery Plan). Survey information

Much of the work will be with the JMS but opportunities to assist with surveys for Sacramento Mountains salamander (Aneides hardii; SMS) may also be available pending JMS workload completion and approval. Any SMS surveys conducted by the Fellow will aid in management of this species for the NM Department of Game and Fish. 

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; geographic information sciences; communications/marketing;) 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., and Ability and willingness to live in a remote camp for weeks at a time 

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication, Cross-Cultural communication skills, Project Management experience, Leadership roles (school, extracurricular, etc.), Teamwork, Conflict, Management/Facilitation, Technical Writing, and Other: Field data collection and management skills. GIS data collection, editing and analysis skills.

NM Meadow Jumping Mouse Soil Moisture and Water Quality Assessment (San Antonio)

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

Location: Legacy Region 2, Southwest Region – Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge – San Antonio, NM

Housing: Supported by duty station, furnished Refuge shared quarters, on-site at duty location

Project Background: Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) will host a student in an undergraduate or graduate degree program with statistical, biological monitoring and writing/oral communication skills, that maintains interest in habitat management and federally listed species. The Refuge seeks to develop a monitoring protocol, water management matrix and monitoring plan focusing on New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (NMMJM) hydrological requirements. The results of these projects will guide Refuge management prescriptions, identify water quantity/quality needs for this species and meet Refuge goals and objectives. 

Project Duties: Soil Moisture Project: The Fellow will expand upon efforts tested in 2020 and 2022. This includes the independent set-up and establishment of five survey transects, set in place to monitor hourly variances in soil moisture content within NMMJM habitat. The Fellow will maintain probes and data loggers, extract data from data loggers, compile data and investigate options to create a matrix for Refuge water management uses. The Fellow will work closely with Fish and Wildlife Service personnel to establish monitoring equipment. The Fellow will analyze all data and draft an official monitoring protocol while working with FWS personnel. 

Water Quality Monitoring Project: The Fellow will also develop a water quality monitoring plan separate from the Soil Moisture Project. This project will complement NMMJM efforts on the Refuge and provide baseline data to ensure water quality parameters remain suitable for this species. The Fellow will accomplish this by developing practical methods for use of a hand-held YSI meter to efficiently document changes in water quality parameters concerning waters associated with the NMMJM. 

Upon completion of the monitoring protocol and plans, the Fellow will present results to FWS personnel and train Refuge field staff. This will likely include sharing results with stakeholders such as Bureau of Reclamation and Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District. 

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in Biological sciences, Natural Resources Management, Biology, Wildlife Conservation, Zoology, Environmental Science, Ecology, 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.

Desired Characteristics: Use of Excel and other data management programs.

Assessment of pollinator presence at the Northern New Mexico NWR Complex (Watrous)

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

Location: Southwest Region, Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge – Watrous, NM 

Housing: Supported, Bunkhouse at Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge 

Project Background: New Mexico is one of the most diverse states in terms of pollinators with over 1,000 species of native bees and over 350 species of butterflies. However, pollinator data is significantly lacking in Northern New Mexico, especially at the Northern New Mexico National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Grassland health and management is a biological priority for all three refuges in the complex. Pollinator populations are in decline due to habitat loss, fragmentation, and invasive species. Assessments of pollinator status and health remain a national priority, as documented cases of species loss continue to accrue globally. It is critical to expand Federal efforts and take new steps to reverse pollinator losses and help restore populations to healthy levels.

Science Applications USFWS Legacy Region 2 has identified the critical need to monitor pollinator populations across the Southwest refuges. This project will assist with the national pollinator team to develop FWS pollinator databases, standard protocols, and citizen science programs while creating baseline inventories at the Northern New Mexico NWR Complex. 

This project takes place at the Northern New Mexico NWR Complex, which includes the Las Vegas, Maxwell, and Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuges in Northeastern New Mexico. 

Project Duties: The Fellow will complete surveys, curate insect samples and assist with developing standard protocols in collaboration with USFWS staff, New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) researchers and private partners. Fellows will also shadow refuge managers, biologists, maintenance workers, New Mexico Invasive Species Strike Team, and visitor service managers at the complex. NMHU and the complex collaborate on research projects and Fellows will be able to assist professors and students.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in biological sciences, education and outreach, geographic information sciences, 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., and Ability and willingness to live in a remote camp for weeks at a time.

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication; Cross-Cultural communication skills; Partnership building; Management/Facilitation; Public speaking; Leadership roles (school, extracurricular, etc.) Teamwork; and Technical Writing.

New York

Live Evidence Coordinator- Turtle Fellow (Valley Stream)

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

Location:  This is project is based out of Region 5, Valley Stream Office of Law Enforcement, Valley Stream, NY.

Housing: Supported (monthly or lump sum provided by duty station in addition to stipend).

