FWS 2017 Directorate Resource Assistant Fellows Program

SCA Interns tagging ducks as part of a Fish & Wildlife Service program.

“This is an amazing program. I would encourage anyone interested in conservation, biology, natural resource management, or environmental education to pursue this unique opportunity. In addition to developing career expertise in a specific field of work, living in an exciting new area, and experiencing America’s public lands as you’ve never seen them before, you will also make friends and professional contacts that can last a lifetime.”

—Michael D’Agostino, 2016 DFP Fellow

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to administer the FWS Directorate Resource Assistant Fellows Program (DFP) for students and recent graduates interested in a conservation career. FWS will provide the fellowship opportunities for undergraduate (rising seniors) and graduate students who are enrolled or are accepted for enrollment in a 4 year or higher degree program; and, recent graduates who have completed a 4 year or higher degree program no earlier than December 2015.

“A critical part of my vision for the Service is to have a more diverse and inclusive organization. To remain relevant, it’s important that we develop and foster an organization where individual ideas and perspectives from diverse backgrounds are heard, and we empower our employees to deliver their best work. Our people are our most important resource and having a diverse and inclusive workplace will enable us to be more innovative, effective, engaged, and collaborative which results in connecting with the public we serve and increasing conservation.”

—Daniel M. Ashe, Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

“I felt like I really got a good idea of what it means to be a USFWS biologist - I gained experience in field work, lab work, data, and report writing. I also made valuable connections that will hopefully help me gain a permanent position with USFWS.”

—Sara Reese, 2016 DFP Fellow

Fellows attend an orientation held in May or June and serve in summer fellowships tailored to various FWS career tracks.  Summer fellowships are available in a variety of fields, including biological sciences, natural resources, and refuge management. Fellows may be eligible for a permanent position in the FWS after successfully completing their fellowship and/or degree requirements.

Fellowship details

  • Launch your career working with professionals during a rigorous fellowship at the FWS.
  • Get off to a good start during an orientation with other DFP Fellows and mentors.
  • Fellowships are located at FWS facilities across the US.
  • Focus areas include biological sciences, natural resources, and refuge management.


  • Housing in select areas/locations.
  • Living allowance – paid bi-weekly.
  • Travel allowance.
  • Orientation at the FWS National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV.
  • Hand-on experience.
  • Fellows may be eligible for a permanent position in the FWS after successfully completing their fellowship and/or degree requirements.


  • US citizen or permanent resident.
  • Must be 18 years of age.
  • Males born after December 31, 1959, and are at least 18 years of age, must register with the Selective Service System, unless they meet certain exemptions.
  • Students who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an undergraduate (rising seniors) or graduate degree program; and recent graduates who have completed a 4 year or higher degree program no earlier than December 2015. GPA must be 3.0 or higher for undergraduates, graduates and recent graduates.
  • Available for 12 weeks beginning in mid-May or mid-June 2017.
  • Must be able to pass a criminal background check.
  • Demonstrated interest or experience in the conservation field.

Apply Today!

  1. Complete an Internship/Corps Application online at thesca.org.
  2. Add the promo/Application code PO-00703476 to your application.
  3. Attach a resume and copy of your college transcripts (unofficial is acceptable), and two Letters of Recommendation if available, to your SCA application.
  4. The SCA application fee will be waived by contacting SCA recruiters at [email protected] or 603.543.1700 x1499.
  5. Encouraged to apply by 1/31/2017.
  6. You will be notified by SCA of the next steps if you meet the minimum eligibility for the FWS DFP program. Feel free to contact SCA at [email protected] or 603.543.1700 x1499 if you have any questions throughout the process.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement

Federal agencies must provide a reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and/or hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.