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Jan 24 20

Natural Resources Internship

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez

Organization: Fairfax County Park Authority, Natural Resource Management and Protection Branch

Job title: Natural Resources Intern (two positions available)

Location: Fairfax County, VA

Hours and compensation: $13.00/hour, approximately 40 hours per week from June 3rd- August 9th. Holidays and leave are unpaid. A vehicle will be provided for field work from the base office in Fairfax. Housing is available upon request.

Application deadline: February 28th, 2020

Organization overview: The Fairfax County Park Authority maintains approximately 24,000 acres of public land including natural areas, cultural resources, and recreational facilities. The Natural Resource Management and Protection (NRMP) Branch falls under the Resource Management Division of the Park Authority, and is responsible for land stewardship and implementation of the agencyÂ’s Natural Resource Management Plan. For more information please visit:

Position Description: This internship is primarily field-based with only occasional office work. Interns will work together as a pair to perform non-native invasive plant assessments on parkland across the county using a standard field protocol. Interns will be trained in the survey method, conduct field surveys, and input their results into a GIS database. Interns will have the opportunity to participate in other field and educational activities conducted by the Natural Resource Management and Protection Branch as events arise. This is an excellent opportunity to gain experience in the field of natural resources and develop field inventory skills. Each intern will also have the opportunity to plan and implement a special 40-hour project in their area of interest if required for college credit.

Qualifications and Skills: Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and have a strong interest in natural resource management and stewardship of public land. Applicants should expect to be outdoors up to four days per week and should be willing to work outdoors in a hot, humid environment with abundant insects, ticks and chiggers. Applicants must be able to travel on foot in rough terrain, including over steep slopes, fallen trees and other obstacles, up to eight hours per day. Applicants must possess a valid driverÂ’s license. Our interns will be working together as a team and must be able to cooperate and share responsibility. Experience in GIS and GPS use, basic plant identification, and ecology are a plus.

How to apply:
Please email a letter of interest, resume and contact information for two references to Erin Stockschlaeder at by February 28th, 2020

Jan 24 20

One-month field assistant positions: tropical epiphyte ecology

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez

Internship position:
Interns needed for ecology field work in Panama (Room, board, and some transport included)

Project description:
Postdoctoral scholar in Biological Sciences at the University of Puget Sound is currently taking applications for two voluntary field assistants in Santa Fe, Veraguas, Panama. Epiphytes, or structurally dependent plants such as bromeliads and orchids, make up a third of tropical vascular plant diversity, but their community ecology is largely unknown.In spring of 2017, we set up a large long-term experiment in epiphyte community development and will be resurveying the 30 permanent plots from early March-early April of 2020.All of the fieldwork will be done in the beautiful premontane tropical rainforest of the Santa Fe National Park, a high-biodiversity park in the Cordillera Central of north-central Panama (Veraguas Province).The assistants will be a primary backup for the postdoc during tree-climbing to access the plants up in the canopy and also be involved with data collection and photo analysis. Every day we will hike out to the field site in remote mountainous terrain early in the morning and return before sunset. Assistants will be living with the postdoc and other field assistants in the nearby town of Santa Fe. All transportation within the country, room and basic board will be provided.

Skills gained/used in the internship:
Research assistants will gain a wide variety of valuable ecological field techniques as well as hands-on research experience:
-Single-rope climbing techniques used to access tropical tree canopies (up to 35m or 115’ high).
-Recognizing and identifying epiphytic plants (especially bromeliads, orchids, and ferns)
-Measuring canopy openness with a spherical densiometer
-Measuring heights in the canopy with a laser rangefinder
-Approximating vegetation cover of nonvascular and vascular epiphytes
-Taking high-quality photographs of plants
-Collecting, pressing, and preparing plants for deposition in herbaria
-Prepping plants in Silica for DNA extraction
-Spanish language (if not previously fluent)
-Collaborate on graduate-level ecology research

Upon arrival in Panama, all transportation, room and board will be paid for. Opportunities for small concurrent projects in which assistant would be a co-author on resulting publications are available if the assistant is interested in independent research. Glowing letters of recommendation for the future will be provided upon successful completion of the internship.