Project Background: This project will support the fight against global wildlife trafficking of US native turtles. Through collaboration and creative problem solving, the Fellow will improve conservation outcomes for seized, smuggled turtles, while helping OLE establish standard operating procedures and solidifying our partnerships with AZA institutions and other FWS divisions. The Fellow will work with or at various duty stations in Region 5. Some travel may be required (if in-person work is possible). 

Project Duties: The Fellow will create a contact list (rolodex) for long-term care and housing of seized turtles and other seized live animals. The Fellow will develop SOPs for shorter term care and housing. The Fellow will also organize and schedule safety training for field staff, to be provided by existing partners. The Fellow will develop a database for seized turtles, funding obligations, and timeframes. The Fellow will become an active member of the At-Risk Turtle Team. The Fellow will have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with leaders in multiple Service Divisions, AZA partners, the Region 5 Office of Law Enforcement Management Team, and work alongside Inspectors and Special Agenda. The Fellow will receive mentoring from the Supervisory, Inspectors, and members of the At-Risk Turtle Team. The project will culminate in the Fellow presenting a self-generated presentation to the above groups. 

Minimum Education and Desired Degree Areas:  Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in biological sciences, education/outreach, social sciences/humanities, geographic and information sciences, law enforcement/criminal justice, communications/marketing, information technology/computer science, or other related fields.

Working Conditions and Requirements:  Valid driver’s license, Ability to lift/carry 50 lbs.

Desired Characteristics:  Interpersonal communication, Cross-Cultural communication skills, Partnership building, Public speaking, Leadership roles (school, extracurricular, etc.), Teamwork, Conflict, Technical Writing.

Oregon

Southern Oregon and Northern California Bumble Bee Habitat Surveys: 2 positions available (Ashland)

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.

Western Bumble Bee Nest Site Monitoring (Portland)

Project Type: Field. This field project will be cancelled if telework or remote work is required by USFWS or DOI leadership.

Location: Legacy Region 1 (Pacific), FWS Region 9 Office (Legacy Region 1), Portland, Oregon

Housing: Supported, offsite or provided if possible

Project Background: Widespread declines in bumble bees and other pollinators have been documented in recent decades.  This includes the western bumble bee (Bombus occidentalis), a species which has recently been petitioned for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.  However, recent survey efforts have highlighted that there are still areas in Oregon where western bumble bees can consistently be found in relatively high concentrations.  This offers a unique opportunity to close a critical gap in our understanding of the life history of this species.  While western bumble bee foraging habitats have been documented, its habitat requirements for nesting remain largely unknown.

Project Duties: Throughout the FY22 field season, the Fellow will survey for western bumble bee nests at sites in Mount Hood National Forest and collect associated habitat and environmental data (e.g., substrate and distance to floral resources).  The Fellow will also monitor nest ecology to generate estimates of colony growth and senescence over the course of the summer. Survey and habitat assessment efforts will be coordinated with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation—a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partner.  Survey protocol and bumble bee identification trainings will be provided by Xerces and FWS staff.  The information collected throughout the FY22 field season will directly inform conservation planning and recovery efforts for the western bumble bee. After data collection is complete, the Fellow will develop a written report and deliver an oral presentation to the Service and our partners sharing their results. This project is an excellent opportunity for the Fellow to learn about the Service’s Science Applications Program and gather data that will be used for Species Status Assessments (SSA), recovery planning, and conservation on a landscape scale.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors, seniors who are pursuing a degree in biological sciences; including conservation biology, wildlife biology, entomology, ecology, botany, or natural resource management; or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: Written and oral proficiency in English and an ability to operate a GPS unit.  Field work will occur in Mount Hood National Forest at higher elevations.  Fellows will be required to hike, have a driver’s license, and have an ability to drive on four-wheel drive roads.

Desired Characteristics: Insect identification, especially bumble bees; plant identification; an understanding of pollinator ecology; an ability to operate a GPS unit; hiking and four-wheel driving.

Mapping Pollinator Restoration Efforts in the Western States (Portland)

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

Location: FWS Region 9 Office (Legacy Region 1), Portland, Oregon

Housing: Supported if needed, offsite

Project Background: This project would compile critical information needed by State and Federal managers for pollinators petitioned for listing under the Federal Endangered Species Act: monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus plexippus), Western bumble bee (Bombus occidentalis), and Suckley’s cuckoo bumble bee (Bombus suckleyi).  It is the Service’s priority to work with States to understand and address the needs of declining species, halt declines, reverse declines, and secure the long-term viability of pollinators.  

Working with the States of Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, California, Arizona, and Utah, the Western Association of Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA), non-governmental organizations, and other federal agencies, the goal of this project is to compile, analyze, summarize, and map conservation accomplishments in a holistic way to understand what is happening at local and landscape scales. 

Project Duties: The Fellow will work with FWS staff to enhance the Monarch Conservation Database (MCD) by mapping the pollinator restoration projects recorded by the system.  Conservation accomplishments from the MCD, western states, NGOs, and other federal agencies will be compiled, mapped, and stored in a geodatabase developed by the Fellow.

