Oregon Projects

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

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.

Ankeny Hill Nature Center Environmental Education Specialist (Benton County)

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

Location: Legacy Region 1Pacific Northwest

Housing:  William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge has housing available to the student.  If the project must be done remotely, up to $1,500.00 will be available to support the Fellow’s housing.

Project Background: The Ankeny Nature Center (AHNC) serves as a launching pad to exploration, investigation, and experience at Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge, one of the three refuges that make up the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex (WVNWRC). Creating a space to connect our community to nature is what the Ankeny Hill Nature Center (AHNC) is all about. Salem Audubon Society, US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Friends of the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge (The Partnership) united in 2016 to connect people to nature through this dedicated space at Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge. We want to make the AHNC a resource for the mid-Willamette Valley, serving an estimated 135,000 people annually, and reach make the AHNC inclusive and accessible. We want to be an asset to our Latino community, which is a growing 28% of Marion County, therefore our website, signage, and monthly preschool programs need to be bilingual. Our goals for this community resource: environmental education opportunities; hands-on nature experiences; fostering stewardship of natural resources; providing space for other providers to present their own nature/ecology/wildlife programs. Annually, the desired outcomes for the AHNC include at least 20 classroom/virtual programs a year; 10 bilingual programs (Eng. & Spanish); and 50 outdoor education programs that take advantage of the nature trails and Nature Explore Area. 

Project Duties: The Fellow will: 1)  Develop and complete a draft bilingual, field trip curricular plan that contributes to some of the educational themes of the Ankeny Hill Nature Center (AHNC) and meets National Generation Science Standards for that grade level and is in coordination with the Visitor Services Manager (VSM) and educators, 2) design and implement a workshop for teachers and volunteers that covers the details and how-to of the developed bilingual field trip for the AHNC, and 3) plan, coordinate and execute the workshop with the VSM, OSU Extension and other partners in order to offer the workshop (virtually or in-person) with the possibility of continuing education credits for educators, and 4) present the AHNC environmental education products to the Salem Audubon board or their education committee and other stakeholders. Additional Projects to enhance AHNC program include but are not limited to: a) submit a white paper on the usefulness and applicability of Project Based Learning at the AHNC, and b) serve as a liaison to the Design Management Team (DMT) on various projects and report out monthly on items pertaining to the AHNC, as a part of the DMT.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: undergraduate rising seniors or graduate student who are pursuing a degree or advanced degree in Biological sciences; education and outreach; social sciences; communications/marketing) or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: Driver’s license required and an ability to drive federal vehicles. Bilingual, native Spanish speaker preferred.Desired Characteristics: Some outreach, interpretation and/or environmental education experience is a plus. Creative, open-minded, and collaborative individual that is a self-starter!

Building Out a Conservation Program Explorer Tool (Portland)

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

Location: Legacy Region 1Portland Regional Office, Portland

Housing:  Supported if needed, offsite.  If project must occur remotely due to COVID-19, 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:  As part of “America the Beautiful,” President Biden has issued a call to action that we work together to conserve, connect, and restore 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030 for the sake of our economy, our health, and our well-being. To achieve this ambitious goal, it is critical that private and working landowners are supported in their voluntary stewardship efforts. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is committed to that support and is prepared to build on existing tools and strategies that bolster the effort. 

This project would build upon the Conservation Program Explorer (CPE), a web tool developed by the Cascades to Coast Landscape Collaborative (CCLC) for Southwest Washington (https://www.ctoclc.org/discovery-tool-purpose).  The CPE plays a vital role for conservation in the Pacific Northwest by raising awareness of available landowner incentive programs and connecting landowners to agencies and organizations that implement those programs.

Efforts are underway to expand the CPE across Oregon and the rest of Washington. The Fellow will work directly with the Office of Science Applications located in Portland, Oregon.  The Fellow will also interact with the CCLC –its senior and technical staff, its members from tribal nations, state, local and federal government, industry, NGOs, as well as private and working landowners.

