American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Vale, OR, USA
  • Internship
  • EPIC

Summary:American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management Vale District, is seeking one hydrology and one botany intern**for 26 weeks to assist BLM field offices in botany and hydrology monitoring. This opportunity is intended for enthusiastic professionals with a background in ecology, botany, hydrology, or a closely related field, with a deep interest in jointly advancing their career goals and the stewardship of Oregon'snatural resources through purposeful fieldwork and research.

**Please indicate which position you are interested in specifically

Start Date:  May 6, 2019End Date:  November 1, 2018

Location: Vale, OR

Vale, OR has a rich ranching and rural history; there are ample rodeos and county fairs to attend during the summer. Nearby Weiser, ID annually hosts the national old-time fiddle competition in June. Outdoor recreation near Vale is expansive with public lands surrounding the area ranging from arid desert to montane ecosystems.  Although abundant, facilitated trails and access are limited, with just a few established hiking trails, most recreation requires horses or all-terrain vehicles for access. It is 1.5 hours driving to the W, N or E to reach forested recreation. Shopping is limited in Vale (grocery store, hardware store, and gas stations), but Ontario OR, 16 miles to the E provides a larger selection including a natural foods store. If you are willing to travel 1 hour you are in the Boise area with unlimited cultural events and shopping opportunities.  There is no public transportation in the Vale area, if you want to venture outside of Vale you will need a car.


Project Background and Objectives

This position will perform work for the botany and hydrology groups of the Malheur Field Office, Vale BLM. 


The main duty station for this position will be Vale, OR. Some work, no more than 10%, will occur out of the Baker City, OR office, so travel will be required for this position.  The Vale District is 5.2 million acres and has lands boarding Washington, Idaho, and Nevada. Much of the work will be accomplished in very remote locations on rugged terrain that require a 4x4 truck to access, it may take 4 hours of driving to reach a work site. Because of the long drive times it may be necessary to work 12 hour days to complete the work.  Interns will need to be able to spend multiple nights away in the field, either camping or staying in government provided bunkhouses.  Summer temperatures can exceed 100 degrees from June through August, there are few shade trees at the work sites so sun/heat tolerance is a must. Interns should be comfortable with remote wide open spaces.


The main objectives of this position are to:

  • Gather field information to update sensitive plant records to establish population trend and inform the health of the species.
  • Collect seed from select sensitive plant species that will be used for conservation seed banking and made available for conservation and restoration research.
  • Monitor annual and long-term riparian vegetation, geomorphic, and water quality attributes to ensure management objectives for habitat and watershed function are being met. Parameters measured on each waterbody are used to inform compliance with the Endangered Species Act-Section 7 Consultation, Land Use Plans, and policy set forth by state and national regulatory agencies.


The majority of the work to be accomplished will be completed in the field.

For more information on the Vale BLM, please visit: 

You can also visit www.usaconservation.orgfor more information about ACE and the EPIC program.

Compensation:$550per week living allowance (Stipend) to cover Housing, Food, and incidentals. Typical workweek will be 8-10 hours/day, 4-5 days/week. 

Not Provided: Housing is not provided. Intern will be responsible for obtaining their own housing.

Position Description:

Two interns will be hired to work as a team to accomplish tasks for both the botany and hydrology group.


Duties for Botany include monitoring sensitive plants and collecting seed from selected species.  Sensitive plant monitoring will entail relocating known sensitive plant sites, filling out a plant site form with habitat and population information, and entering that data into the BLM sensitive species database.  Sensitive plant seed collection will entail identifying large populations which can withstand seed collection without adverse effects to the population, monitor the seed development at each site, and collection of seed at optimum ripeness.   Other fieldwork may include assisting with instillation of monitoring plots in Research Natural Areas. The office portion for Botany will include managing the sensitive species data records in GeoBOB, the Oregon/Washington BLM geo-database used to track our sensitive species.


Duties for Hydrology include monitoring annual and long-term riparian vegetation, geomorphic, and water quality attributes to ensure management objectives for habitat and watershed function are being met.    Site visits will entail navigating to established remote sites, 1-5 mile hikes on steep rocky terrain, filling out site forms according to protocol, and entering data into specific BLM databases. Additional hydrology tasks include establishment of new monitoring transects and water quality stations with mentor.  The office portion of for Hydrology will include managing Multiple Indicator Monitoring (MIM) databases for Vale District.  The MIM database is based in Microsoft Access with embedded macros to calculate measured metrics and statistics.  Spatial data will be entered into GIS using OR/WA BLM Aquatic Data Tools.


BLM will provide training in the following areas:

  • Seed collection
  • GeoBOB database data entry
  • Hydrology monitoring and inventory protocols(MIM, PFC, Aquatic AIM)
  • Use of Multiple Indicator Monitoring (MIM) database(Mircosoft Access)
  • Minimal training in the use of ArcGIS will be available so a base understanding of ArcGIS is preferred.
  • 4x4 driving

Qualifications:Applicants should have degree or be in pursuit of a degree in ecology, botany, hydrology, or a closely related field. Candidates with Master's Degrees and an interest in a career in public lands management are strongly encouraged to apply. Resumes and cover letters must show detailed key project experiences.  


ACE Requirements

  • Interns must be US citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Must be 21-30 years of age. Applicants 31-35, with recent Masters Degree's or pursuing Master's degree's up to age 35, will be considered.
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a federal criminal background check is required
  • Must have a valid driver's license, clean driving record with ability to provide required documentation; (Driving record checks will be completed during on-boarding process. (Interns must be 21+ to drive ACE/Agency vehicles)
    • Ability to drive an ACE] vehicle is required for this position. ACE will conduct a driving record check upon on-boarding and Intern must be cleared by ACE to drive.


BLM Requirements

Interns must have a high fitness level and an interest in camping, with potential for backcountry work trips.

  • Ability to work alone/in a small group with minimal supervision

Experience and/or ability to learn use of GPS unit

  • Must be able and willing to work outdoors in rugged terrain and be capable of lifting 50 lbs.
  • Must be able to drive on back county roads.
  • Must have completed a plant taxonomy class.
  • Must be able to take initiative, work independently, and participate in collaborative efforts
  • Must be able to communicate clearly and concisely with resource professional



  • XExperience with ArcGIS and Database management
  • Competent with maps and navigation
  • Base understanding of watershed management or stream ecology


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

**This position is subject to change/close at any time**

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 the Botany lead Susan Fritts at 541-473-6247 and the Hydrology lead Todd Allai at 541-473-6355.

American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
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