Forest Service Announces Internship Opportunities

Native graduate and undergraduate students are invited to apply for paid summer 2024 internships, with opportunities for work at project sites in New Mexico, South Dakota and Montana.

Sabrina Sanchez collects track samples for a mammals of Texas identification project. Photo courtesy of The Wildlife Society.

Indigenous graduate and undergraduate students interested in conservation can apply by Jan. 26 for one of four paid summer internships with the US Forest Service, in a collaboration with a non-profit group, The Wildlife Society.

The internships all involve working with an interdisciplinary team of researchers on projects related to wildlife ecology and natural resources. The four projects include those focused on field work, laboratory work and assessment, namely:

  • Collecting data at stream restoration sites in the Carson, Santa Fe and Gila national forests, from a base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The data will help identify how stream restoration efforts influence greenhouse gas emissions, groundwater storage, and soil carbon in the riparian areas around the streams.
  • Researching “flash droughts” in northern grasslands, including through field work and greenhouse experiments on specific species of these mixed-grass prairies. The student will work from a base in Rapid City, South Dakota, on efforts to understand the mechanisms and indicators of flash droughts in water-sensitive areas, with an eye to considering how grazing practices may need to change to maintain ecosystem health and productivity.
  • Comparing different methods that use hormone metabolites in scat to detect pregnancy among mesocarnivores such as wolverines and Canadian lynx. This lab-based project in Missoula, Montana, aims to use non-invasive methods to consider reproductive status of these mid-sized carnivores in the area.
  • Contributing to the development of a Tribal Wildlife Management Plan at the request of the Mescalero Apache Tribe. The project includes incorporating Indigenous knowledge as collected from elders and other practitioners. This work can be done remotely, but students who can relocate to New Mexico would help coordinate local focus groups to understand wildlife needs and interests of the Mescalero Apache tribal community.

Students selected for the internship will receive at least $6,500 for the three-month internships, with starting date negotiable in some cases. Housing is not included, but additional funding may become available for professional development. Applicants must be current college or university students or graduating seniors and US citizens who can provide proof of tribal affiliation or descendancy from a tribally enrolled parent or grandparent. Successful applicants will have a GPA of at least 2.5 out of 4.0, but preference will be given to those with a 3.0 or better.

For more information on how to apply, see the announcement by The Wildlife Society.

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