Natural Resources Intern

Expected Dates
May 24, 2021 to August 15, 2021
Merck Forest and Farmland Center
Position ID
Merck Forest & Farmland Center, Vermont’s first environmental conservation organization, is looking for a Natural Resources Intern (NRI) to play a key role in working directly with our Conservation Manager to advance ecological monitoring, stewardship, forestry/conservation planning, and ecology-based programing this field season.  With nearly 3200 acres of land to steward, we maintain a variety of ecological monitoring efforts including- forest bird monitoring, grassland bird monitoring, vernal pools, pollinator surveys, invasive plant surveys, forest pest surveys, and a variety of ongoing citizen science programs, including our annual BioBlitz.  

The Natural Resources Intern will work directly with the Conservation Manager to support these monitoring efforts throughout the season.  Furthermore, we are advancing a variety of forestry and habitat related projects as well, including a current focus on developing the next 10-year forest management plan (FMP) for the property; to this end, this summer we will be collecting data on, mapping, and possibly marking, a variety of demonstration cuts and timber harvests that meet both silvicultural and ecological objectives. Other habitat-related projects on the docket include improving fish and amphibian habitats on property as well as maintaining a riparian restoration planting.

Where possible, and as the COVID-19 situation allows, we will also conduct outreach, deliver environmental programming, and engage volunteers in our work.  When workforce requires, the Intern may work with other staff, particularly the Recreation Support Technician, to assist in a variety of recreation-focused projects such as: trail stewardship, cabin maintenance, and splitting and delivering firewood to cabins. 

Specific Duties include:
  • Demonstrated experience  navigating and operating safely and effectively both independently and collaboratively in a dynamic, often remote, field-based setting.
  • Ability to follow oral and written directions and maintain quality communication with peers and supervisor.
  • Experience with, and interest in: conservation ecology, forestry, and land stewardship.
  • Familiarity and involvement in citizen science programs and platforms such as iNaturalist and eBird.
  • Experience following method-based observation/data collection, preferably including; avian point counts, pollinator surveys, vernal pool monitoring, forest pest monitoring, etc.
  • Experience with and/or interest in: conducting timber inventories and/or gathering vegetation data. 
  • Familiarity with conservation/environmental threats and concerns.
  • Preferably knowledge of, but at least the ability to learn a select variety of species across taxa for monitoring purposes (birds, plants, trees, insects, and amphibians).
  • Positive attitude and ability to adapt to changing work plans and priorities.
  • Ability to lift upwards of 50lbs and hike long distances (as much as 8 miles a day) in a variety of field conditions.
  • Interest and experience in digital communication and written storytelling.
  • Valid driver’s license and ability to drive large truck and side-by-side vehicles on rough trail and road.  
  • Ability to safely operate gas power tools such as a string trimmer.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office programs, as well as ArcGIS and use of GPS a plus.
  • Experience with or ability to learn rough carpentry a plus.

Ideal candidates are those having completed, or are in progress of completing an undergraduate degree in the field of wildlife biology, environmental conservation/science, or similar environmentally focused discipline. Candidates with equivalent professional experience will also be considered.

$125/week Living Allowance
$1,100 Travel Grant
$1,638 AmeriCorps Education Award*

*The intern selected into this position MUST enroll in the AmeriCorps Education Award program.  


  • Merck Forest and Farmland Center’s 3200 acre upland campus in southwestern Vermont is nestled at the northern tip of a 42,000-acre intact forest block in the rugged Taconic Mountains. MFFC’s campus features a 60-acre regenerative farm, 3,000 acres of managed woodlands, 35 miles of trail, multiple visitor services and educational facilities, as well as a dozen backcountry cabins and lean-tos.
  • The Natural Resources Intern will receive on-the-job training for all major project areas, and will be eligible for discounted opportunities (as scheduling allows) for a variety of certification courses including wilderness first aid and game of logging.
  • Access to outdoor recreational opportunities abound in the region, including: multiple storied trout streams, the Appalachian and Long Trails, numerous mountain bike networks, whitewater creeks, quiet lakes and rivers, and endless gravel roads.
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
Earth Sciences
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Bird Identification
competent with supervision
Field Research
competent with supervision
Hand Tools
competent with supervision
Trail Maintenance
some experience
Volunteer Coordination
some experience