Tennessee Projects

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

Wetland Geodatabase for Aquatic Invasive Species (Stanton)

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; 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. Invasive species are a common problem for managers on the refuge and represent a significant risk for threatened and endangered species, species of conservation concern, and focal species for management. Tracking invasive species is challenging because population can be dynamic and control efforts continually eradicate or reduce local populations. 

Project Duties: The Fellow will work on the following projects: 1) modify and update a wetland geodatabase created in 2021 with spatial distribution and key descriptive metrics (e.g., acres, density, persistence) for common aquatic invasive species (e.g., Alternanthera philoxeroides, Hydrilla verticillata) to assist with control, resource allocation, risk assessment, and monitoring to support adaptive resource management on National Wildlife Refuges, 2) will compile existing spatial datasets and modify the existing spatial wetland database to add information on aquatic invasive species occurrence, spatial distribution, density, persistence (response to previous control efforts) and other metrics, 3) use existing energetic constants to estimate energetic carrying capacity for waterfowl and other waterbirds in areas where the invasive species occur, and 4) complete a final report, finalize the updated geodatabase, and potentially publish their results after the findings are presented to Hatchie NWR staff and stakeholders.

This work will be done in collaboration with the regional invasive species coordinator, regional waterfowl ecologist, regional Inventory & Monitoring Branch staff, and NWR managers and biologists and will include the regional Invasive Species Framework and Management Plan. 

The Fellow will have considerable decision space in designing attributes and modifying the spatial database. This project will require leadership, decision making skills, and high levels of communication with regional and local NWR staff.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Graduate student who has completed at least the first year of graduate school (Masters or PhD) and is pursuing a degree in a natural resource-related field with coursework or certifications in 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.

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.