Texas Projects

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

Coastal Prairie Monitoring in South Texas (Los Fresnos)

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

Location: Legacy Region 2, Southwest Region, Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge – Los Fresnos, TX

Housing: Housing supported at living quarters, Laguna Atascosa NWR

Project Background: The Gulf Restoration Program seeks a self-motivated and independent Fellow to develop photo monitoring protocols for coastal prairie habitat management and to assist in previous photo monitoring data compilation at the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. Tasks will include the development of a coastal prairie photo monitoring protocol; the evaluation and assessment of previously established sites along with the development of new photo points; and the evaluation of previous photo documentation in comparison with current condition of prairie management units to collect monitoring data. 

This project has real world, immediate applicability in supporting specific Service priorities involving the management and recovery of migratory and grassland bird species and federally listed threatened and endangered species that inhabit South Texas Coastal Prairie. This project will provide on the job experience in coastal prairie habitat restoration and enhancement techniques and the importance of monitoring protocols for adaptive management strategies and how findings can be incorporated into the decision-making process. 

Project Duties: This Fellow will be responsible for three main deliverables: 1) a coastal prairie photo monitoring protocol, 2) a database that includes previous monitoring data, photos, management history, and a data review procedure and 3) a presentation that summarizes the coastal prairie monitoring protocol, the database, and the results of the most recent monitoring efforts. Tasks and Duties include: 1) develop a coastal prairie photo monitoring protocol for south Texas, 2) determine the existing photo points and establish additional photo points in the prairies, 3) monitor current condition of prairie management units through photo documentation, and 4) gather and compile existing monitoring and prairie habitat management data.  Join us to work with multiple programs within The Service, engage with external conservation partners, and gain experience in developing and delivering an informative presentation for varied audiences!

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: Must have a valid driver’s license, can walk/hike over uneven terrain carrying equipment and be able to lift/carry 50 pounds. Extremely hot and humid working environment. May encounter venomous snake and biting and stinging insects.

Desired Characteristics: Self-motivated, able to work independently, Interpersonal communications skills, cross-cultural communications skills, teamwork, technical writing, and experience building partnerships.

 Salinity Trends on the Upper Texas Coast (Anahuac)

Project Type: Field. This field project will be cancelled if telework or remote work is required by USFWS or DOI leadership.

Location: Legacy Region 2, Southwest Region, Texas Chenier Plains National Wildlife Refuge – Anahuac, TX

Housing: Supported at duty station, rent free

Project Background: The meandering bayous of the Texas Chenier Plains National Wildlife Refuge Complex cut through ancient flood plains, creating vast expanses of coastal marsh and prairie bordering Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico in southeast Texas. The marshes and prairies are host or home to an abundance of wildlife, from migratory birds, to alligators, to bobcats, and more. Monitoring and evaluating salinities on the Texas Gulf Coast is critical for current and future habitat conservation and management. Water salinity is a driving force for both plant and animal communities within the region. Tropical cyclones, sea-level rise, accretion and subsidence, marsh management, and urbanization are few primary factors affecting water salinities on the Texas Chenier Plains National Wildlife Refuges Complex. Evaluating trends in a long-term salinity data sets will allow biologists and managers to improve best management practices for critical vegetative communities and Threatened and Endangered wildlife and fish species, while predicting and planning for changes in coastal environments. 

Project Duties: The Fellow will collect and analyze long-term salinity data while expanding their knowledge of field methods and biology across the wildlife refuge complex. The Fellow will: 1) collect weekly salinities data and establish databases on both Anahuac and McFaddin NWRs by collecting weekly samples via airboats and YSIs. 2) work directly or remotely with Anahuac and McFaddin biologists to gather and organize long-term salinity data bases in Excel for each refuge, 3) analyze long-term salinity trends in relation to sea-level rise, tropical cyclone events, major rainfall events, management in collaboration with FWS statisticians, and 4) draw conclusions, forecast predictions, compose a report, and present results to biologists, maintenance staff, and refuge. Throughout the duration of the DFP, work with refuge managers, biologists, and maintenance staff to broaden field experience, networking skills, and biological knowledge on topics outside of the objectives of the primary DFP project. The Fellow will also frequently assist with management tasks such as mottled duck banding, moist-soil management, water-level management, invasive species control, organic rice farming, and cattle grazing programs. The Fellow will have the opportunity to network with refuge managers, biologists, and maintenance staff, in addition to refining data analysis, writing, and presentation skills.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in (biological sciences; geographic information sciences; statistics) 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.; Ability to use Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. 

