Canine Caretaker & Field Intern

Detection Dog Program
Rice, WA / ID, UT, OR, CA
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Last Date to Apply
WHEN: 5 months - April through the end of August (*please note we cannot accommodate short-term internships less than two months long as it takes time for our detection dogs to get to know and be comfortable around people) WHERE: HQ, Rice, WA. Field projects in ID, OR, UT, WA, and CA. HOUSING: Provided in a shared house, private rooms, fully furnished, with pool and internet STIPEND: $45/day food stipend, equivalent to a part-time salary in our program I was lost until I met Gator, my canine partner. I knew I felt at home in the woods and that I wanted to work more with animals than people, but I was wandering from field job to field job searching for something without knowing just what it was. I had never had a dog before, I wasn’t looking to adopt a dog, heck, I wasn’t even applying to the position to work with dogs. But something happened when I met Gator. Something clicked into place when our paths crossed and it forever changed my life. If there are those of you out there, lost, looking for purpose, looking for that missing piece like I was, we wish to help you find that purpose. This is a field opportunity to gain experience working on conservation projects focusing on bears, wolves, cougars, bobcats, coyotes, Silverspot butterflies, Washington ground squirrels, Columbian black-tailed deer, Western pond turtles, and much more. Learn to identify scats of a diverse range of species in real-life operations. We are seeking three or four wild individuals looking to journey into the world of working alongside a detection dog. Applicants must possess valuable field experience and be comfortable living and working in remote field settings. While you will be learning to communicate and work with a canine partner, you do not need to be an experienced dog handler. We can teach you to understand your canine partner, but we can not teach you to love the outdoors. Why an internship? As a small conservation organization, we are unable to offer many positions or classes. Many of us found our way into the wildlife field through internships and we see this model and approach as a way to invite like-minded individuals with aspirations of becoming future handlers to join us in this niche field. What would you do during your internship? Interns would be stationed in northeast WA at our HQ, a 60-acre oasis of trails and wildlife. Bears, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, owls, eagles, turkeys, deer, weasels, rubber boas, rattlesnakes, and many other species call this area home. Explore the grounds while taking dogs on adventures around the property. Interns will share the responsibility of caring for, exercising, and enriching the detection dogs that are not currently on deployment. Interns will be able to, if they wish, rotate between duties at our HQ and join field teams on current projects scheduled in WA, OR, CA, UT, and ID. Alternatively, interns may opt to pursue additional remote part-time work by remaining at the HQ. HQ Internship Description. The majority of time will be put toward caring for the dogs at HQ. This will include feeding, exercising, enrichment, and cleaning up dog waste. Housing will be provided in a 4-bedroom home with a pool and internet. Each intern will have their own room. In addition to dog care, interns will assist staff with lawn maintenance, collecting firewood, pool cleaning, and property cleanliness. Field Project Description. Projects through the summer will change, providing an excellent opportunity for interns to observe a number of different projects focusing on a diverse number of species. Examples include butterfly larvae, mountain lion & other predator research, bumblebee and turtle nest detection, and ground squirrel surveys. Interns will have the opportunity to accompany up to six different field teams and observe these real-life studies through hands-on opportunities. Initially, interns will follow and observe field teams, however, as the season progresses interns may step into the role of the handler, shadowed by our seasoned handlers, to gain hands-on experience. Interns will assist handlers with tasks surrounding the field project, which may include but are not limited to processing data samples, downloading and cataloging data, researching & making plans for accommodations, cooking meals at base camp, & other field duties that will help them prepare for a career in this field. Our objective is to provide an accurate experience regarding the everyday realities of this field. Interns will also meet the researchers, scientists, and agencies who hire our detection teams. Past collaborators include The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, USFWS, various universities, state agencies, and many others. Please note Accommodations for all staff while on a field project will be tent or car camping in remote areas, with the possibility of a few days in town for a night at a motel (reimbursed). Mileage to and from the field site will be also reimbursed at current government rates, although initial travel to/ from our HQ will not be covered.
QUALIFICATIONS: Comfort and experience with fieldwork and a desire to assist in wildlife conservation efforts. Position requires physical stamina and the ability to walk/hike 15+ miles over rugged terrain carrying a 25lbs backpack. Application Process · Submit a short video introducing yourself · Resume · Reference letters from three professional or personal references (no family members) along with contact information. · A short essay describing why this internship is of interest to you and how it meets your future goals. · Candidates must have their own vehicle (due to uncertain/often mountainous conditions a 4-wheel drive is recommended). · You must have a clean driving record and proof of current automobile insurance will be required. · Submit application by March 25, 2023, for the first review. Submit all questions and application materials to (only applications that are complete will be accepted): with the subject line: 2023 FIELD APPLICATION A Group webinar discussing the internship and expectations along with a Q&A session will be hosted on March 21, 2023. Email the address above for a link. US citizens or a valid US work VISA only.
Contact Person
Heath Smith
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