Habitat Improvement and Biological Monitoring Internship

Expected Dates
May 12, 2019 to August 17, 2019
Huron Wetland Management District
Position ID

Come join the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Wildlife Refuge team at Huron Wetland Management District in the heart of the Prairie Potholes of South Dakota.  The Huron Wetland Management District is located in the Missouri Coteau portion of the Prairie Pothole regions of South Dakota. The District oversees 59 Waterfowl Production Areas spread across eight counties totaling 17,683 acres. The District also administers over 308,909 acres of wetland and grassland easements. The SCA interns will be focused on projects that will enhance our fee title lands, complete biological surveys that will increase our knowledge on waterfowl nesting and habitat restoration in the prairie potholes, and be part of an exceptional team.

Duties Include:

- Conducting and Assisting with Waterfowl Abundance Surveys

- Conducting and Assisting with Shorebird Surveys

- Conducting and Assisting with Native Prairie Plant surveys

- Installing and repairing boundary fence and access gates

- Removing debris and dilapidated interior fencing

- Assisting with mechanical and/or chemical treatment of trees in grassland prairies

- Assisting with chemical treatment of noxious weeds in grassland prairies

- Assisting with Aerial Reconnaissance of grassland easements from a plane (if interested and willing) 

The SCA Interns will be mentored, coached, and supervised by the Refuge Project Leader while working closely with District staff.  The interns will participate in weekly staff meetings and they will be actively involved and engaged in District decisions all season long.  The Interns would be exposed to and participate strategic discussions where the District prioritizes priorities and makes determinations on which priorities will and won’t be met.  Interns will be exposed to communicating difficult decisions to the public.   Furthermore, the interns will gain significant on-the-ground habitat improvement experience and leave with an understanding of grassland management and resources of concern in eastern South Dakota.

The work week will be 5 days, 8 hours per day. The internship is ideal for individuals with an interest in wildlife conservation careers.

The AmeriCorps award for this position is dependent on availability at the time of candidate selection

  • The Huron Wetland Management District (District) was established in 1992 and encompasses lands that were previously under the management of both the Lake Andes and Sand Lake Wetland Management Districts. The Huron WMD covers eight counties in east-central South Dakota and is headquartered in the town of Huron, South Dakota. The District consists of 59 Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs), totaling 17,683 fee owned acres, in Beadle, Sanborn, Jerauld, Hand, Hyde, Hughes, Sully, and Buffalo counties. The District lies in the midst of the world renowned “prairie pothole” region and is a haven for migratory birds and other wildlife. The prairie pothole region is named for the millions of shallow and depressional wetlands dispersed throughout the landscape that were formed as the glaciers that once covered the landscape receded after the ice age. The landscape transitions, as you move further south and west, to the Missouri Coteau slope. The Missouri Coteau is the rolling hills that were formed by glacial till. The topography in the eastern counties of the district is relatively flat. Millions of waterfowl and shorebirds travel through and nest in the prairie pothole region.
  • The SCA Interns will have significant learning opportunities. Interns would be trained in waterfowl identification; shorebird identification and in grassland plant identification. Interns will learn to drive trucks towing trailers and ATVs and UTVs.
  • There are many outdoor recreation and education opportunities in and around Huron, SD. Abundant local fishing, hiking, and camping. An Outdoor Education Campus is located in nearby Sioux Falls. A Community Center in Huron offers College Courses.
  • Yes
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Bird Identification
some experience
Data Entry
some experience
Hand Tools
competent with supervision
Plant Identification
some experience
All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
some experience