American Conservation Experience - Member
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Butler, OK, USA
  • Internship
  • EPIC

Summary:  American Conservation Experience, a Nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking ONE Biological Technician Intern for 24 weeks to to conduct invasive plant control, monitoring, and research at Refuges in the Oklahoma panhandle. 

This opportunity is intended for enthusiastic young professionals with a deep interest in advancing their career goals in natural resources and/or vegetation management on our public lands.  The purpose of the internship is to perform a variety of biological technical duties in support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (USFWS) field projects pertaining to invasive species control/eradication. 


Start Date: ASAP

End Date:   24 weeks from the start date

* A 24-week commitment is required *


Location:  Washita National Wildlife Refuge (NWR): Butler, OK


Project Website: For more information about the Washita and Optima National Wildlife Refuges their diverse resources, please visit the website at: and   To learn more about the ACE Internship Program, please visit: 


Compensation: The ACE Intern is anticipated to complete 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $220/week paid out biweekly for food and incidental costs. Onsite housing is provided at no cost to the intern. Up to $600 travel reimbursement is available for approved expenses to assist with relocation costs.

AmeriCorps:  This internship may be eligible for a 900 hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($2,887.50) upon successful completion of internship service hours. Additional enrollment is required.  


Position Description: With the diverse landscape of mixed-grass prairie, mature cottonwoods stands, woodlands, mud flats, marches, and open water, Washita NWR provides habitat and protection for various wildlife species, both resident and migratory. The ACE intern will work directly with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on varied ecological projects and programs within the refuge supporting the management and stewardship of the refuge's resources. Specific projects will include: 

  • Conduct invasive plant control utilizing chemical and mechanical treatment methods.  Conducts inventories and mapping of invasive plant populations and treated areas with GPS units.  Monitors treatment areas to assess effectiveness and conduct follow up treatments as necessary. 
  • Operate, clean, and maintain chemical and mechanical application equipment for invasive plant control.  Operate and maintain vehicles and various tools used in the biological/invasive species program.  Tasked with maintaining the lodging, grounds, and chemical and tool storage areas at Refuges when present. 
  • Assist in maintaining files and computer inventories.  Assist with maintenance of plant monitoring system for species with special emphasis on invasive, peripheral, endangered, and threatened species.  Works with others to enter and retrieve data from the Geographic Information System and/or other information management systems. Utilize databases and assist with data analysis using standard statistical methods and procedures in preparation for reports. 
  • Participate in transplanting trees, shrubs, and grasses.  Monitor production and growth of native seedlings in propagation areas.  Monitor seedling transplant operation.  Works with others to accomplish the above tasks.
  • Using established procedures, collect data on plantings (density, growth, and condition).  Gather information concerning the presence and nature of species, animal damage, encroachment of weeds or undesirable plants, and ground vegetation.  Also conducts vegetation sampling in areas where re-vegetation has not been yet established.
  • Assist in maintaining and creating bait sites for monitoring and detecting feral pigs. Work with refuge staff on setting up and maintaining trail cameras and traps to remove pigs from refuge.


Position Environment:  Duties are performed both indoors and outdoors. Temperature and weather extremes can be encountered in the performance of outdoor duties, and isolated sites may require camping and extended periods away from station.  The intern is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/interns or resources.


Qualifications:  Applicants should have a degree and/or be pursuing a degree in ecology, botany, natural resource management or parks/recreation or posess other related experience appropriate to the position.  A combination of relevant education and appropriate experience is acceptable.  Resumes must contain enough information to show that the applicant meets the experience required/preferred: 

  • Knowledge of the basic procedure and technical terminology used in the field of plant ecology and invasive species management
  • Ability to follow assigned protocols to perform tasks with many steps
  • Skills and ability to resolve a full range of problems or situations when performing a variety of tasks in the field or office setting
  • Knowledge and skill in taking exact measurements, performing mathematics, some of which may be complicated, and keeping detailed and precise records to collect and assemble data
  • Skill in maintaining and safely operating motorized vehicles and specialized equipment including: highway vehicles, farm tractors, ATVs, UTVs, weedeaters, etc.
  • Experience and/or knowledge with GPS equipment
  • Experience in backcountry hiking and navigation in steep terrain
  • Strong desire to enter the public service field as a natural resource professional
  • Experience and/or knowledge in the mission of the USFWS and other federal land management agencies

Required Skills: 

  • Internship is available to US Citizens and Green Card holders only
  • Intern must be between the age of 18 and 35.
  • A valid driver's license, clean driving record, and ability to provide documentation
  • A personal vehicle is required for personal time off and getting to-and-from the internship
  • Must be willing and able to obtain an Oklahoma state pesticide certification (will be provided by FWS)
  • Must be willing and able to obtain ATV/UTV and tractor operation training (will be provided by FWS)
  • Effective communication skills with all ages and diverse audiences
  • Able and willing to alone and in a group
  • Able and willing to perform duties outdoors in varying weather conditions and capable of participating in sustained physical labor
  • Ability to operate independently and in remote areas
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a Federal criminal background check

The interns must be willing to represent ACE and the USFWS in a professional, positive and enthusiastic manner.  Drug users should not consider applying, as ACE and the USFWS reserves the right to require drug testing.


To Apply: 

Please submit a thoughtful resume and cover letter along with 3 professional references using the APPLY NOW section located on the upper right hand corner of the position listing on our website here:

NOTE: Early consideration will be given as resumes are received. This posting may close at any time.  If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact ACE EPIC Program Manager, Peter Woodruff at (801) 989-7069, or

American Conservation Experience - Member
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