Job Opening – Conservation Internship

Summer and Summer/Fall

Job Title: Conservation Internship (Summer and Summer/Fall)
Department: Youth Programs Outreach in partnership with the White River National Forest
Location: 318 Walking Mountains Lane, Avon, CO 81620
Reports To: Carrie Anderson, Environmental Leadership Coordinator
FSLA Status: Exempt

Application Deadlines: Applications and interviews will be held on a rolling basis until all positions are filled, so apply early. The last day that applications will be accepted is April 20, 2022.

To Apply: Please complete the form below which includes uploading a current resume, cover letter, and contact information for 2-3 professional references.

Successful candidates must provide proof of vaccination for COVID-19 due to the nature of the work of the Walking Mountains Science Center. Candidates needing exemptions from the vaccination mandate may be considered depending on the essential functions of the job.

Contact: Carrie Anderson, Environmental Leadership Coordinator, carriea@walkingmountains.org or 970-827-9725 x112

Organizational Overview:
Founded in 1998, Walking Mountains Science Center’s mission is to awaken a sense of wonder and inspire environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education. As an employee of our organization, you are a member of an inclusive and dynamic team that values community, professionalism, collaboration, diversity, equity, a positive work environment and a passion for the mission of Walking Mountains and the impact it’s making in the community. For more information, please visit: Why Walking Mountains?

The Eagle Valley Young Conservation Professionals Program is offered in partnership with the White River National Forest (WRNF) and the United States Forest Service (USFS). The WRNF encompasses approximately 2.3 million acres of public land and has the most visitation of any national forest with 11 ski resorts, eight wilderness areas, and a diversity of wildlife and ecosystems.

Position Overview: 

This is a full-time, seasonal professional growth position offered through Walking Mountains Science Center (WMSC) in partnership with the United States Forest Service’s White River National Forest. Throughout the duration of the Eagle Valley Young Conservation Professionals Program, Conservation Interns will develop skills in field biology survey techniques, natural resource conservation, and interpretation/education. Conservation Interns will gain valuable experience in visitor information services, aquatic  biology, and wildlife management while exploring a variety of careers and opportunities with the USFS. This internship demands a strong work ethic to be successful in this fast paced and dynamic work environment. 

Conservation Interns will work alongside biologists and career professionals from The White River National Forest and Walking Mountains Science Center on a daily basis. Individuals will be placed in one of the following positions based on skills, duration of availability, and career/education goals: 

  • Intern with the WRNF Aquatics and Fisheries Crew (5 months) 
  • Intern with the WRNF Wildlife Crew (3 or 5 months) 
  • Intern with a shared combination of WRNF Aquatics and WRNF Wildlife Crews (3 months) 
  • Intern with WRNF Visitor Information Services and WMSC Education and Outreach (3 months) 

Training: Conservation Interns will receive extensive training prior to placement in their internship. This training will be focused on practical skills and knowledge of local geography and ecology to set individuals up for success in their internship placements. Skills and topics will include but are not limited to:  Leave No Trace, backcountry travel and navigation, comfort and efficiency while backpacking/camping, diversity and inclusion, communication and conflict resolution, education and interpretation, risk management, and local flora and fauna.

