High Visitation Visitor Services and Animal Caretaker Interns

Expected Dates
September 24, 2018 to February 23, 2019
Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
Position ID

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge will fill (1) intern positions assisting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Complex in environmental education and outreach efforts.

Project Description:
This is a six month internship starting 05/07/2018 and ending 10/07/2018. With efforts targeted toward urban youth, recruitment will be geared toward hiring a member from the local community.
The Intern will work with local conservation organizations and schools to broaden the impact of their outreach efforts.  The Intern will work directly for our Environmental Education Specialist in support of the black-footed ferret conservation strategy utilizing and enhancing existing curriculum on wildlife and habitat of the Refuge, developing outreach and environmental education materials, developing schoolyard and community habitats, caring for captive black-footed ferrets, training volunteers in seed collection and planting, distributing seed packets and performing other outreach related duties. 
The Intern will learn about the unique environmental and cultural landscape of Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, and share their love of nature as an instructor developing outreach programs for schools, summer camps, community events, and field trips. This position will be part of our visitor services team to facilitate and lead programs, field trips, lessons, games, hikes, and arts and crafts to provide curriculum based and place based environmental education in traditional and nontraditional settings.
Animal Caretaking:
For the entire season, at least 10 hours a week will be spent providing for the needs of black-footed ferrets including feeding, cleaning living spaces, health monitoring and reporting, and providing enrichment activities.
Environmental Education (black-footed ferret):
During most of the season, the Intern will spend 20 hours per week developing and conducting research for educational programs and products including a program outline and resource materials, pamphlets and brochures. Lessons and programs will integrate creativity and interpretive techniques for communicating refuge management messages about black-footed ferrets to all age groups to enhance visitor awareness and knowledge.
Moreover, the Intern will assist with leading environmental education programs as scheduled, to include curriculum-based programs, summer camps, scouts, and other programs for youth groups. Additionally, he/she will staff special events incorporating the mission of the Service and information about the Refuge System. Finally the Intern will assist in developing and creating black-footed ferret booth activities for Refuge Day. 
Visitor Center:
The Intern will help the Refuge invest in improving communications with key audiences by spending a minimum of 8 hours per week providing interpretation and site orientation of refuge resources to visitors of all ages in an urban field station to communicate service priorities. He/she will assist with logistics, operations, and staffing for the Visitor Center to include opening and closing the facility, minor housekeeping, and stocking informational and educational materials. The Intern will provide quality customer service, greet visitors, respond to inquiries, make and confirm program reservations, and promote upcoming programs. He/she will complete and submit program activity reports in a timely manner, and ensure visitor information is stocked, updated and current in kiosks such as trail maps and fishing permits. The Intern will develop interactive activities for the Visitor Center including the Discovery Room.
Volunteer Program:
For 2-3 hours per week, the Intern will assist with managing the Refuge Volunteer Program to include updating hours of service, inventory and distribution of awards and uniform components, and entering data into the volunteer computer-based program. He/she will assist in communicating refuge policy to other volunteers and ensure volunteer service agreements are current. The Intern also will assist in planning, organizing, and implementing an annual recognition event for volunteers. 
The Intern will help the Refuge staff to meet the priority of developing mechanisms for scientific expertise to support decision making within program areas on priority resource issues, including contributing to Citizen Science projects through prairie restoration and ferret monitoring.
Habitat Restoration
One focus of the program will be habitat restoration and stewardship. The Intern will help by coordinating logistics, managing records and helping the Refuge staff to achieve regional resource priorities by working directly with volunteers and school groups conducting habitat restoration of shortgrass prairie, collecting native grass and forb seeds (including milkweed on Service lands for monarch butterflies as well as other native forbs identified as important species by Refuge biologists). There are thousands of acres of prairie currently under restoration, providing ample opportunities to gain real world experience that the Intern will carry throughout their career.
The Refuge has all of the resources and facilities to make this program successful. The Intern along with Refuge staff will develop curricula about short grass prairie. Seeds will be collected and supplied to the Refuge. Native seeds are very expensive and any amount of seed given back to the Refuge will help in future restoration projects.
Environmental Education Specialist Tom Wall will serve as the staff lead for this project. Tom has more than 13 years of experience teaching, developing curricula, and building community programs and relationships. Tom’s experience as an Education Specialist in Commerce City for two years in an fast paced urban setting as well as experience as an Enrichment Specialist with the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin included cultural staff development for 100 + teachers and administrators in the urban setting of the Green Bay Public Schools, and coordination of special events and after school programs for high school youth with an emphasis on service learning, cultural relevance and environmental education and conservation. 
Finally, this project has the support of the Refuge’s Project Leader and Visitor Services Manager and Chief of Operations, along with Natural Resource Program managers. The Refuge is providing a world class visitor center and environmental education building along with all of the materials, expertise and training to ensure that the Intern will have the tools and equipment needed to be successful in this position.

This position is PLC eligible which means the intern is eligible for Non-competitive Hiring Status for available Permanent Federal positions that they qualify for after serving 640 hours on projects that include at least 120 hours on Federal public lands/facilities. More details available from the site supervisor.

  • Located 10 miles from Denver, Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge was established in part to protect Bald eagle nesting and winter roosting habitat. Its 15,000 acres of prairie and lakes attract raptors, migrating songbirds, wintering ducks and geese and provides habitat for a variety of mammals including bison, coyotes, and deer.
  • Environmental Education principles and practices, habitat restoration, and hands on training in public speaking and working with children.
  • The refuge is located 10 miles from Denver, Colorado as well as numerous outdoor areas providing many opportunities to meet interests in arts and entertainment as well as hiking, fishing and other outdoor pursuits.
  • Yes
Main Area of Focus
Education and Interpretation
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
some coursework or experience
Customer Service
competent with supervision
Social Media
some experience
Community Engagement
some experience
Working with Children
competent with supervision