Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action. By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive. And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level. What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country. Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).
The Conservation Intern will gain valuable hands-on experience and professional skills in natural resource management, ecology, and conservation. Working at the 13,000-acre Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in southwestern Florida, the intern will assist with the implementation of an ecologically-sound land management program and ecology research/monitoring. Each month, the work breakdown for this position will be roughly 80% research and 20% natural resource management.
This full-time six-month internship will run from January 2018 through June 2018 and will not exceed 40 hours per week, with occasional weekend work, as needed.
On-site housing is required and provided due to the relatively remote location of the Sanctuary and early field hours. Housing is a furnished one-level dormitory-style building. There are 4 private bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 joined kitchens, a living room and a screened porch. Wireless internet, water, electricity and local phone service are provided. Housing will be shared with interns and/or visiting researchers.
Under the guidance of Audubon staff, the intern will develop skills in a variety of conservation activities, including:
- Monitoring wetland hydrology using groundwater wells (fitted with digital data loggers) and staff gauges and collecting weather data;
- Monitoring wetland wildlife to guide conservation and restoration. Wildlife monitoring will include a combination of fish and aquatic macroinvertebrate sampling, herpetofauna surveys, and medium- and large-mammal monitoring (using trail cameras);
- Laboratory processing of aquatic fauna samples and trail camera images;
- Data entry and data management associated with research and monitoring activities and ongoing citizen science programs;
- Maintaining native plant communities and habitats by managing non-native, invasive and native nuisance species (using herbicide sprayers, chainsaws, hand tools, etc.) and helping plan, execute, and monitor prescribed fire operations; and
- Communication and outreach through various avenues such as social media, print media, and more (as directed by supervising staff)
Interns are expected to assist with additional Sanctuary events and activities, as needed.
The Candidate Must
- Be currently enrolled in or a recent graduate of an institution of higher learning, pursuing a degree in environmental science or related field;
- Demonstrate strong attention to detail in field, laboratory, and office activities. Proficiency with MS Excel is required;
- Excel in interpersonal communication and at working independently and as part of a team;
- Possess a basic understanding of ecology and conservation;
- Demonstrate the ability to exercise sound judgment and adaptability to changing work conditions;
- Possess a valid driver’s license (experience with ATVs, 4WD vehicles and the ability to operate a manual transmission is a plus); and
- Commit to the full duration of the internship (January through June 2018).
Physical Requirements Include
- Ability to work long hours in the field in sub-tropical wetland environments, exposed to harsh South Florida environment (sun, biting insects, severe summer storms), sometimes alone and carrying field gear (up to 40 lbs.) for extended periods; and
- Ability and willingness to work in murky waters and thick vegetation that serve as home for potentially dangerous wildlife such as alligators and venomous snakes.