The Fellow will work with FWS staff to incorporate the conservation accomplishments from their geodatabase into the Service’s National Bee Distribution Tool.  This tool allows users to query bee species based on attributes such as conservation status and to visualize the distribution of those species on a map.  By incorporating conservation accomplishments into the tool, users will be able to see the relation between species presence and restoration action allowing for prioritization of future conservation work. The Fellow will work directly with the Office of Science Applications located in Portland, Oregon.  The Fellow would interact regularly with state managers in 7 western states, federal land management agencies, WAFWA, and non-governmental organizations.  The Fellow will have the opportunity to present their work to both the Service and our partners. 

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in biological sciences; geographic and information sciences; information technology/computer science; or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: No additional requirements.

Desired Characteristics: interpersonal communication skills, partnership building, project management experience, teamwork, management/facilitation, technical writing.

Puerto Rico

Red-tailed Boa Assessment within Endangered Species Release Areas (Boquerón / Maricao)

Project Type: Field – This field project will be cancelled if telework or remote work is required by USFWS or DOI leadership

Location: Legacy Region 4, Southeast Region, Caribbean Ecological Services Field Office (CESFO), Boquerón / Maricao Duty Station, Boquerón / Maricao, Puerto Rico

Housing: Supported ($1,500 stipend)

Project Background: The Department of the Interior has developed a strategic plan goal of advancing invasive species management by implementing early detection surveys to study movements and feeding patterns. The main goal of the project is to assist with the implementation of this plan and control the Red-tailed boas within the Puerto Rican parrot (PRPA) and the Sharp-shinned hawk (SSHA) release areas in Maricao and Adjuntas, Puerto Rico. Assessing the behavior of this species is critical to ensure a successful reintroduction of SSHA and the establishment of the third PRPA wild population. 

Project Duties: The Fellow will work on these major goals of the project 1) Cond:uct rapid-assessments to determine presence/absence and occupancy of Red-tailed boas in the PRPA release site at Maricao, P.R. and SSHA release site in Adjuntas, P.R.; 2) Control the Red-tailed boa population by the capture and removal of the encountered individuals in the PRPA release site at Maricao, P.R. and SSHA release site in Adjuntas, P.R.; 3) Conduct an assessment of Red-tailed boa feeding patterns in the PRPA release site at Maricao, P.R. and SSHA release site in Adjuntas, P.R. by conducting stomach content analyses in collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico Ecology and Wildlife Conservation Lab.; 4) Conduct an assessment of Red-tailed boa movement patterns in and around the PRPA release site at Maricao, P.R. and SSHA release site in Adjuntas, P.R. by tracking 3-5 individuals using radio-transmitters.; and 5) Administer a species identification chart in communities located within a 1 km radius from both release sites to determine and validate Red-tailed boa sightings. 

The Fellow will have the opportunity to collaborate with CESFO’s staff and supervisors in both planning and field work, working with university partners leading invasive species control and management in Puerto Rico, learning about recovery and introduction programs of federally listed species, and preparing reports and presentations.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in Biological sciences, 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 related fields.

Working Conditions/Requirements: Required to have a valid driver’s license (needed to drive a Government vehicle); Fluency in Spanish; Ability to conduct field work on rough terrains; ability to lift and carry 50lb.

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication; cross-cultural communication skills, partnership building; project management experience; teamwork; management and facilitation, technical writing.

Texas

 Salinity Trends on the Upper Texas Coast (Anahuac)

Project Type: Field. This field project will be cancelled if telework or remote work is required by USFWS or DOI leadership.

Location: Legacy Region 2, Southwest Region, Texas Chenier Plains National Wildlife Refuge – Anahuac, TX

Housing: Supported at duty station, rent free

Project Background: The meandering bayous of the Texas Chenier Plains National Wildlife Refuge Complex cut through ancient flood plains, creating vast expanses of coastal marsh and prairie bordering Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico in southeast Texas. The marshes and prairies are host or home to an abundance of wildlife, from migratory birds, to alligators, to bobcats, and more. Monitoring and evaluating salinities on the Texas Gulf Coast is critical for current and future habitat conservation and management. Water salinity is a driving force for both plant and animal communities within the region. Tropical cyclones, sea-level rise, accretion and subsidence, marsh management, and urbanization are few primary factors affecting water salinities on the Texas Chenier Plains National Wildlife Refuges Complex. Evaluating trends in a long-term salinity data sets will allow biologists and managers to improve best management practices for critical vegetative communities and Threatened and Endangered wildlife and fish species, while predicting and planning for changes in coastal environments. 

