Biological Science Intern (PO-00735246)

The Western South Dakota Complex is seeking 4 interns to assist with habitat monitoring and management on Waterfowl Productions Areas in South Dakota. The interns will work closely with USFWS biologists and managers evaluating habitat and performing vegetation surveys. Specific activities include vegetation surveys, waterfowl surveys, invasive species mapping, iPad data collections, signage, UTV operation, pickup trailer operating, and other duties as assigned. 

Job duties change as the season change. Springtime finds us doing waterfowl surveys and invasive species mapping. As summer approaches we transition into vegetation surveys. As fall approaches will shift to waterfowl banding and seed harvest. Maintenance and miscellaneous duties are more as needed throughout the year. 

The complex consists of 3 districts (Sand Lake, Huron, Lake Andes) and interns will be placed at one station but will have the opportunity to work at the other stations as well as the 2 districts (Waubay, Madison) in the Eastern South Dakota Complex.

Primary Duties:
Habitat Monitoring
Percentage of time: 50%
Assists with biological field investigations, related to habitat management activities (grazing and fire). Habitat is monitored using 3 types of vegetation protocols. The intern will be trained in all 3 methods and will utilize the surveys as directed. The intern will be trained on tall grass prairie plants and various weed species. Most field sampling will be conducted during a typical 5-day work week. Intern should be in good physical condition, with the ability to lift objects, and withstand potentially harsh environmental conditions. Duties also include preparation of gear prior to and maintenance of gear upon conclusion of field activities.

Maintenance / Station Duties
Percentage of time: 40%
Intern will assist maintenance staff with noxious weed control, building and vehicle maintenance, seed harvest, and posting or replacing signs on WPA.

Percentage of time: 10%

Other duties as assigned. 

$450/week* Living Allowance
$1,100* To/From Travel Allowance, paid once with first paycheck
Housing provided on-site
– Eligible for AmeriCorps Education Award of $1,718.25, received upon successful completion of position
– Eligible for the Public Land Corps (PLC) hiring authority upon successful completion of position (640hrs minimum of service)

*All Allowances are subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes

*For SCA's COVID-19 guidance, please refer to  

Position ID: PO-00735246

Expected Dates: May 15, 2023 - September 3, 2023

39650 Sand Lake Dr
Columbia, SD 57433

Training Provided: Vegetation ID, Bird ID, GIS (AGOL and Field Maps), Survey 123, ATV/UTV

Educational/Recreational Opportunities: Active lifestyle includes: hiking, biking, fishing hunting, bird watching. Educational opportunities include library, museum, and festivals.

Handicap Accessible?: No

Main Area of Focus: Natural Resources Mgmt

Further Details

AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible

Driving Logistics: Required

Need for groceries and other items.

Housing or Stipend Provided?
A. Partner will provide suitable housing for the member

Sand Lake - Housing consist of a bunkhouse with six bedrooms and two bathrooms, a full kitchen, on-site laundry, a one stall garage. The intern should have room to themselves, but may have to share a room on occasion. The bunkhouse is with in walking distance of headquarters.

Huron - The bunkhouse consists of 3 bedrooms and a large bathroom with a living room and a kitchen. The bunkhouse is within walking distance of the current office and maintenance buildings.

Indoor/Outdoor: Outside

US Citizenship: Yes

Student Conservation Association