Wildlife Intern

Expected Dates
April 15, 2019 to June 9, 2019
Chugach National Forest
Position ID
This SCA position will be part of the wildlife team on the Chugach National Forest, Prince William Sound management Zone (PWSZ). This is a dynamic program that covers a large landscape with a wide variety of projects. The PWSZ  totals 4.1 million acres and includes the wildlife rich areas of both Prince William Sound and The Copper River Delta. This position will be based out of the Cordova Ranger District in Cordova, Alaska. The PWSZ wildlife program is diverse and includes outreach, planning, and participation in ongoing projects such as the shorebird festival, land bird monitoring surveys, invasive plant work, vegetation monitoring, as well as interdisciplinary projects (fisheries, recreation, and subsistence).  
The main focus for this position will be working with the dusky Canada goose program. This program includes nest searching for and monitoring dusky Canada goose nests, setting up trail cameras to document nests success/predation events, conducting bald eagle surveys, and monitoring and maintaining nesting platforms (nest islands) that assist in the nest success of the dusky Canada goose on the Copper River Delta. This position will be part of a field crew (4-8 people) in a remote field camp, only accessible by boat, in the heart of the Copper River Delta. The incumbent will collaborate with biologists and other field technicians to complete field logistics, collect data, enter data, analyze data, and write articles/reports on results.
Additional projects may include: migratory songbird monitoring (auditory and visual),  shorebird surveys, invasive species monitoring, and assessment and removal of invasive species.
This position will work in a variety of landscapes including but not limited to wetlands, forests, intertidal zones, and streams. Much of the field work is conducted from remote field camps and boats and planes are common modes of transportation. Much of the work can be physically demanding and may require long days carrying packs weighing up to 30 lbs and walking through wetlands and other challenging terrain. Coastal Alaska weather may be inclement and field crews can expect multiple day rain events in the middle of summer.  Although challenging, this position will be the adventure of a lifetime!

Compensation amounts:
  • $1,500 - one time RT travel allowance
  • $280 - weekly living allowance
  • $300 - one time gear allowance
  • $1,800 - duty-related travel ($60 per day per diem for field food)
  • Housing

*All allowances subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes

*Please note this position is NOT eligible for an AmeriCorps education awards

  • Roughly the size of New Hampshire, the Chugach National Forest is the one of the largest national forests in the U.S. Its 5.4 million acres provide recreational activities for half of Alaska’s population.
    The Chugach Forest is located in a region that is characterized by a diverse and magnificent mixture of land, water, plants, and animals as well as rugged mountain ranges, glaciers, and old growth temperate rainforest. Abundant fish populations persist including all five species of Pacific salmon, rainbow trout, grayling, and Dolly Varden char. Wildlife includes brown and black bears, wolves, goats, sheep, moose, deer, bald eagles, and wolverines.
    The Chugach has three distinct geographic areas: Prince William Sound encompasses almost half of the forest. It is an area of forested islands, intricate coastlines, and tidewater glaciers, with portions still recovering from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill of 1989. The Copper River Delta encompasses almost a third of the forest. Congress established the primary management direction for the delta as the conservation of fish and wildlife and their habitats in ANILCA. The Kenai Peninsula encompasses about 20 percent of the forest. Its lands, mountains, and rivers are the most accessible of the three areas with an extensive trail system, state highways, and the Alaska Railroad. Of the three geographic areas, the Kenai has the most use, being the “backyard” of Anchorage.
    The service station is located in Cordova, Alaska. Cordova is a rural community located on the eastern end of Prince William Sound with commercial fishing as its primary industry. Cordova has approximately 2,000 residents in the winter and 4,000 residents in the summer. The Wildlife and Ecology program is zoned (Prince William Sound Zone) which covers all of Prince William Sound, the Copper River Delta, the Bering River Delta, and a portion of the Chugach Mountains.
    The Cordova District has a number of unique resources which include the 700,000 acre Copper River Delta, the largest contiguous wetland on the Pacific coast of North America, a number of spectacular glaciers, over 100 miles of hiking and public access trails, 17 public recreation cabins, and a wide variety of fish and wildlife resources, including trumpeter swans (7 % of the world’s population nests here), dusky Canada geese (virtually the entire population), grey wolf, moose, brown and black bear, mountain Goat, trout, and all species of salmon.
    Cordova lies in the northernmost temperate rainforest, averaging around 140 inches of rain a year. The long summer days will have 20 hours of daylight while the short winter days will only have 5.5 hours of daylight. The normal summer time temperatures average in the upper 60 to lower 70 degrees. The winter temperatures can get down to a few degrees below 0, but most of the time is near 15 to 25 degrees.

    Area and community descriptions can be found at the following links:
    See Chugach National Forest http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/chugach,
    See Cordova, Alaska http://cordovachamber.com/
    See Cordova, Alaska http://www.cityofcordova.net/

  • • Provide USFS Driver’s License Training with potential for USFS Driver’s License.
    Provide USFS computer account with security training
    Provide USFS training including but not limited to: aviation user, bear and moose safety, bear spray, first aid.
  • Cordova has a wide range of services for a small town. Cordova supports a branch of the Prince William Sound community college, with basic college courses and specialty classes.
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
Ecology & Restoration
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Data Entry
competent without supervision
Data Analysis
competent without supervision
Orienteering compass skills
competent without supervision