The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is offering internship opportunities with a grassland ecology project at the American Prairie Reserve in northeastern Montana. APR aims to create the largest nature reserve in the continental U.S. and is in the process of reintroducing American bison to a large, diverse and remote prairie landscape.
We are looking for avian ecology interns to conduct point count surveys and assist with more general grassland ecology fieldwork (see below) for the 2019 field season.
Learning experiences will include bird (point count), vegetation and acoustic surveys of grassland and riparian habitats. Interns will support staff activities associated with these ecology projects and construct short-term research projects of their own. Interns will play a significant role for the advancement of conservation science at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and APR.
Through this internship, interns will:
Learn avian survey techniques and gain experience with grassland and riparian species native to sagebrush steppe and mixed-grass prairie ecosystems
Learn camera-trap survey techniques, bioacoustics survey techniques and mammal ID
Discuss APR/SCBI ecology projects and present them to different audiences
Navigate a large, remote, complex landscape with 4x4 vehicles, ATVs and on foot
Place and organize data from remote acoustic monitoring devices
Compile and review ecological data in standard formats
Coordinate with field team to execute assigned tasks
Reinforce their leadership skills by learning to delegate tasks within a field team
Organize, in conjunction with a supervisor, weekly activities to achieve primary goals
Have the opportunity to volunteer and assist with capture, vaccination and spotlighting of black-tailed prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets on the adjacent Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge
Bird interns will also have the opportunity to learn camera-trapping techniques for mammals, and may be able to extend their season until October with camera-trapping work
This is a paid internship opportunity with a stipend of $1,200-$1,800 per month. Stipend level will be commensurate with experience with western birds and bird survey techniques. The higher stipend level is only available for the May-June bird survey period, however this internship requires a minimum three month commitment (May 1 - Aug 1). College credit is offered if desired; intern is responsible for obtaining necessary approvals from their university. Interns will be responsible for all transportation costs to Montana and personal health insurance.
The American Prairie Reserve is in northeastern Montana (50 miles south of Malta, Montana). The intern will be housed at on site at the research center at no cost. Interns are responsible for purchase of their own food.
Grassland Ecology Technicians (Birds)
Experience with bird survey techniques and ability to identify bird species of Western North America by sight and sound
Preference will be given to undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a career in a related field, but recent graduates may also be accepted
Ability to cover long distances over rough terrain on foot with heavy field equipment
Ability to engage within a team environment with staff and other interns and volunteers
Must enjoy being outdoors in all weather conditions, and be prepared for long field days and occasional camping during the field season
Valid driver’s license and experience in off-road/ATV driving a plus
To apply, please send a cover letter and cv/resume to Dr. Andy J. Boyce at firstname.lastname@example.org. If selected, you will be asked to submit a further application through the official Smithsonian portal.