Laguna Atascosa NWR (LANWR), in partnership with the Friends of LANWR (Friends), University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), and The Conservation Fund (TCF) is seeking an intern/graduate research assistant in landscape conservation. Laguna Atascosa manages about 100,000 acres in deep South Texas. The habitat types managed include Tamaulipan thornscrub, coastal prairie, and a variety of both salt- and freshwater wetlands. The LANWR is seeking research assistant applicants who are interested in conserving the last remaining habitat in South Texas for wildlife species such as the ocelot, aplomado falcon, and Kemp’s ridley sea turtle. Efforts are under-way to establish wildlife corridors for the endangered ocelot. Extraordinary progress has been made since 1999, and LANWR along with partners need assistance in identifying remaining tracts available for purchase, verifying those tract’s viability in a wildlife corridor for ocelots and other species, construction of a GIS-based dataset and maps to be used by land managers, and finally, developing the foundation for formal landscape conservation designs for future land managers.
LANWR will provide housing in a bunk house (dormitory style) equipped with bunk beds. The selected student should expect to share a room with another intern/student of the same sex. The LANWR will also provide a vehicle for transportation while working or conducting the research project. The student will work 19 hours a week at LANWR focusing primarily on the landscape conservation and land acquisition initiatives. The position will also include work in the Friends Bookstore and the LANWR Visitor Services Program helping attend to visitors, lead tours, answer questions, help at public events, maintain facilities and equipment, complete data entry, etc.
In addition to the work for LANWR, the student will be expected to enroll in a UTRGV Master’s program in either Ocean, Coastal, and Earth Science (OCES); Agricultural, Environmental and Sustainability Science (AESS); or Biology, and to pursue a Thesis option related to landscape conservation. UTRGV will provide a full tuition scholarship of $6,720 per year, as well as an in-state tuition waiver if the student is not a Texas resident.
Applicants must submit a letter of interest and a resume before December 15, 2017. Interviews will be conducted in early December. Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree in biology, environmental science, or a related field. The successful applicant will be expected to meet the admissions criteria for their chosen UTRGV Master’s program and enroll full-time pursuing the thesis option. The available research assistantship provides a 12-month stipend of $900 per month ($10,800 per year), is benefits eligible, includes a full tuition scholarship of $6,720 per year, and includes a waiver for in-state tuition for out-of-state students. The internship portion of the program provides the aforementioned $10,800 stipend plus housing at Laguna Atascosa NWR. Applicants must be US citizen or have documentation to work in the US, a driver's license, and a passport. Candidates will also be required to pass a background check if selected for this position. They should have prior field experience. Ideal candidates will also have some experience with GIS. Applicants must be able to handle extreme heat and humidity and be able to carry 30 pounds over uneven terrain.