Duration and travel details:
Assistants are expected to arrive in Panama City, Panama by March 7h, 2020.The postdoc will meet the assistant in the airport and from there they will travel together to the field site, about a 7 hour bus ride.The team will live and do work in Santa Fe until April 4h(one month), at which point they will travel again to the city to fly back home. Depending on the research progress, a weekend may be used for a day trip to other areas of Panama, and the volunteers may feel free to stay and travel in nearby areas after the fieldwork is completed.

-Prior experience approximating cover estimates of vegetation
-Prior experience doing tropical field research
-Prior international travel experience or prior experience in Latin America
-Seriously considering pursuing a career in ecology or conservation biology
-Excellent academic performance
-Must be able to stay for the entire 1-month duration
-Must hold a driver’s license
-Fluency in English OR Spanish
-Physically able to carry 20-50lb of equipment along 2 miles of muddy, hilly, terrain every day
-Enthusiasm for living in rugged conditions for a month
-Must not be afraid of heights, getting dirty or wet, or insect bites

Strongly preferred traits:
-Prior rope-assisted climbing experience
-Proficiency in Spanish and English
-Extended time periods spent in rugged, rural tropical areas
-Tropical botany experience
-Familiarity with epiphytes
-Problem solving and practical hands-on skills
-Can drive manual transmission vehicles

How to apply:
If this position interest you, please send your CV, a short cover letter, and an unofficial transcript including your GPA are accepted from now until February 3rd. Skype interviews (in English or Spanish) will be conducted immediately thereafter. Feel free to email me questions!

Jan 24 20

Teakettle Experimental Forest Summer 2020 Field Crew

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez

Job Description:
We are hiring 10 to 14 field technicians to work at the Teakettle Experimental Forest for the summer of 2020. Teakettle is a 1300 ha old-growth, mixed-conifer forest 80 km east of Fresno, CA in the southern Sierra Nevada. This summer we will be collecting pretreatment data for a watershed wide prescribed burn experiment. We will be hiring 8 to 10 technicians to work on a forestry crew and 2 to 4 technicians to work on a botany crew.  The forestry crew will be tasked with establishing experimental plots, mapping forest structure using a surveyor’s total station, basic tree measurements and conducting fuels transect surveys. The botany crew will be tasked with understory vegetation surveys in both the untreated watershed and treated plots.  Additionally, both crews will assist visiting scientists with their projects as needed. These projects may include: basic soils work (coring, soil moisture, etc.), seedling inventories, and tree coring. Desired skills include plant identification, use of a total station, basic knowledge of tree measurements, and previous experience working as a crewmember. The facilities at Teakettle are rustic due to the remote location of the station. The cabin has solar power, bathrooms, a kitchen and common space; individuals will spend the summer sleeping in tents. The nearest town for supplies is Shaver Lake, CA, approximately a 1-hour drive from the field station.

The pay rate is $15/hr and crew members will work four 10 hour days each week. The field season will run 12 weeks from the middle of June to the first week of September. The official start date will be determined in late April.

Preferred Qualifications:
Preference will be given to applicants who have spent at least one season working on a field crew or have experience working in a remote field location. Preference will also be given to applicants who have prior experience with plant identification, basic tree measurements (i.e. DBH), line-intercept sampling or using a total station.

How to Apply:

To apply, you will need to submit an application through the University of New Mexico’s Job Portal. First, go to UNM Jobs ( and select “Search for a Job”. In the search bar, search “req11587” or “Field Research Tech/Life Sci”. Once the listing has appeared, select “Apply Now”. In your cover letter, please specify whether you have a preference to work on the forestry crew or botany crew. Review of applications will begin on February 3, 2020. The application will close after all positions have been filled.

**Please note that a New Mexico Driver’s License IS NOT REQUIRED for this position**

Contact Information:
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the application process, please contact Marissa Goodwin at

Link to Teakettle Website:

Jan 24 20

Summer Job Field Opportunities in Forest Inventory and Monitoring

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez

Crew Leader and Field Technicians – work in Colville National Forest, WA
Positions through University of Washington

Description: The University of Washington’s Forest Resilience Lab seeks to hire 1 Crew Leader and 3 Field Technicians for the summer of 2020 to work in the Colville National Forest in northeastern Washington. Work will include:

  • Measuring and mapping of restoration-oriented forest management practices.
  • Spatial pattern mapping of recently thinned stands.
  • Collect inventory data for restoration prescriptions and monitoring.

