Invasive Species Team

Expected Dates
April 29, 2019 to December 13, 2019
Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Position ID
Selected interns will be joining the Invasive Species Strike Team to help map and treat invasive plant species across 8 National Wildlife Refuges. Interns will be expected to work a standard schedule (40 hours/week) with weekends off. Most work is performed outdoors in a variety of habitat types including forests, grasslands, wetlands, river corridors, and shrublands. Interns will travel extensively throughout the duration of their appointment and gain experience in chemical, mechanical, and biological control methods for invasive species. Most work will be conducted in small teams ranging from 3-8 people. Interns will have opportunities to engage with and support Refuge staff across multiple programs, including biology, visitor services, and maintenance.  
  • Invasive plant inventory and mapping (15%): use employer-provided mobile devices (refurbished iPhones) with GIS applications to map invasive plant infestations; use online mapping software to create basic weed maps and share findings with others
  • Invasive plant treatment (60%): use backpack sprayers or UTV mounted hose and boom sprayer systems to apply herbicide to invasive plants; use chainsaws and loppers to remove invasive trees and shrubs;
  • Equipment maintenance and biosecurity decontamination (15%): perform routine maintenance (such as oil changes or filter cleaning) on motorized pumps, generators, saws, and ATVs; clean and calibrate a variety mechanical spray systems; use hot pressure washing systems to ensure that vehicles and equipment are free of soil or plant material before moving between sites;
  • Transport between sites (10%): drive government-owned pick-up trucks and, at times, tow trailers containing spray equipment or ATVs to and from work sites
  • Interns will be based at the headquarters unit of the Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge Complex (NWRC), in Burbank, Washington, but will travel extensively to other Refuges within Mid-Columbia and Central Washington NWRCs. Housing in bunkhouses on-site will be provided in Burbank and during overnight trips to other Refuges. All bunkhouses have fully equipped kitchens and laundry facilities. Most work will be outdoors in areas with dense vegetation and possible biting insects. All manner of challenging weather conditions will likely be encountered. Project areas include wetlands, forests, riparian areas, grasslands, shrublands, and islands.
  • Wilderness First Aid training, ATV/UTV training, chainsaw training, invasive plant control techniques, native and invasive plant ID, mobile field mapping using GIS software,
  • Burbank, Washington is small community located outside the “Tri Cities” (pop. 181,000) area of Eastern Washington. All basic amenities (medical services, grocery stores, restaurants, and entertainment options) can be found there.
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some experience
Chain Saw Skills
some experience
some experience
Leadership Experience
competent with supervision
Plant Identification
competent with supervision