New Mexico Projects

< Back to DFP Opportunities

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

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.

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.

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.

Establishment and Development of Accessibility Tools for Southwest Refuges (Albuquerque)

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 Regional Office, National Wildlife Refuge System – Albuquerque, NM

Housing: $750/month housing stipend 

Project Background: To ensure that National Wildlife Refuges and public lands remain accessible and enjoyable to all, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should maintain full adherence to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) of 1968.  Within Conserving the Future, one of the visions states, “Refuges are welcoming, safe and accessible for visitors, with a variety of ways to enjoy, learn about, appreciate and help conserve America’s wildlife.” In addition, this project supports the Department of Interior priority of centering equity and environmental justice efforts to communities who have traditionally been excluded from federal lands and conservation efforts, including individuals with disabilities. Based out of downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico, the National Wildlife Refuge System Program’s Divisions of Visitor Services and Budget/Infrastructure Management are looking to hire an Accessibility Fellow through the Directorate Resource Assistance Fellowship Program. 

Project Duties

The Fellow will: 1) collect weekly salinities data and establish databases on both Anahuac and McFaddin NWRs by gathering samples via airboats and other modes of transport, 2) analyze long-term salinity trends in relation to sea-level rise, tropical cyclone events, major rainfall events, management in collaboration with FWS statisticians, 3) work directly or remotely with Anahuac and McFaddin biologists to gather and organize long-term salinity data bases in Excel for each refuge, and 4) draw conclusions, forecast predictions, compose a report, and present results to biologists, maintenance staff, and refuge. The Fellow will then develop a Standard Operating Procedures, an accessibility inventory and audit, and training and compliance tools for FWS Field Stations to successfully navigate and comply with federal law and improve equitable access. Working out of the Regional Office, the Fellow will have an opportunity to explore and experience many facets of potential careers within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. With the chance to job shadow federal employees from different programs and operations, the Fellow will have a comprehensive view of federal employment and career paths within the agency.

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

Working Conditions/Requirements: NoneDesired Characteristics: Interpersonal communications, project management experience, leadership roles, teamwork, conflict, management/facilitation, technical writing.

Indian Arts and Crafts Act Intelligence Research Specialist: 2 Positions Available (Albuquerque)

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

Location:  This is an Office of Law Enforcement project based out of Region 2, Albuquerque SAC Office, Albuquerque, NM.

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

Project Background: This position would work with the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) staff as an Indian Arts and Crafts Act (IACA) Intelligence Research Specialist.  This DFP project will focus on gathering information regarding violations of the following federal statutes: 18 U.S.C. 1159 (Indian Arts and Crafts Act), 18 U.S.C. 1341 (Mail Fraud), 18 U.S.C. 1343 (Wire Fraud), and 18 U.S.C. 545 (Smuggling). In addition to enforcing laws that protect fish, wildlife, and plants, the OLE has a dedicated unit of special agents who investigate violations of the IACA. This investigative unit’s efforts have led to arrests, indictments, and convictions of those who fraudulently produce or sell counterfeit American Indian and Alaskan Native art and craftwork. Previous IACA investigations revealed jewelry importers in the United States would procure jewelry made overseas and sell the imported jewelry to retail stores in the United States.  The retailers advertise that this jewelry is made by Native Americans and increase the retail price to coincide with the authentic Native American art market.  The jewelry is designed to resemble the Native American heritage, art, and culture.  It is manufactured and distributed in a manner consistent with past practices that violated the IACA.  

Project Duties: The Fellow will data mine the FWS Law Enforcement Management Information System’s (LEMIS) importation/exportation declaration records.  The Fellow will target and assess wildlife species used in Native American style art and craftwork, export locations known for smuggling Native American style jewelry, wholesalers/importers, and historical patterns.  The primary objective is for the Fellow to identify unknown manufacturers/smugglers and refer these targets to the FWS IACB investigative unit. Working together, FWS IACB investigative Unit and Fellow will determine if target is known or unknown. · If unknown target is identified, the Fellow will create an electronic folder (with supervision from the FWS IACB RAC) using Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Adobe programs to analyze data and document patterns.  The Fellow will also create a paper binder (with supervision from the FWS IACB RAC) to coincide with the electronic file. 

Minimum Education and Desired Degree Areas:  Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in biological sciences, social sciences/humanities, geographic and information sciences, law enforcement/criminal justice, information technology/computer science, other (forensic science, economics, accounting), or another related field.

Working Conditions and Requirements:  Valid driver’s license.

Desired Characteristics:  Interpersonal communication, Cross-Cultural communication skills, Partnership building, Project Management experience, Leadership roles (school, extracurricular, etc.), Teamwork, Technical Writing, Computer skills (Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Adobe software), Ability to relate to and communicate daily with law enforcement professionals and staff.

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.

Environmental Education Curriculum Development for Multi-Refuge Framework (San Antonio)

Project Type: 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, at duty station, San Antonio, New Mexico

Project Background: In central New Mexico, two National Wildlife Refuges within Socorro County seek to collaborate in the development of a fourth grade Environmental Education framework.  This project aims to create an environmental education framework which will be used throughout Socorro County to connect fourth grade students with their local refuges: Sevilleta and Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuges. The development of approximately twelve-tiered lesson plans – both in the classroom and field trips – will help our sites share what we do and why we do it with our local community. Once implemented, these experiences will help us foster partnerships and create avenues for open communication with our neighbors. This is especially important as we navigate changes to our landscape and management decisions due to ongoing drought. 

The selected Fellow will have a variety of professional development pathways provided and will become familiar with each participating refuge. The Fellow will meet a variety of refuge staff with varying experiences and expertise from the participating field stations. Opportunities for networking with other US Fish and Wildlife Service field site staff is integrated into the resource gathering portion of the project. 

Project Duties:  The Fellow will create a fourth-grade environmental education framework and curriculum plan for participating students to foster connections using resource- and place-based techniques. The Fellow will be provided with example curriculum and meet with content experts and refuge staff from other field stations with similar environmental education models. Over eleven weeks, the Fellow will design and develop a twelve-lesson series of lesson plans which incorporates the environmental education objectives and biological priorities of Sevilleta and Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuges as well as best practices for environmental education. 

The Fellow will meet extensively with refuge staff at Bosque del Apache and Sevilleta to learn about biological and visitor services priorities, as well as the goals of the framework project. The completed fourth grade curriculum will be developed so that connections for participating students are fostered using resource- and place-based techniques. The Fellow will produce a final curricular tool that includes thoughtful steps for implementation in the upcoming academic school year and in the future. 

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

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

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication, cross-cultural communication skills, teamwork.