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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/RequirementsValid driver license and an ability to drive federal vehicles. Written and oral proficiency in English.