Project Duties: The Fellow will collect and analyze long-term salinity data while expanding their knowledge of field methods and biology across the wildlife refuge complex. The Fellow will: 1) collect weekly salinities data and establish databases on both Anahuac and McFaddin NWRs by collecting weekly samples via airboats and YSIs. 2) work directly or remotely with Anahuac and McFaddin biologists to gather and organize long-term salinity data bases in Excel for each refuge, 3) analyze long-term salinity trends in relation to sea-level rise, tropical cyclone events, major rainfall events, management in collaboration with FWS statisticians, and 4) draw conclusions, forecast predictions, compose a report, and present results to biologists, maintenance staff, and refuge. Throughout the duration of the DFP, work with refuge managers, biologists, and maintenance staff to broaden field experience, networking skills, and biological knowledge on topics outside of the objectives of the primary DFP project. The Fellow will also frequently assist with management tasks such as mottled duck banding, moist-soil management, water-level management, invasive species control, organic rice farming, and cattle grazing programs. The Fellow will have the opportunity to network with refuge managers, biologists, and maintenance staff, in addition to refining data analysis, writing, and presentation skills.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in (biological sciences; geographic information sciences; statistics) 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.; Ability to use Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. 

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication, partnership building, project management experience, leadership roles (school, extracurricular, etc.), teamwork, conflict management/facilitation, technical writing, and statistical analysis.

Survey of Guadalupe fatmucket populations in Guadalupe River tributaries (Austin)

Project Type: Field. This field project will be cancelled if telework or remote work is required by USFWS or DOI leadership.

Location: Legacy Region 2, Southwest Region, Austin Texas Ecological Services Field Office – Austin, Texas 

Housing: $750/month housing stipend

Project Background: The Austin Texas Ecological Services Field Office is seeking a Fellow to complete freshwater mussel surveys for a recently proposed endangered species in the upper Guadalupe River basin. The proposed project supports the Services’ “Threatened and Endangered Species: Achieving Recovery and Preventing Extinction” priority by identifying occupied habitats for a species recently proposed for federal listing as an Endangered Species.  

Data collected by the project will be used by the Ecological Services and Fisheries and Aquatic Conservation branches of the Service by 1) identifying occupied and unoccupied habitats for the Guadalupe fatmucket (Lampsilis bergmanni) in under-surveyed tributaries located in the upper Guadalupe River basin; 2) identifying potential sources of brood stock for propagation activities and federal hatcheries; and 3) identifying potential future restoration sites for the species. 

Project Duties:  The Fellow will complete freshwater mussel surveys for a recently proposed endangered species in the upper Guadalupe River basin. The proposed project supports the Services’ “Threatened and Endangered Species: Achieving Recovery and Preventing Extinction” priority by identifying occupied habitats for a species recently proposed for federal listing as an Endangered Species.  At the conclusion of the project, the Fellow will prepare and submit a final survey report detailing findings of the surveys that will include background, methodology Backgrounds, tables summarizing survey results, and associated figures and mapping. The Fellow will also present the findings of the project to Austin ESFO staff and their internal and external conservation partners.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in Biological sciences, Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Environmental Studies, or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: The selected Fellow will need a current, valid driver’s license and obtain approval to drive federal vehicles, be able to life/carry up to 50 lbs., and be able to conduct field work that may require hiking, and complete USFWS Region 2 snorkeling and water safety training.

Desired Characteristics: Desired characteristics for the selected Fellow may include project management experience, interpersonal communication skills, demonstrated leadership and teamwork experiences, and technical writing experience.

Washington

Digital Media Outreach Specialist – Leavenworth Fisheries Complex (Leavenworth)

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

Location: Legacy Region 1, Leavenworth Fisheries Complex, Leavenworth, WA. (If project needs to be remote due to COVID -19, Fellow will work from home and receive a housing stipend.)

Housing: None provided, but a housing stipend to cover rent. If project must become remote, the Fellow may receive a monthly housing stipend reimbursement (up to $1,500.00 per month).

Project Background: The Leavenworth Fisheries Complex (LFC) has 100,000 visitors a year at the Leavenworth, Entiat, and Winthrop national fish hatcheries.  That is a startling number for our small facilities.  Our challenge is to provide the best possible experience for our visitors – and that begins off-site.  With effective digital outreach, we can invite visitors to come here, pique their interest, and prepare them for what they might see and do.  We can also serve “virtual visitors” who may not be able to travel to our hatcheries, or enter buildings, due to local and regional travel and health restrictions. Paving the way for in-person and virtual visits, we can deliver important, relevant conservation messages targeted audiences, such as English- and Spanish-speaking audiences. Creating an appropriate and interesting digital outreach package requires time, specific interests, motivation, and specialized skills. This is an ideal job and unique opportunity for a DFP Fellow to fulfill a critical need for Region 1’s Fish and Aquatic Conservation (FAC) program and the LFC in FY2022.  The FAC program nationally has produced an excellent communication strategy.  Since the start of the Covid pandemic, virtual communications have become even more critical. Based on a document from our leadership, the LFC aims to follow the goals outlined: 1) increase awareness of FAC work and its relevance to target audiences, 2) create consistent messages while working collaboratively to increase participation in angling, outdoor recreation, and conservation, and 3) sync with overall Service and DOI goals.

