Invasive Plants Intern

Expected Dates
May 13, 2019 to August 4, 2019
Site
San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Position ID
PO-00727684
Between four to six 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 chemical used, target plants, 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 units to map treated areas and other target plant areas on the refuges, and work with the refuge biologist to organize the field data and enter into ArcGIS for analysis.  Duties also may include light equipment maintenance, environmental education, outreach activities,yard clean-up, and other tasks, throughout the internship. 

Training will include: operation and maintenance of ATVs and a 4X4 truck, GPS navigation, ArcGIS basics, and proper herbicide 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
  • $160 - weekly living allowance
  • AmeriCorps eligible ($1,566 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

  • San Luis Valley NWR Complex, San Luis Valley, Colorado. The San Luis Valley is located in southern Colorado situated between two mountain ranges, with the Sangre de Cristo mountains on the east and the San Juan mountains to the west. Local cities and towns include Alamosa, Monte Vista, Del Norte, La Jara, Crestone, and South Fork.
  • Refuge staff will provide training on plant and bird identification as well as waterfowl handling and banding techniques. All training that may be needed by interns will be provided by Refuge staff.
  • 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.
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
Biology
some coursework or experience
Education
some coursework or experience
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Data Entry
some experience
Field Research
competent with supervision
GPS
competent with supervision
Plant Identification
competent with supervision
All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
competent with supervision