Invasive Plants Interns

Expected Dates
June 4, 2018 to August 24, 2018
Site
San Luis Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Position ID
PO-00725193
Three 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. 

Educational/Recreational opportunities:  Located in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado, the refuges are surrounded by many other public lands, including the Great Sand Dunes National Park, the Rio Grande National Forest, BLM lands, and state-owned properties.  The Sangre de Cristo and San Juan mountains are near the refuges, and offer endless opportunities for hiking, camping, backpacking, climbing, and wildlife observation.  The Rio Grande and Arkansas rivers are also nearby. Hiking,mountain biking  backpacking, camping, rock climbing, fly-fishing, hunting, and whitewater sports opportunities are all located within a 1-2 hour drive of the refuges.  
  • 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.
  • Training includes:ATV ; weed spraying; plant id; GPS/GIS,
  • Educational opportunities:Fish & Wildlife Service mission & career opportunities. Refuge management practices.
    Recreation opportunities include: fly-fishing, whitewater sports, mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, camping, and climbing
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
Biology
some coursework or experience
Data Entry
some experience
GIS
some experience
GPS
some experience
Plant Identification
competent with supervision
All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
competent with supervision