Project Duties: The Fellow will be producing digital media that help deliver our messages to audiences we target. Among these audiences is our Spanish-speaking community, which makes up 60% of the City of Wenatchee (largest city near the LFC).  The Fellow will work with the Visitor Services Manager to assemble a specific list of digital outreach projects (such as a virtual 3-D tour of the hatchery visitor center and buildings) and will rank the projects in order of priority. The Fellow will work with partners to produce Spanish-language versions of each digital outreach project, as appropriate. The Fellow will plan an achievable timeline to complete each project, starting with the top priority. Finally, the Fellow will design and outline a project continuation plan for future staff members and volunteers to complete post Fellowship. We expect some digital outreach projects to be fully completed by the end of the Fellowship and other assignments to reach varying stages of design and development for future work.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and senior who are pursuing a degree in education and outreach, social sciences, history/archives/museum studies, humanities, or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: If onsite/in-person, a valid driver’s license is required.

Desired Characteristics: Written and oral proficiency in Spanish as well as English, strong communication skills, technical proficiency in working with digital media, and experience working on teams are desired.

Washington Fish and Wildlife Office Multi-Species Priority Habitat Mapping for Climate Resiliency (Lacey)

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

Location: Fellow will work from their home location but will receive a housing stipend from Legacy Region 1, Washington Fish and Wildlife Office, Lacey, Washington.

Housing: Project is remote. Fellow will receive a reimbursement of up to $1,500.00 per month housing stipend based on submission of rental receipt during 11-week project duration.

Project Background: This project is a remote Fellowship working with the Central Washington Field Office (in Wenatchee, WA) and the Washington Fish and Wildlife Office (in Lacey, WA). The Multi-species Priority Habitat Mapping for Climate Resiliency Project for the East slope Cascades and Westside Forests Ecosystem Zones will identify and map areas that should be prioritized for recovery and restoration for multiple species.  These two zones encompass multiple forested areas and watersheds from alpine headwaters down to the lower river systems and are home to several high priority species and their habitats including bull trout, northern spotted owl, Canada lynx, Mt. Rainier White-tailed ptarmigan, White bark pine and many others. This mapping project will identify refugia areas that will help maintain and recover multiple species in the future under climate change. 

Project Duties: The Fellow tasks and duties during the project will include coordinating weekly meetings with an advisory team of species and issue leads and the WFWO GIS technical lead to develop a multi-species integrated mapping tool.

The Fellow will produce (1) a compilation of existing priority habitat mapping data for single species (2) An integrated mapping tool for prioritizing refugia areas for conservation of multiple species in a future under climate change for the East slope Cascades and Westside Forests Ecosystem Zones in Washington, and (3) will produce a summary document with methodology and rationale used for the mapping tool, and needs and data gaps for future climate resiliency priority area mapping efforts for multiple species. Job shadowing opportunities from the field office to regional level will be plentiful. Multiple high priority species in the WFWO offices have monthly, range-wide species and planning coordination meetings with internal and external partners. There will be opportunities to attend and participate in these coordination meetings, as well as shadow technical, issue and species leads.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Graduate – second-year MS student with advanced GIS mapping and modeling skills, with a major in either the Geographic Information Sciences and/or the Biological Sciences (including, but not limited to Natural Resource Management, Zoology, Environmental Science, Ecology, or Conservation Biology).

Working Conditions/Requirements: The project is remote and requires access to high-speed internet. Applicant must be proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, statistical software (such as R) and ArcMap/ArcPro (GIS). Must be organized, detail oriented, be able to communicate effectively in oral and written forms and be able to work independently with minimal supervision.

Desired Characteristics: Knowledge of natural resource and wildlife management including the habitat needs of plants, fish, and wildlife. Experience with and knowledge of habitat suitability modeling, etc. is desired. Strong candidates for this project include interpersonal communication skills, partnership building skills, public speaking experience, leadership roles (school, extracurricular, etc.), teamwork skills, and technical writing skills.

Wisconsin

Validating eDNA markers for Aquatic Invasive Species (Onalaska)

Project Type: Field. This field project will be cancelled if telework or remote work is required by USFWS or DOI leadership.

Location: Legacy Region 3, Midwest, Midwest Fishery Center-Whitney Genetics Lab, Onalaska, WI

Housing: Supported Offsite, $750/month stipend provided

Project Background: The Whitney Genetics Laboratory (WGL) is a state-of-the-art conservation genetics lab located in Onalaska, Wisconsin. Onalaska is in the driftless region of Wisconsin which is characterized by high bluffs along the Mississippi River and deep river valleys and is home to countless outdoor recreation opportunities as well as three colleges and universities. The lab uses advanced technology including qPCR, automated liquid handling robots, and next-generation sequencers to address conservation genetics issues including early monitoring for aquatic invasive species (AIS), species ID of unknown tissue samples, and monitoring of threatened and endangered native aquatic species. Environmental DNA (eDNA) has become an essential tool for the early detection of aquatic invasive species (AIS). Before eDNA tools can be incorporated into AIS monitoring programs, rigorous laboratory testing and validation is required. The objective of this project is to determine a workflow and the resources necessary for validating new eDNA markers in our laboratory and to validate existing eDNA markers for the Northern Snakehead; an emerging AIS threat to the Great Lakes and upper Mississippi River watersheds. 