Project Duties: Working in consultation with FWS and CCLC staff, the Fellow will contribute to this work by identifying, compiling, and incorporating additional conservation programs into the CPE.   The Fellow will also demonstrate the CPE to and solicit feedback from stakeholders at workshops and outreach events organized by the CCLC.  Finally, the Fellow will complete a written report and presentation for both the FWS and our partners that summarizes the conservation programs incorporated in the CPE, synthesizes stakeholder feedback, and provides recommendations for next steps in enhancing the utility of the CPE.

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; communications/marketing; information technology/computer science; or other closely related field. 

Working Conditions/Requirements:  

The Fellow may need to drive to offsite workshops or outreach events: a valid driver’s license 

Desired Characteristics: valid driver’s license, interpersonal communication skills, cross-cultural communication skills, partnership building, public speaking, teamwork, conflict, management/facilitation, technical writing.

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.

Oregon Spotted Frog Rangewide Monitoring Protocol and Database Development (Bend)

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, Bend Field Office, Bend, Oregon.

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: Oregon spotted frog, Rana pretiosa, (OSF) was listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2014, with final critical habitat designated in 2016.). Regrettably with the current drought and other stressors, the OSF continues to see population declines across its range. The actual current distribution has some uncertainty however due to a lack of consistent monitoring effort and varying protocols being used for detection. The draft Recovery Plan, draft Species Biological Report, and draft Recovery Implementation Strategy are currently being developed and in manager review (Summer 2022). The primary objective for this project is to develop a rangewide protocol, electronic datasheet, and online data-portal to aid in fully documenting the current occurrence of the OSF. The OSF is the most aquatic frog in the Pacific Northwest, requiring water for all life stages. Hydrologic changes to natural waterways over the past century contributed to its decline, resulting in being listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 2014. The Fellow will work with OSF experts internally and externally (USGS, OR and WA Departments of Fish and Wildlife, USFS, etc.) detailing how survey efforts are currently conducted; evaluate best practices and compile one OSF protocol for use across the range. The Fellow will develop a digital data collection platform so partners can easily input information, using a common format, into an online data-portal to compile data from across the range (Southern Oregon to British Columbia).

Project Duties: The Fellow duties would include, 1) familiarization with Oregon spotted frog species life history and collection of all egg-mass monitoring protocols being used by WDFW, USGS, and FWS; 2) coordination with OSF scientists and biologists from USGS, WDFW, and USFWS on egg-mass monitoring variables and thresholds needed in the data protocol; 3) production of range-wide egg-mass monitoring protocol based on these protocols and this coordination; 4) creation of protocol-level datasheet as an appendix to the range-wide monitoring protocol; 5) creation of electronic survey form for tablets/smartphones mirroring protocol-level datasheet; 6) coordination with OFWO GIS staff to create an online data portal for USFWS staff and partners to input annual monitoring data and spatial locations of frogs (Survey123 and/or Field Maps).  

Finally, the Fellow, with OFWO GIS staff assistance, will ensure the digital platform is set up following USFWS data standards, with safeguards in place to secure the data, while allowing for intuitive interaction with the platform by USFWS staff and partners (USGS and WDFW) to input locational and monitoring data from the developed protocol.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Graduate level student (MS or PhD) who has completed first year 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). Graduate degree in biological or ecological sciences. This project requires someone familiar with research monitoring design and implementation. The ideal candidate will have worked with electronic software previously and can bring that knowledge with them to improve on what FWS GIS staff have already done with other monitoring projects in the OFWO.

Working Conditions/Requirements: The Fellow will be working remotely, therefore traditional outside-of-work opportunities for mentoring may be limited. 

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication skills, partnership building, project mgmt. experience, public speaking, leadership roles, teamwork, and technical writing. Experience developing and executing a monitoring or research methodology. Experience developing and implementing a monitoring database (spreadsheet) and monitoring data sheets. Experience with monitoring data input and analysis.