Qualifications: Positions are best suited to individuals that: have or are working toward a degree in forestry or environmental sciences; are interested in forest restoration; and have previous experience sampling vegetation. Candidates must be able to work as part of a 4 person team, solve problems with minimal supervision, and have high attention to detail. Candidates must be in good physical condition and able to work long hours in adverse weather and remote locations. Wilderness First Aid certification is a plus for Tech. position and required for Lead position. Wilderness First Responder certification is a plus for crew leader position.

Compensation: Crew Leader: $18-$23/hr DOE; Field Tech: $16.00-$18.00/hr DOE; plus $20/workday food stipend.

Duration and schedule: Positions will start in late May or early June and last through August, 10 to 12 weeks, with the potential for continued work. Students whose school year ends in mid-June or starts in mid-August may still apply. Typical work week is 4-10s. The crew will camp for several days at a time near the sampling sites with intermittent access to amenities. The crew will be on their own on days off. Housing is not provided.

Application process: Application review will begin on Feb. 1, 2020. To apply, please submit the following via email:

  • A cover letter (1 pg. max) describing your interest and qualifications
  • Your dates of availability
  • Contact information for 2-3 references who can speak to you intellectual engagement and ability to work with a team in a remote setting
  • A resume or CV

To submit application or for more information to C. Alina Cansler:

Jan 24 20

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez

Job Title: Avian Field Technician

Agency: West Virginia University/U.S. Forest Service

Location: Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia

Job Category: Temporary/Seasonal Position

Salary: ~$2,000/month for 4 months. Housing and a field vehicle provided.

Start Date: 04/09/2020

Last Date to Apply: 1/31/2020 (but applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis, so you are encouraged to apply earlier)

Description: Seeking a highly motivated avian field technician to assist with game bird surveys from April 15 to May 10, avian point count surveys from May 15 to July 10, and post-breeding bird surveys from July 15 to Aug 15. The data will be collected as part of research on avian use of wildlife openings in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. In addition, the point count data will continue a 25-year dataset of breeding bird surveys that is being used to assess long-term changes in avian communities and abundance.

Fieldwork entails conducting evening modified singing-ground surveys for American woodcock, morning modified drumming/gobbling surveys for ruffed grouse and wild turkey, 10-minute morning point count surveys for breeding songbirds, and morning transect surveys (and possibly mist-netting surveys) for post-breeding songbirds. All survey protocols will be reviewed before conducting the surveys, but the field technician should have prior experience conducting point counts or identifying birds by sound. Additional work will include deploying autonomous recording units and game cameras, vegetation sampling, data entry, and data proofing. The technician will be working closely with the supervisor, Hannah Clipp, or another technician to access field site locations, but actual game bird and point count surveys will be conducted alone. The technician should expect to work 6–8 hours per day; because we are counting birds, field days will start early (before sunrise) and will involve work on weekends, with days off during inclement weather. Free housing and a field vehicle will be provided. The field technician should expect rugged housing accommodations (just the basics, no Internet), ranging from bunkhouses and cabins to campgrounds. First aid/CPR training and driver safety training will also be provided at no cost to the field technician.To apply, please email a cover letter, resume/CV (no page limit), and contact information for 3 references to Hannah Clipp at In your cover letter, please mention any experiences you have with birding, camping, dealing with rugged field conditions, and/or navigating and working alone in remote areas. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.


  1. Ability to identify eastern USA birds by sound and sight (required), as well as previous experience with avian point count surveys (preferred)
  2. Earned (or are working towards) a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife science, natural resources, or a similar field
  3. Ability to navigate in the field and deal with challenging, difficult terrain (a lot of steep slopes)
  4. Comfortable working alone in a remote outdoor setting
  5. Ability and willingness to work in a two- or three-person team and individually during early morning and late evening fieldwork
  6. Valid driver’s license with a clean driving record
  7. Positive, upbeat attitude and strong work ethic

Contact Person: Hannah Clipp


Jan 24 20

Summer seasonal forestry and botany positions in north-central Washington State

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez

The following positions are currently open for 2020 summer seasonal forest ecology field technicians with the USDA Forest Service, PNW Research Station, in Wenatchee, Washington. Apply at USAJOBS through Tuesday, January 21, 2020.

