VCE seeks applicants for a 12-week, field-based conservation science internship — the Alexander Dickey Conservation Internship — for the period 21 May to 10 August 2018. The position will involve immersion in many aspects of VCE’s diverse wildlife research and monitoring projects, including (but not limited to) the Vermont Loon Conservation Project, Mountain Birdwatch, long-term bird banding on Mt. Mansfield, and studies of vernal pool amphibian ecology. Extensive field work, backpacking, hiking mountain ridgelines before dawn for bird surveys, and paddling remote lakes to monitor loons, as part of a team of two, will be the norm. The opportunity to present a nature program and/or lead a nature walk at a therapeutic community will help develop public speaking skills. Responsibilities will vary from day to day and week to week, but will include extensive field work and office-based tasks such as error-checking and digitization of data.
This internship is named in honor, and established in the memory, of a former volunteer field technician for VCE. Applicants should read the application instructions carefully to learn more about the background of this internship and its namesake.
Qualifications include some formal education in wildlife biology, ecology, or a closely related field. Also required is a willingness to work unpredictable hours in demanding field conditions, to physically exert oneself, to work both independently and in a close-knit team of two, to be flexible in scheduling activities, and to show an abundance of good-natured humor. Applicants should be prepared to travel independently around Vermont and occasionally to surrounding states, to conduct loon surveys via kayak (training will be provided), and to conduct hiking-based surveys of mountain birds. Ability to work in variable weather conditions, traverse uneven terrain, carry upwards of 20 pounds in a backpack, to life a canoe or kayak off of and onto a vehicle, and otherwise maintain good physical condition are essential. Ability to navigate roads with a roadmap (not relying upon a GPS) is critical. Willingness to camp in remote areas and ability to use a GPS for navigating hiking trails in the dark to survey locations are also important. Prior experience conducting biological field work, particularly involving identification of birds by sight and sound, is preferred, but not required. Valid driver’s license and a reliable vehicle are necessary.
Applicants should be in relatively early stages of a career trajectory that demonstrates a genuine commitment to conservation of flora and fauna. While passion for natural history, motivation to learn and eagerness to contribute are far more important qualities than experience, successful candidates will be able to highlight a proven dedication to conservation biology. Above all else, we seek applicants who are eager to grow and develop as conservation professionals, who will apply the skills they gain in this internship to advance VCE’s mission, and who express a personal connection to nature that reflects the solace and delight it offered to Alexander. Special consideration will be given to candidates who, like Alexander, blend a love of the humanities with this felt connection to nature, and/or have some personal experience, awareness, or empathy with the type of suffering Alex endured. (See website for details.)
To apply: visit https://vtecostudies.org/about-us/alexander-dickey-conservation-internship/ and download application instructions at the bottom of the page.