American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • TX, 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 to conduct invasive plant control/monitoring and assisting with habitat restoration projects at Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in south Texas.

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 and habitat restoration. The internship will last 35 weeks. The starting and ending dates are flexible to some degree, but cannot extend past the end date listed below.

Start Date: April 9th, 2018

End Date: Approximately Dec 15, 2018 (or 35 weeks from start date)

Location: Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, TX

Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is located on the southern tip of Texas along the Gulf Coast of Texas. This 98,000+ acre refuge is the largest tract of natural habitat left in the Rio Grande Valley and is comprised primarily of dense thornscrub and coastal prairie. It is also home to one of the last breeding populations of the critically endangered ocelot found in the United States. In addition, the refuge provides habitat for the critically endangered Aplomado Falcon, serves as a home or temporary stopping point for nearly half of the bird species found in North America, and also hosts a diversity of other wildlife, including bobcats, white-tailed deer, and javelina.

Project Website: For more information on the Laguna Atascosa NWR, please visit For more information regarding ACE, please visit

Compensation: The ACE Intern will complete 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $220/week paid out biweekly for food and incidental costs. On site housing is provided at no cost to the intern. Also $600 ($300 for relocation and $300 for successful completion) could be available.

AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 900 hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($2,887) upon successful completion of internship service hours. Additional enrollment is required.   

Position Description:

Primary duties of the invasive species management internship will include:

  1. Participate with refuge biologist to control invasive plant species by implementing mechanical and chemical treatments.
  2. Assist with coastal prairie and thornscrub habitat restoration projects.
  3. Assist Refuge Biologist with inventory and monitoring of coastal prairie and thornscrub habitats.

Secondary duties of the invasive species management internship MAY include, but are not limited to:

  1. Assist with colonial waterbird surveys.
  2. Assist with waterfowl surveys.
  3. Assist with spotlight surveys for white-tailed deer.
  4. Assist with Christmas Bird Counts.
  5. Assist with management and analysis of data gathered from surveys and habitat restoration work.

Physical Requirements: This internship position requires physical exertion such as walking over wet and rough surfaces, bending, crouching, stooping, lifting or reaching. Hand and finger dexterity and physical coordination may involve fine and precise procedures, delicate adjustments or exact measurements.

Work Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out Monday-Friday. This intern may have projects that begin very early and/or go late into the day and may have weekend duties as well. Bi-weekly totals should not exceed 80 hours.  Time off will be granted.

Equipment Use: The Refuge will provide a vehicle and the tools required to accomplish the tasks the Intern is asked to do. Training will be provided for all equipment that the Intern is asked to use. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. Heavy equipment (tractors, dozers, graders, backhoes, front-end loaders, etc.) may not be used by Interns unless the Official U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service training and certification process is completed. Local training is allowed for small equipment such as lawn mowers, weed-eaters, ATVs and UTVs. A valid state driver's license is required for any (highway legal) vehicle use.        

Position Environment: Duties are performed both indoors and outdoors. Temperature and weather extremes can be encountered in the performance of outdoor duties. The intern is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/interns or resources. The intern will be working outdoors and may be exposed to high heat, high humidity, venomous snakes, stinging and biting insects, and thorny vegetation.

Qualifications: Applicants must have a degree (or be pursuing towards a degree) in ecology, botany, natural resource management, parks and recreation or other related disciplines appropriate to the position. A combination of relevant education and appropriate experience is also acceptable. Resumes must contain enough information to show that the applicant meets the experience as defined in the internship announcement. 


  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident;
  • Between the age of 18 and 35;
  • A valid driver's license, clean driving record, and ability to provide such documentation; 
  • A personal vehicle is required for off-duty hours due to the remoteness of the refuge, according to hurricane evacuation protocol, and for personal time off;
  • Effective communication skills with all ages and diverse audiences;
  • Able and willing to work alone and in a group;
  • Able and willing to perform duties outdoors in varying weather conditions and capable of participating in sustained physical labor;
  • Be in good physical shape (capable of carrying a 50 pound pack for up to 2 miles). 
  • Ability to operate independently and in remote areas;
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a Federal criminal background check;
  • Able to complete agency computer, privacy, and records management training successfully;
  • Have a positive, flexible attitude.


  • 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 abilities to resolve a full range of problems or situations when performing a variety of tasks in a field or office setting.
  • Knowledge and skills 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, large trucks, farm tractors, ATVs, UTVs, chainsaws, weed-eaters, etc.
  • Experience and/or knowledge with GPS equipment.
  • Experience in backcountry hiking and navigation.
  • 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.

The intern must be willing to represent ACE and the USFWS in a professional, positive and enthusiastic manner. Drug-use is prohibited and 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 applications are received. If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact ACE EPIC USFWS Recruitment Specialist, Melissa Early, 801.573.8984 or  


American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
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