Additionally, this position has an added focus on career exploration and professional development. Conservation Interns are scheduled time within the work week to engage in natural resource conservation, environmental education experiences, and career exploration. These opportunities include field trips, job shadowing, skills workshops, special topics discussions, and stewardship projects. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Participate in on-site, paid training prior to beginning internship responsibilities
  • Arrive for work on time and follow your assigned work schedule
  • Maintain open lines of communication with leadership from both WMSC and the WRNF
  • Work with other Conservation Interns, WRNF personnel, and Walking Mountains Science Center staff to complete assigned projects that further both organizations’ missions. 
    • Aquatics  objective: Work with USFS aquatic staff to conduct field surveys (fisheries, amphibians, and aquatic macroinvertebrates) to support various projects. Additional work will include providing hands-on assistance with habitat restoration projects and ecosystem assessments.
    • Wildlife Objective: Work with USFS wildlife staff to conduct field surveys (raptor, hawk and falcon nest searches, general bird surveys, bat monitoring and pika surveys) to support a variety of projects. Additional work will include the installation of owl boxes and removal of livestock fencing with partner organizations.
    • Education and Outreach Objective: Work with WMSC & USFS to provide public outreach and stewardship education through visitor information services, Leave No Trace outreach, positive trail and trailhead interactions, and informal education. Additional work will include creating resources and communication strategies that are more culturally relevant to engage with a more diverse population and be more inclusive of all public land users.
  • Learn and apply new skills to complete field work in rugged terrain and variable environmental/weather conditions while maintaining a strong work ethic
  • Contribute to positive and professional group dynamics with colleagues and practice a team-oriented mindset 
  • Cultivate a friendly and positive attitude during interactions with visitors to the WRNF and participants in WMSC programming
  • Actively participate in professional development and learning opportunities provided within the internship experience
  • Participate in the Eagle Valley Young Conservation Professionals Program capstone project to be completed at the end of the summer (project specifics TBD)

 

Qualifications

  • Age 18 – 25 with a desire to pursue further education and/or a career in natural science, education/interpretation, natural resource conservation and management, or another environmentally related field
  • Positive, organized, and creative individual who is an effective communicator (oral and written) and can work independently and as part of a team
  • Curious and self-motivated, willing to learn, and open to giving and receiving feedback
  • Be able to work and keep a POSITIVE attitude in various work situations and all types of weather
  • Able to hike and carry equipment up to 45 lbs for 5 – 10 miles, work outdoors in all weather conditions, and lift up to 50 pounds
  • Preferred: Local full-time or seasonal resident of Eagle County  
  • Preferred: Proficient Spanish language skills (oral and written)

 

Work Environment

  • Conservation Interns work primarily outdoors at various field sites within the White River National Forest, with periodic indoor responsibilities. 
  • Outdoor responsibilities average 8-10 hours per day and may include traveling in vehicles long distances on rugged and uneven gravel roads, hiking in steep rocky terrain, carrying heavy packs, conducting detailed field protocols, and interacting with the public. 
  • The work of each Intern has a different conservation focus and as a result, has a different work schedule and duties/responsibilities. All Conservation Interns will work a 4/10s schedule (4 days a week for 10 hours).
  • Interns will have access to resources (like a shared computer and printer) in an open office environment at Walking Mountains Science Center 
  • Interns will have access to a Gear Library where they can check out equipment as needed to be comfortable and prepared for necessary field work. 

 

Compensation and Benefits: 

  • $325 weekly stipend 
  • Shared housing provided on an as-needed basis
  • Conservation Interns also receive hours toward the Public Land Corps certification program for federal employment

 

Internship Durations: 

  • May 16 – August 11, 2022: 3.5 month Intern contract 
  • May 16 – October 7, 2022: 5.5 month Intern contract 

We are an equal employment opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion or creed, national origin, ancestry, age, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions), genetic information, sexual orientation (including perceived sexual orientation), transgender status, gender identity, physical, mental or learning disability, mental illness, military or veteran status, marital or civil union partnership with a coworker or any other status which may be protected by Federal, State or local law.

Successful candidates must provide proof of vaccination for COVID-19 due to the nature of the work of the Walking Mountains Science Center. Candidates needing exemptions from the vaccination mandate may be considered depending on the essential functions of the job.

Please complete the application in its entirety and be as accurate as possible.

Job Application - Conservation Intern (Summer and Summer/Fall)

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  • Please provide contact information for two references. Walking Mountains staff will follow up with references to ask a few questions, so there is no need for them to write a letter of recommendation. Please let your references know they may be contacted. Please provide two references by clicking the (+) sign at the end of column one.
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