Project Duties: The Fellow will create the following deliverables for this project: 1) a validated eDNA assay for Northern Snakehead, 2) a written report outlining the marker validation workflow and the required resources, and 3) an oral presentation describing the project results to WGL staff and Regional AIS staff. The Fellow will have the opportunity to visit our Regional Office to meet with AIS and other Fisheries Program staff. The Fellow will also have opportunities to interact with and assist staff from the co-located LaCrosse Fish Health Center and LaCrosse Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office.

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: Valid Driver’s License (needed to drive a Government vehicle)

Desired Characteristics: Inter-personal communication, partnership building, teamwork, and experience in a chemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, or genetics laboratory is desired.

Telework

Assessing Adaptive Capacity and Climate Vulnerability for At-Risk Species

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

Location: Legacy Region 4, Southeast Region; SECAS Western Field Office, Columbia, MO

Housing: Not Supported; this is a remote project.

Project Background:  Assessment of climate vulnerability is vitally important to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to make listing and classification decisions under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Fellow will help the Service develop a rigorous and consistent approach to assessing climate vulnerability with emphasis on evaluating adaptive capacity. This is a remote project that will be managed cooperatively by staff from the Science Applications program’s Columbia, MO Field Office and the Ecological Services program from the Regional Office in Atlanta, GA. The successful candidate will help the Service develop a rigorous and consistent approach to assessing climate vulnerability with emphasis on evaluating adaptive capacity. The selected Fellow will work closely with Service staff at multiple levels of the organization (field, Regional Office, and Headquarters) and scientists at the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center, as well as outside experts and partners.

Project Duties: The Fellow will conduct research and will create a prototype process or tool that FWS and US. Geological Survey (USGS) biologists can apply to any species under review. 

  • The Fellow will design a process or tool to highlight what aspects of climate change are most important to analyze when biologists conduct the full Species Status Assessment and can be implemented to inform upcoming decisions for species on the National Listing Work Plan, as well as other policy decisions under the ESA. 

The Fellow will also deliver two presentations to FWS and USGS staff and a final report suitable for publication in a scientific journal! The Fellow will work closely with Service staff at multiple levels of the organization (field, Regional Office, and Headquarters) and scientists at the Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center, as well as outside experts and partners to conduct research. The successful candidate will have multiple networking opportunities with staff in other regions and partner organizations, as well as opportunities to develop facilitation and decision analysis skills! 

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in Biological sciences, Geographic Information Sciences, Environmental Policy, or other closely related field

Working Conditions/Requirements: Valid Driver’s License and ability to drive federal vehicles; Experience developing and manipulating databases.

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication, Public speaking, Partnership building, Teamwork, Technical Writing, Project Management experience.

Prioritization Tool for Feral Swine Control on the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) in the Southeast Region

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

Location: Legacy Region 4, Southeast Region; Atlanta Regional Office (Duty Station)

Housing: Not Supported

Project Background: The Fellow will work with the NWRS Division of Strategic Resource Management to develop a prioritization model that can guide efforts to implement control measures. Geospatial data will be used to create a layer that will identify focal areas across NWRS lands thereby guiding future decisions of where to emphasize our efforts to control feral swine and protect resources of concern. 

Project Duties: The Fellow will develop a feral swine prioritization tool in the Southeast Region and will work with several Service divisions, including the National Wildlife Refuge System, Ecological Services, Fish and Aquatic Conservation, Migratory Birds, and Science Applications. This prioritization tool will support the Feral Swine Adaptive Management Strategy which is an effort to create meaningful and attainable control objectives with an emphasis on targeting those areas with the greatest biological/ecological need. The project will complement this larger effort and will be critical in how management allocates limited funding and staffing resources. The Fellow will have the opportunity to work across numerous management levels and divisions of the USFWS and opportunities to engage both internal and external stakeholders will be encouraged.

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 the biological sciences, GIS, or a closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: N/A

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication, Project Management experience, Teamwork Management/Facilitation.

Realizing America the Beautiful – A Bold Conservation Initiative

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

Location: This is a remote project based out of Region 9 (Headquarters), Falls Church, VA.

Housing: Not supported (remote).

Project Background: In January 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration set a national goal of conserving or restoring at least 30% of America’s lands and waters by 2030. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is joining with other federal agencies in supporting a 10-year, locally led campaign called “America the Beautiful” to help our nation achieve this goal. To meet this momentous opportunity, the Service built a diverse team of dedicated staff across the agency to map the path forward on immediate tasks, identify additional actions, and track our progress. Individual teams work with the Directorate and other Service leadership teams, relevant Service groups such as the national climate team, and with outside entities such as the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and non-federal partners. This DFP project will support the team focused on results and measuring the progress of the America the Beautiful initiative within the agency. This “Results” team will not only map a path forward on key deliverables specified in the Administration’s preliminary report, but also contribute more broadly on how progress will be meaningfully tracked. The Results team works with additional teams specializing in early focal areas, including the creation of more outdoor opportunities in nature-deprived communities, support for tribally led conservation, and more, in their efforts to meet the goals and spirit of the America the Beautiful campaign. This is an unparalleled opportunity for professional development, networking, national influence, and working alongside leadership. 

