Invasive Plants Intern (PO-00730384)

Two invasive plant interns are needed to assist the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service with invasive plant treatment, monitoring, and mapping at the San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge (SLV NWR) complex.  The complex is composed of three refuges: Baca, Alamosa, and Monte Vista NWRs.  

Primary duties include treatment of high priority weed-infested areas of the refuge by applying herbicide on target plant species.  ATVs with boom sprayers and/or wands, and backpack sprayers will be the primary mode of herbicide application.  In certain instances, hand-pulling or mowing may be required.  Interns will keep detailed records of treatment efforts, including herbicides used, target plants, herbicide amount applied, application period, acres treated, and efficacy percentage.  Work will be primarily outside, with a minor amount of office-related duties (mostly focused on data entry).  Interns will use GPS applications (Arc Collector) for entering data and mapping of treated areas and other target plant areas on the refuges. Interns will work with the refuge staff to organize the field data and enter into ArcGIS for future analysis.  Other duties will include light equipment maintenance, environmental education, outreach activities, facilitiy and yard clean-up, and other tasks, throughout the internship

Training will include: operation and maintenance of ATVs and a 4X4 truck, use of GPS applications and basic ArcGIS, and proper handling, application and equipment maintenance techniques.  All personal protective equipment will be provided by the refuge.

Location description: 
All refuges are located in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado, in an arid climate at elevations between 7,500 and 7,800 feet.

Baca National Wildlife Refuge is located near Crestone, CO. Crestone has two small grocery stores and a few restaurants.  Larger cities such as Salida and Alamosa are about a 1-hour drive from the refuge headquarters. Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge is located just east of Alamosa, CO.  Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge is located about seven miles south of Monte Vista, CO.

Qualifications:  Applicants must be willing to work in inclement weather, hot temperatures and buggy conditions.  It is necessary that applicants have excellent observation skills, be detail-oriented, and show patience because weed treatment, monitoring, and mapping can get repetitive.  After the initial job orientation, the interns will be expected to work independently with little to no supervision throughout most of the season. Applicants with knowledge or experience in western invasive plants are preferred.  

Compensation amounts:

  • $1,100 – one time RT travel allowance
  • $300 – weekly living allowance
  • AmeriCorps eligible ($1,612 education award)
  • Housing

*All allowances subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes

*Please include an attached resume with your SCA application

*Position dependent on confirmation of federal funding and the execution of a federal agreement

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

Position ID: PO-00730384

Expected Dates: May 10, 2023 - August 1, 2023

Training Provided: When applicable and appropriate, Refuge staff will try to provide as many opportunities for interns to participate in other refuge tasks and opportunities to help broaden their nature resource conservation experiences.

Educational/Recreational Opportunities: Numerous outdoor recreational opportunities (hiking, biking, wildlife observation, fishing) exist in the San Luis Valley and in the surrounding Mountains. The Rio Grande runs through the SLV.

Handicap Accessible?: No

Main Area of Focus: Natural Resources Mgmt

Further Details

AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible

Driving Logistics: Required

Personal vehicle is not required for work related activities but due to the distance to grocery shopping, etc., the member pretty much needs a personal vehicle to get to town outside work hours.

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

Housing that will be provided at Baca NWR is a three bedroom single-wide mobile home with a living space, bathroom, and kitchen.  Each intern will have a private bedroom.  Interns will have to share the bathroom, living space, and kitchen.  It is possible that there may be additional individuals (other interns, researchers, or volunteers) that will occupy a bedroom at Baca NWR and that person will also be sharing the bathroom, living space, and kitchen.

Indoor/Outdoor: Outside

US Citizenship: Yes

Student Conservation Association