Research and Species Development Projects

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

Massachusetts

Mapping the agricultural footprint in the salt marsh (Hadley)

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

Location: Legacy Region 5, North Atlantic Appalachian Regional Office; Hadley, MA

Housing: Supported, up to $1500/month stipend available

Project Background: This position offers a unique opportunity to advance conservation for the rapidly declining Saltmarsh Sparrow (SALS) – a high priority for the FWS and the only breeding bird species endemic to the Northeastern US. Based out of the Hadley, MA Regional Office, the Fellow will help to identify and map legacy agricultural ditches and berms in priority marsh systems. These historical relics are exacerbating the impacts of sea level rise and increasing the flooding of Saltmarsh Sparrow nests. Creating these maps will help to guide where and how to restore the resiliency of priority marshes from Maine to Virginia along with the birds that depend on them. This project will engage partners throughout the SALS range to identify and map at least 20 highest priority marsh patches that have the greatest potential to support growing populations of Saltmarsh Sparrows.  The completed maps will allow partners to quickly take advantage of funding opportunities and to direct conservation efforts to the highest priority management actions. 

Project Duties: The daily work of the project will involve prioritizing marshes for mapping in each state; using Google Earth, historical imagery, and topographic maps to identify and map ditches, berms, and other structures in the marsh; engaging with partners throughout the Northeast via phone and email; and organizing information in a clear and accessible way. The Fellow will also have many opportunities (COVID dependent) to visit several marshes in person, meet salt marsh restoration and species experts, and learn through direct on-the-ground observation how legacy infrastructure affects marsh processes along with proposed solutions to address these impacts. Other opportunities will also be available to participate in activities such as bird banding/surveying and/or restoration.   

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and

seniors who are pursuing a degree in (list degree areas desired such as Biological sciences, education and outreach; social sciences; geographic information sciences; 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, Partnership building, Project Management experience, Teamwork

Mississippi

Gulf Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex LiDAR Fuels Monitoring: 2 Positions Available (Gautier)

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; Gulf Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex, Gautier, MS

Housing: Supported (Housing will be provided off-site)

Project Background: The LiDAR Project at the Gulf Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex will integrate the latest forest vegetation surveying and monitoring technology. Working as a team, two Fellows will use terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) based forest vegetation surveying/monitoring to gather data to inform active management on refuges, specifically fuel loading changes over time with respect to wildland fire, forestry, and botany. 

Project Duties: The project and its data collection will be conducted at multiple FWS locations! At the start their Fellowship, Fellows will train with the staff at Tall Timbers Research Station in Tallahassee, Florida, where instruction on the protocol and use of the terrestrial LIDAR to survey the vegetation (fuel) will be provided by the Tall Timbers and USFWS staff. Then, Fellows will gather data with the terrestrial LIDAR at the Gulf Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Mississippi, adjusting the protocol for the National Wildlife Refuge System needs, direction, and policy. At the end of the Fellowship, the Fellows will return to the LIDAR data at the Tall Timbers Research Station for post processing of the LiDAR data, and finally end the Fellowship by spending a week in the spectacular City of Atlanta, Georgia, where Fellow will present their work and products to USFWS fire, forestry, and inventory and monitoring staff.

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; or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: 1) Need to have a valid driver’s license (needed to drive a Government vehicle) 2) Must be familiar with developing forest or biological survey protocols (such as timber cruising). 3) Must be able to conduct field work involving hiking and carrying equipment. 4) Familiarity with developing forest or biological survey methods and protocols (such as timber cruising) is desired. Course work in 1) Geospatial Information Science area (ARCGIS/GPS) Spatial Analysis of Natural Resources/Geomatics, 2) Ecology of Natural Resources/General Ecology, 3) Forest Mensuration/Resource Inventory/Forest or Biological Surveying, 4) Forest Mgmt. /Wildlife Mgmt., 5) Soils and Hydrology, and 6) Dendrology are helpful.

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication skills, teamwork, technical writing.

 Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) LiDAR Fuels Monitoring: 2 Positions Available (Brooksville)

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; Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, Brooksville, MS

Housing: Supported (Off-site housing will be funded by office)

Project Background: The LiDAR Project at Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge will integrate the latest forest vegetation surveying and monitoring technology. Working as a team, two Fellows will use terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) based forest vegetation surveying/monitoring to gather data to inform active management on refuges, specifically fuel loading changes over time with respect to wildland fire, forestry, and botany. Experience with any of the following is helpful: 1) Geospatial Information Science area (ARCGIS/GPS) Spatial Analysis of Natural Resources/Geomatics; 2) Ecology of Natural Resources/General Ecology; 3) Forest Mensuration/Resource Inventory/Forest or Biological Surveying; 4) Forest Management/Wildlife Management; 5) Soils and Hydrology; 6) Dendrology.

Project Duties: The project and its data collection will be conducted at multiple FWS locations! At the start their Fellowship, Fellows will train with the staff at Tall Timbers Research Station in Tallahassee, Florida, where instruction on the protocol and use of the terrestrial LIDAR to survey the vegetation (fuel) will be provided by the Tall Timbers and USFWS staff. Then, Fellows will gather data with the terrestrial LIDAR at the Gulf Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Mississippi, adjusting the protocol for the National Wildlife Refuge System needs, direction, and policy. At the end of the Fellowship, the Fellows will return to the LIDAR data at the Tall Timbers Research Station for post processing of the LiDAR data, and finally end the Fellowship by spending a week in the spectacular City of Atlanta, Georgia, where Fellows will present their work and products to USFWS fire, forestry, and inventory and monitoring staff.

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; or other closely related field. 

Working Conditions/Requirements: 1) Need to have a valid driver’s license and ability to drive federal vehicles. 2) Must be familiar with developing forest or biological survey protocols (such as timber cruising). 3) Must be able to conduct field work involving hiking and carrying equipment. 4) Familiarity with developing forest or biological survey methods and protocols (such as timber cruising) is desired.

Desired Characteristics: Leadership capacity, Teamwork.

New Mexico

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.

Tennessee

Wood Duck Banding Goal Assessment for Population Monitoring (Stanton)

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

Location: Southeast Region; Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge, Stanton, TN

Housing: Supported (housing provided rent-free at duty station)

Project Background: Hatchie NWR has ~10,000 acres of forested wetlands with mature hardwood forests, dozens of lakes, and impoundments with active management for waterfowl and other birds. Wood ducks are a migratory bird with closely regulated harvest under the authority of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the North American Flyway Council System. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partners with states and other entities to manage waterfowl populations through harvest regulations. Population management for wood ducks is dependent on harvest rates that are monitored using preseason banding data. 

Project Duties: The Fellow will use available spatial data to model wood duck distribution and help refine banding goals for states and NWRs, 2) build spatial models to help biologists revise wood duck banding quotas based on wood duck distribution and practical banding capacity, and 3) work jointly with a population ecologist from the Headquarters Division of Migratory Management, Branch of Decision Support, the Midwest Region Migratory Bird Program, the Southeast Region NWR System Regional Waterfowl Ecologist, and state migratory game bird biologists in concert with the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyway Technical Section Wood Duck Committees. 

The Fellow will have the opportunity to work with spatial data (i.e., ArcMap, ArcPro) as well as be introduced to aspects of population modeling, harvest rate estimation, and regulation setting. The Fellow will produce a final report with visualizations of bird and banding distributions, develop a presentation to be given at the Technical Section meetings of the Mississippi and Atlantic Flyway Councils, and develop recommendations for a step-down process for banding quotas. 

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: First-year Graduate student (Masters or PhD) who is pursuing a degree in a natural resource-related field with coursework or certifications in certifications in statistics geographic information systems and/or spatial data analysis, or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements:  If working on site, Fellow must have a driver’s license and be able to travel from lodging location to office location daily. If working remotely – Fellow will need access to an environment conducive to telework (i.e., reliable, high-speed internet, etc.).

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal skills, project management experience, teamwork experience, leadership experience, partnership building experience, and technical writing skills. A high degree of autonomy to design and customize spatial analyses and products will be afforded to the Fellow to use their experience and judgment to demonstrate leadership and decision-making skills.