Project Duties: The Fellow will survey and catalog 100 USFWS projects that are contributing to the campaign’s goals and communicating the science of conservation behind the projects. Join the team to help the Service fulfill the promise of our nation’s first-ever national conservation goal! DFP Fellow tasks and duties during the project will include supporting the team focused on results and measuring the progress of the America the Beautiful initiative within the agency, including efforts to review the condition of fish and wildlife habitats and populations.  The DFP will track and monitor progress on other emphasis areas, such as creation of more outdoor opportunities in nature-deprived communities and tribally-led conservation initiatives. By the end of the Fellowship, the Fellow will have 1) developed and delivered at least one outreach tool to communicate the science of conservation underlying a subset of the 100 America the Beautiful projects surveyed by the Fellow and 2) finalized a spreadsheet and text summary of the campaigns results and key messages.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in the Biological Sciences, Education/Outreach, Social Sciences/Humanities, GIS, Communications/Marketing, or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: (1) Proficiency in Excel, including data entry and functions, organization & presentation; (2) Interest and/or experience in communication and science communication products.

Desired Characteristics: interpersonal communication, cross-cultural communication skills, partnership building, project management experience, public speaking, leadership roles, teamwork, technical writing, and data management.

Listed Species Determination Key Development

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

Location: Legacy Region 3, Ohio Field Office, Columbus, Ohio

Housing:  Supported – $5,000.00 total

Project Background: The US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) Information, Planning, and Conservation decision support system (IPaC) can currently deliver Endangered Species Act species lists and detailed resource information. It will soon be able to provide project design recommendations, collect environmental baseline information, and provide for the completion of much of the Threatened and Endangered section 7 consultation process via the Internet. Development and utilization of the IPaC system is a top priority for the USFWS Region 3 Endangered Species Program. Throughout the process, the Fellow would work with a Field Office biologist as their direct supervisor and work closely with other biologists in the Field Office with expertise on the species that will be addressed by the Determination Keys.

Project Duties: The Fellow will develop one or more Determination Keys that will address the effects of federal projects on at least five listed species that occur in Ohio. The Fellow will: 1) conduct an organizational review of the information available from species- and project experts in the Ohio Field Office, 2) compile that information into a Determination Key choice and logic spreadsheet that will be coded as part of the IPaC system, and 3) present the finding in an oral presentation to the Ohio field office staff and other stakeholders.  As part of the final presentation, the Fellow will recommend a template approach to developing Determination Keys for other species. The Fellow will gain expertise on the function of USFWS field offices, how they interact with subject matter experts in other offices and other federal agencies, and how they cooperate with those agencies to conserve listed species. 

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in biological sciences, natural resource management, environmental studies, geographic information sciences, or other closely related field. 

Working Conditions/Requirements: General knowledge of wildlife ecology, Familiar with the development/use of spreadsheets

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication, Project Management experience, Teamwork, Knowledge of the Endangered Species Act and the regulations and policies relating to its administration.

Prioritization Tool for Feral Swine Control on the National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) in the Southeast Region

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

Location: Legacy Region 4, Southeast Region; Atlanta Regional Office (Duty Station)

Housing: Not Supported

Project Background: The Fellow will work with the NWRS Division of Strategic Resource Management to develop a prioritization model that can guide efforts to implement control measures. Geospatial data will be used to create a layer that will identify focal areas across NWRS lands thereby guiding future decisions of where to emphasize our efforts to control feral swine and protect resources of concern. 

Project Duties: The Fellow will develop a feral swine prioritization tool in the Southeast Region and will work with several Service divisions, including the National Wildlife Refuge System, Ecological Services, Fish and Aquatic Conservation, Migratory Birds, and Science Applications. This prioritization tool will support the Feral Swine Adaptive Management Strategy which is an effort to create meaningful and attainable control objectives with an emphasis on targeting those areas with the greatest biological/ecological need. The project will complement this larger effort and will be critical in how management allocates limited funding and staffing resources. The Fellow will have the opportunity to work across numerous management levels and divisions of the USFWS and opportunities to engage both internal and external stakeholders will be encouraged.

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 the biological sciences, GIS, or a closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: N/A

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication, Project Management experience, Teamwork Management/Facilitation.

Hydrologic Effects of Water Operations in the Everglades

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

Location: Legacy Region 4, Southeast Region; Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, Davie, FL

Housing: Not Supported; this is a remote project.

