Invasive Plants Intern

Expected Dates
February 22, 2021 to March 29, 2021
San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Position ID
One invasive plant intern is needed to assist the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service with invasive plant treatment, monitoring, and mapping at the Baca National Wildlife Refuge in Southern Colorado.  

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, facility, 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: 
The Baca Refuge is 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. There are two other refuges within the Complex.  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 ($1,612 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

*Due to COVID-19, all CDC recommendations and FWS Policies will be adhered to in an effort to provide a safe and healthy work environment.

*A personal vehicle will be required for off duty activities, i.e. shopping, traveling, etc. (Government vehicles can not be used for personal use)

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Numerous outdoor recreational opportunities (hiking, biking, wildlife observation, camping, 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
some coursework or experience
some coursework or experience
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
some experience
Hand Tools
some experience
Plant Identification
competent with supervision
Trail Maintenance
some experience
All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
some experience