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Independent Utah Contaminants Resource Protection and Restoration (West Valley City)
Project Type: This field project will transition to telework or remote work if required by USFWS or DOI leadership.
Location: Legacy Region 6, Utah Ecological Services Field Office, West Valley City, Utah
Housing: Supported ($1,500 monthly housing stipend provided)
Project Background: The purpose of this project is to review and prioritize Utah’s Environmental Contaminants (EC) program activities and develop a strategic plan to guide program priorities for restoration of habitat for a future EC specialist. The EC Strategic Plan will be presented to key decision makers at the Utah FO and Regional Office, as well as to partners such as Department of Interior, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the State of Utah, and will be used to focus and monitor EC program activities going forward. The Fellow will work closely with the Utah FO EC Specialist, who will provide information and day-to-day guidance. While evaluating the office’s EC projects, the Fellow will meet and work with supervisors’ other biologists in the Utah FO, other internal partners in the Service’s Regional office and Refuges, and with external partners including the EPA, State of Utah, and non-governmental conservation organizations. Completing this project will give the Fellow a detailed understanding of the issues and priorities of the Utah FO ES program and will provide a glide path to employment in the office.
Project Duties: Starting with familiarization with the Utah Field Office’s (FO) 2019-2023 Strategic Plan and EC programs, projects and partnerships, the Fellow will inventory, and review Utah EC program activities using criteria and develop an evaluation matrix with input by the Contaminants Specialist. This evaluation will identify trust resources benefiting from restoration, species and habitats affected, partnerships involved, and desired outcomes and performance metrics. The Fellow will conduct an evaluation of the strategic importance of these efforts, using techniques such as SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). Finally, the Fellow will synthesize this information into a Strategic Plan.
Minimum Education Level and Desired Degree Areas: Graduate student who has completed at least their first year or more of graduate school (Masters or PhD), and is pursuing a degree in environmental toxicology, biological sciences, water sciences or a closely related field.
Working Conditions/Requirements: Work will occur primarily in an office setting with day trips and possibly one overnight trip to view field sites.
Desired Characteristics: The selected Fellow for this project will need to possess a good understanding of ecology, wildlife science, and environmental toxicology and ecological risk assessment. Because so many of the EC issues in Utah are related to water and aquatic habitats, experience in aquatic toxicology is preferred. The Fellow will need to be able to work and manage their time independently, organize and synthesize diverse types of information, think creatively about evaluation and analysis methods, and produce high quality written products and presentations.