Job title: Biological Science Technician (Plants), GS-0404-07
                Biological Science Technician (Plants), GS-0404-05
                Biological Science Technician (Research), GS-0404-05
                Forestry Technician (Research), GS-0462-05
Dates:          May/June through September (specific dates negotiable)
Location:       Wenatchee, WA, USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station
Positions available: 4-5

Job description:

Biological Science Technicians and Forestry Technicians collect field data for research projects related to forest ecology, fire ecology, and climate change in the interior Pacific Northwest. Current research is focused on studying snag, fuel, and vegetation dynamics following wildfires; long-term restoration treatment effects; forest structural changes over time; and tree growth responses to climatic variability and change. Field data collection duties include assessing tree and snag condition, measuring surface fuels and coarse woody debris, estimating plant cover by species or plant life form, measuring tree diameters and heights, collecting and processing increment cores from trees, driving on narrow and rough roads, accurately recording observations, and entering field data into databases or spreadsheets. 

Field work will be primarily in north-central Washington State, near Wenatchee, Chelan, and Winthrop, Washington. Technicians typically work in teams. Field work involves strenuous exercise, exposure to extreme temperature and weather conditions, and may require extended trips (4-8 days) to collect data from remote locations. Camping may be required for some trips. Candidates will be chosen based on their experience and education.  Successful candidates for GS-7 position(s) will have demonstrated crew leadership experience and/or demonstrated expertise in field botany and plant identification.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  The work involves long hours spent standing, bending, and walking, often over rough terrain requiring physical exertion. Technicians may be required to lift containers weighing up to 50 pounds while performing the assignment. The typical field work schedule consists of four 10-hour days per week.

HOW TO APPLY: Applicants must apply through USAJOBS ( under one or more of the following job announcement numbers (search USAJOBS by entering the announcement number under Keywords). Applicants should specify Wenatchee, WA, as a desired duty location.


QUESTIONS: Questions may be directed to David W Peterson (

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program.  (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)  Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).  To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

Jan 24 20

Summer REU in evolutionary ecology at UIdaho and Galapagos

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez

The Parent lab ( is looking for undergraduate students to assist with field research in the Galapagos Islands. The undergraduate students will spend approximately 10 weeks (May 25 – July 31 2020) conducting research in collaboration with a research team composed of 3 Faculty, 1 postdoc, 2 graduate students and at least 1 additional undergraduate student. Various research projects are possible, including population genomics, island biogeography, invertebrate physiology, biomechanics, morphometrics, etc.
The research involves traveling to the Galapagos Islands, hiking long distances carrying field equipment on difficult terrain, backpacking and camping in remote locations, and working long hours in the laboratory to generate genomic data or measure physiological response and biomechanical variables in terrestrial invertebrates. The students will also participate in outreach activities in local schools in Galapagos.
We are looking for applicants with at least some of the following experience and skills:

  • Good communication skills and desire to work as part of a team 
  • Patience and attention to details- Prior research in biology (e.g., genomics, genetics, physiology, biomechanics, ecology, etc.)
  • Ability to travel internationally (current valid passport is required)
  • Ability to speak Spanish
  • Experience backpacking and camping in remote locations

Please contact Dr. Christine Parent at with any questions.

To apply, follow instructions here:

The deadline to submit an application is Feb 14, 2020.