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication, partnership building, project management experience, leadership roles (school, extracurricular, etc.), teamwork, conflict management/facilitation, technical writing, and statistical analysis.

Survey of Guadalupe fatmucket populations in Guadalupe River tributaries (Austin)

Project Type: Field. This field project will be cancelled if telework or remote work is required by USFWS or DOI leadership.

Location: Legacy Region 2Southwest Region, Austin Texas Ecological Services Field Office – Austin, Texas 

Housing: $750/month housing stipend

Project Background: The Austin Texas Ecological Services Field Office is seeking a Fellow to complete freshwater mussel surveys for a recently proposed endangered species in the upper Guadalupe River basin. The proposed project supports the Services’ “Threatened and Endangered Species: Achieving Recovery and Preventing Extinction” priority by identifying occupied habitats for a species recently proposed for federal listing as an Endangered Species.  

Data collected by the project will be used by the Ecological Services and Fisheries and Aquatic Conservation branches of the Service by 1) identifying occupied and unoccupied habitats for the Guadalupe fatmucket (Lampsilis bergmanni) in under-surveyed tributaries located in the upper Guadalupe River basin; 2) identifying potential sources of brood stock for propagation activities and federal hatcheries; and 3) identifying potential future restoration sites for the species. 

Project Duties:  The Fellow will complete freshwater mussel surveys for a recently proposed endangered species in the upper Guadalupe River basin. The proposed project supports the Services’ “Threatened and Endangered Species: Achieving Recovery and Preventing Extinction” priority by identifying occupied habitats for a species recently proposed for federal listing as an Endangered Species.  At the conclusion of the project, the Fellow will prepare and submit a final survey report detailing findings of the surveys that will include background, methodology Backgrounds, tables summarizing survey results, and associated figures and mapping. The Fellow will also present the findings of the project to Austin ESFO staff and their internal and external conservation partners.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in Biological sciences, Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Environmental Studies, or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: The selected Fellow will need a current, valid driver’s license and obtain approval to drive federal vehicles, be able to life/carry up to 50 lbs., and be able to conduct field work that may require hiking, and complete USFWS Region 2 snorkeling and water safety training.

Desired Characteristics: Desired characteristics for the selected Fellow may include project management experience, interpersonal communication skills, demonstrated leadership and teamwork experiences, and technical writing experience.

Maintenance Professional Development Program- Strike Force DFP (Eagle Lake)

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

Location: Region 2, Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR, Eagle Lake, Texas.

Housing: Supported (On-site, Free).

Project Background: Spend the summer making a meaningful impact on your public lands! The US and Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking a candidate to learn the skilled trades and project management expertise required to become a maintenance professional at a National Wildlife Refuge. As part of the 11-week Directorate Fellows Program (DFP) the candidate will spend their time working alongside experienced maintenance workers and equipment operators to complete important infrastructure projects in the Southwest. We will train you on basic heavy equipment and teach you the skills needed to complete high-profile projects. This work directly impacts public access, improves our facilities, and influences wildlife habitat at our Refuges. This position is stationed at Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge near Eagle Lake, Texas. This vibrant refuge has an active youth program, dynamic maintenance projects, and is in the midst of building a new visitor center. Numerous opportunities abound at this refuge and upon completion of the DFP program the candidate will have made relationships with staff at many refuges, our regional office, and our headquarters office. The connections made through this opportunity, combined with the direct hire authority the candidate receives after successful completion of the project, will open the door to a permanent position in the Service.

Project Duties: The Fellow will complete the following during the 11-week internship: 1. Attend and pass Heavy Equipment Safety Training (HEST) for Tier 1 heavy equipment to include safety foundations, backhoe, skidsteer, and agriculture tractor certificates. 2. Gain a working knowledge of the trades needed in a maintenance role by participating in one strike force infrastructure project and one Maintenance Action Team (MAT) project. 3. Lead or co-lead a MAT or infrastructure project where they plan for equipment, labor, and supplies and develop a site safety plan. 4. Complete and present a final report of the project that includes photos, cost estimation versus actual expenses, and summary of the work done.

Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Undergraduate rising seniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in biological sciences, construction management, project management, or other closely related field.

Working Conditions/Requirements: Valid driver’s license, ability to conduct fieldwork involving hiking and carrying equipment, ability to lift/carry 50 lbs. 

Desired Characteristics: Interpersonal communication, partnership building, project management experience, public speaking, leadership roles (school, extracurricular, etc.), teamwork, and experience working with new and changing teams.