Biological Intern at Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge

Madison IN
Job Category
Housing, Stipend Potential
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
BIOLOGICAL INTERN DUTIES Biological interns assist staff at Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge with day to day operations. Duties may include but are not limited to habitat restoration (20%), clerical work (20%), visitor check-in (20%), monitoring wildlife populations (15%), measuring and monitoring vegetation (10%), general refuge maintenance/operations (10%), and data entry (5%). (Percentages are an estimate) HABITAT RESTORATION AND MANAGEMENT (20%) Interns will assist staff with all forms of management that occurs on the refuge. Habitat management actions could include (but not limited to) weed-eating, herbicide application (could receive Pesticide Applicators Certification for Indiana), and prescribed fire (depending on the season, the opportunity to earn your Wildland Fire Certification may be a possibility). The level of involvement with these actions is dependent on the individual and their qualifications. CLERICAL WORK (15%) Interns will assist staff with miscellaneous clerical work throughout the year. This may involve (but not limited to) answering the telephone, completing vehicle reports, filing, data management, and geospatial analysis. Clerical work will be assigned and overseen by permanent staff. VISITOR CHECK-IN (20%) The public use season at Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge typically occurs from mid-April to late-November. Interns that are present during these time periods will be expected to assist with the public use responsibilities which include (but are not limited to ) visitor check in, overseeing the showing of the safety briefing, answering visitor questions, overseeing visitor check in at the entrance gate, presenting environmental education programs, and conducting refuge tours. MONITORING WILDLIFE POPULATIONS (20%) Interns will assist staff in completing routine surveys and census of a variety of wildlife. Data will be recorded in a required format and may prepare routine reports. Interns will assist in collecting and recording information on habitat conditions, water level readings, wildlife demography, experiments, or any other project that Refuge staff is involved in. Interns will assist in the banding of wildlife species as necessary. MEASURING AND MONITORING VEGETATION (10%) Interns will assist staff in completing vegetation measuring and monitoring projects as assigned. Projects will consist of (but not limited to) forest inventory, invasive species control, fire- effects monitoring, and roadside pollinator management and monitoring. Projects will be assigned by and overseen by permanent Refuge or Fire staff. GENERAL REFUGE MAINTENANCE/OPERATIONS (10%) Interns will assist with maintenance and construction work, such as (but not limited to) fencing, boundary posting, painting, and structure maintenance. Interns will be required to operate passenger vehicles and light trucks. Interns may be required to operate tractors and other heavy equipment based on the individual’s training; interns would have to have the required FWS heavy equipment safety training (HEST). DATA ENTRY (5%) Interns will be expected to enter and manage all data that they record and may be responsible for other management duties as assigned. Interns are responsible for quality checking others’ data that they themselves did not enter.
BIOLOGICAL ASSISTANT SUPERVISOR: Refuge Manager (Dr. Joe Robb), Biologist (Mrs. Kassie R. Karssen-Konzen), or other trained assistant. TRAINING: Orientation about Big Oaks NWR. Take driver training and approval of driver record by refuge manager if needed. During burn seasons interns may be encouraged to work towards getting their Wildland Fire certification cards. Miscellaneous trainings may be offered based on funds, availability, and benefit to intern as well as the refuge. HELP WITH SURVEY of bird, mammal, reptile, amphibian, plants, butterflies, etc. species Spend time with refuge manager, biologist, or other trained assistant getting familiar with species or previous years at an educational facility and time with manager, biologist or other trained assistant to verify knowledge, shadowing another biologist, survey procedures for specific survey. Federal driver training and a valid license are needed if working alone. DATA ENTRY: procedures for entry on computer will be explained and verified by a Big Oaks staff member familiar with the information. QUALIFICATIONS: ability to work independently or as a team, knowledge of species to be surveyed and knowledge of proper survey procedures. Computer skills, and knowledge of data entry if entering data. OBJECTIVE: To aide refuge in research and knowledge of species present on property using proper survey procedures and/or data entry. RESPONSIBILITIES MIGHT INCLUDE: 1. Knowledge of species to be surveyed or training on species 2. Ability to walk for extended periods in various terrains 3. Ability to be out in inclement weather 4. Ability to bend or squat to retrieve certain species 5. Knowledge of operation of binoculars 6. Knowledge of use of field guides or taxonomic keys 7. Knowledge of survey procedures and tools 8. Knowledge of computer program that data is entered in if required POTENTIAL PERKS: Volunteer hours could go towards earning an Inter-agency Volunteer Pass, this pass is honored nationwide at all Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Fish & Wildlife Service sites charging entrance or standard amenity fees and is valid for 12 months from the month of issue. Expires the last day of the month punched. *START DATE IS SOMEWHAT FLEXIBLE* Interns are brought on year round and are typically as follows…. Spring: January – April -Job Highlights: State Endangered Crawfish Frog Monitoring, Prescribed Fire (potential to earn Wildland Fire Certification), Record data from our Drawn Turkey Hunts, etc Summer: May – August -Job Highlights: State Endangered Crawfish Frog Monitoring (cont), State Endangered Henslow’s Sparrow Monitoring, Acoustic Bat Surveys (species include Federally Endangered Northern Long-eared Bats, Indiana Bats, and Tri-colored Bats), Invasive Species Control, Public Events, etc Fall: September – December -Job Highlights: Record data from our Drawn Deer Hunts, Habitat Management, Native Pollinator Seed Collection, Prescribed Fire (potential to earn Wildland Fire Certification), Boundary Posting, Public Events, etc *In some cases interns may be able to stay on longer than the normal time frame * **Start and end dates are flexible** HOW TO APPLY: Please Email your Cover Letter, Resume, and References (phone and email contacts) to the Refuge Biologist Mrs. Kassie Karssen at
Contact Person
Mrs. Kassie R. Karssen-Konzen
Contact Phone
Contact eMail
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