Jan 24 20

Research Assistant positions with Tufts Professor – Costa Rica

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez

Faculty: Colin Orians, Professor, School of Arts & Sciences

Project Locations: Medford, MA and Santa Maria de Dota, Costa Rica

Dates: early June–early August 2020

Project Title: Exploring the resilience of coffee production in Costa Rica

Project Details: Small-scale farmers around the world struggle to maintain stable production to support their livelihoods. Inherent drastic fluctuations in the quantity and quality of perennial crop yields, also known as alternate-bearing, thus pose an important socio-ecological problem. Such oscillations are widespread among fruit and nut crops, but the mechanisms differ across species and remain poorly understood in a globally important commodity crop: coffee. Coffee (Coffea arabica) is predominantly cultivated on small-scale family farms in rural regions of developing countries with limited adaptive capacity (Barrucand et al., 2017; Quiroga et al., 2015). In pilot interviews conducted with 33 coffee farmers, all participants confirmed alternate-bearing as an obstacle to livelihood stability but reports varied regarding its underlying causes and the potential for effective management (Garcia, in progress). The overarching aim of this project is to fill a critical knowledge gap by revealing the mechanisms of coffee’s alternate-bearing and their relation to the broader context of farm management decision-making and farm landscape. In doing so, we hope to identify the social and natural factors that promote yield stabilitya critical component of the system’s socio-ecological resilience. We have two primary objectives: Objective 1: Identify the mechanism underlying fluctuations in fruit quantity and quality and isolate the effects of two key management practices (fertilizer and shade trees) on resource allocation tradeoffs. We are developing a theoretical model to characterize these tradeoffs. Objective 2: Determine the effects of landscape, management, and their interaction on growth-reproduction tradeoffs and alternate-bearing. We are developing a conceptual model of the relationships and feedbacks between social and environmental factors affecting stability. To date, we have established a three-year manipulative experiment, and initiated an observational study of 30 farms along a 500 m altitudinal gradient For this observational component, we are pairing farmer interviews and ecological farm assessments to characterize the role of farmer perception, knowledge, and priorities in farm management, in stability. This coffee project forms the basis for Gabriela Garcia’s PhD thesis. Through hands-on participation in all research activities described above, the global research assistants will gain unique exposure to environmental research methods from both natural and social sciences. In addition to the satisfaction of seeing their results, the students will gain important skills in hypothesis development, statistical analysis, and data visualization. The students will also help We believe this experience in international environmental research will provide the global research assistants with numerous lessons that will continue to serve them throughout their academic journeys.

Qualifications: Professor Orians will hire two research assistants for summer 2020. At least one of the students should be a fluent Spanish speaker. Students with a background in biology/ ecology, an interest in agriculture and knowledge of Spanish would be preferred. Preference will be given to students with prior research experience and evidence of independence and comfort working in the field. All interested students are encouraged to apply.

Description of Field Site: The field site is in a small, rural town nestled in the coffee-covered mountains of Costa Rica. The farms are at a high elevation (1500-2000 masl) very close to a tropical cloud forest. WiFi access will likely be limited to the local cafes and restaurants, though cell service is good if students choose to purchase an international plan or a local SIM-card (requires an unblocked phone).

Housing in Costa Rica: We will stay in a hotel in San Jose before departing to Santa Maria, where we will rent a house. Students should feel comfortable preparing most of their own meals at the field house.

Jan 17 20

Buck Island Sea Turtle Research Program

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez
Jan 17 20

Summer Internship

by Marilene Rivas-Chavez

Application Deadline February 15, 2020
National Farmers Union (NFU) is seeking a Summer Intern to assist with projects in government relations, communications, and operations departments. NFU is a grassroots, producer-driven organization that believes strong family agriculture is the basis for thriving rural communities.

If you are interested in attending meetings on Capitol Hill, creating written or visual content for our blogs, managing social media accounts, or learning how our organization works to ensure that the voices of our 200,000 members are heard, we encourage you to apply for our internship program. In addition to learning from our staff, the NFU internship program provides our interns with the flexibility to tailor their internship to their interests and create projects that will benefit them professionally


Ideal candidates should possess a high level of organizational skills, the ability to manage multiple tasks or projects at once, the ability to creatively solve problems and implement effective solutions that support objectives, the confidence to work independently without much supervision, and conduct research and gather valuable information in a timely manner. A background in animal or produce production, agriculture policy, and current political and environmental issues facing rural communities is a plus. Additional qualifications include:

  • Strong verbal communication skills Developing professional writing and editing skills
  • Dedication to customer service when interacting with members via telephone or email
  • Proficiency in Microsoft programs and photo editing tools

Additional Benefits:

National Farmers Union offers a monthly stipend for our interns and provides the opportunity to travel at the organization’s expense.

Application Instructions:

Please submit a cover letter, resume and writing sample to The subject line of the email should be “Summer Intern.”