Project Background: Everglade’s restoration is one of the largest ecosystem restoration projects in the world. At the core of restoration is a goal to “Get the Water Right”. Getting the water right requires a combination of modifications to infrastructure, much of which is included in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, and changes to operations to the Central and South Florida Project, the series of canals and structures managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The products from this effort will support adaptive management efforts by providing information on how modeled conditions are or are not being met and will also support preparation of biological opinions by providing products that can be used to evaluate the effects of upcoming projects.

Project Duties: The Fellow will work with the Science Applications/Migratory Bird Program and the Ecological Services and Refuge programs. The Fellow will have the lead role in: 1) reviewing ecological model output, 2) comparing model output to actual observations, and 3) providing a written analysis of how modeled hydro periods and water depths differ across baselines used with three different operations plans. In addition, the Fellow will present their results to an interagency team of scientists and decision makers. 

To obtain the relevant background and datasets, the Fellow will need to interact internally with Service staff including field biologists, project leaders, and State and Refuge Supervisors. Externally, the Fellow will work collaboratively with staff at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Florida Water Management District, National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Products will include maps, tables, metadata, and a final report 

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, Geographic and Information Sciences, Communications/Marketing, and Information Technology/Computer Science or closely related fields.

Working Conditions/Requirements: Experience using and programming in R. Working knowledge of GISPro. Knowledge of netCDF data format.

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication, Project Management experience, Teamwork, Technical Writing, Ability to work with large datasets.

Assessing and facilitating FWS reduction of bird-glass collisions

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

Location:  This is a remote project based out of Region 9 (Headquarters), Falls Church, VA.

Housing: Not supported (remote).

Project Background: Recent research determined that North America has lost nearly three billion birds since 1970 which motivates an organized response from the Service. Given that bird collisions with glass and towers result in fatalities of more than 1 billion birds per year in North America, the Service is taking steps to reduce those collisions. The Service recently developed, tested, and improved an online interactive spatial building survey tool allowing a rapid quantification of the Service buildings and towers and their risks to birds. To accomplish survey completion, outreach and facilitation are needed. This project offers a unique opportunity to network with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Migratory Bird Program and National Wildlife Refuge System and address bird collisions occurring at Service refuges throughout the U.S. 

Project Duties: The Fellow will be provided background on the latest science and management in bird collision prevention and familiarized with tools for assessing refuge buildings and other infrastructure for collision risk. Once equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools, the Fellow will develop outreach and educational materials to encourage employees to complete the survey at their facilities, facilitate building and tower changes and educate the public.  At the end of the 11-week project, the Fellow will present to Service staff and regional leadership about their experience and progress with addressing bird strikes at Service facilities. The Fellow will be working remotely from their desired location.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in Biological sciences, Education/outreach, social sciences, communications/marketing, Information Technology/Computer Science, or other closely related field. 

Working Conditions/Requirements: N/A.

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communications skills, partnership building, teamwork, conflict, and management/facilitation.

Communicating the Impact of International Programs to Combat Wildlife Trafficking

Location: This is a remote project based out of Region 9 (Headquarters), Falls Church, VA.

Housing: Not supported (remote).

Project Background: The DFP Fellow would be located 100% remote in a telework position; however, the supervisor and team sit at Headquarters in Falls Church, VA and the Fellow will be expected to engage on Eastern Standard Time. Wildlife trafficking is the second greatest threat to biodiversity after habitat destruction, affecting more than 6,000 species and valued at $72 to $216 billion each year. The United States recognizes wildlife trafficking as a serious transnational crime that threatens species and undermines U.S. priorities, including national security, human health, and the economy. The Combating Wildlife Trafficking Strategy and Partnerships (CWT) Branch in the USFWS’ International Affairs program provides technical and financial support to address threats from illegal wildlife trade. The CWT Branch recently established two programs to: 1) sponsor regional cohorts in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Master’s Course, and 2) provide financial assistance that conserve species primarily threatened by wildlife trafficking. 

Project Duties: The CWT Branch seeks a Fellow to lead the development of outreach materials to share the outcomes and impacts of these two high-profile programs with Congress, interagency partners, and international collaborators. To promote the CITES Master’s Course and Priority Species Program, the Fellow will create a communications and outreach strategy, synthesize written and graphical content, design layouts, and manage to production a suite of outreach materials (consisting of a fact sheet, social media toolkit, and booklet or blog articles) for each program. The Fellow will advance their skills in crafting compelling narratives to spotlight program successes; in cross-team collaboration while working closely with programmatic and outreach staff from the CWT Branch and Office of Outreach and Communication; and in targeting and delivering outreach to diverse audiences.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in biological sciences; education and outreach; social science and outreach, law enforcement and criminal justice, communications/marketing, or other closely related fields.

Working Conditions/Requirements: Outstanding oral and written communication skills; strong graphic design skills; proficiency with the Adobe product suite including mandatory skills in Photoshop and InDesign; ability to organize, prioritize and multi-task and deliver on multiple projects; attention to detail; demonstrated ability to collaborate and work as part of a team.

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication; project management experience; teamwork.