2019 Biological Intern Duties
Biological interns assist staff at Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge with day to day operations. Duties include 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%).
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) mowing, herbicide application, and prescribed fire. The level of involvement with these actions is dependent on the individual and their qualifications.
Clerical Work (20%)
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-March to mid-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 (15%)
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, and fire- effects 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. Inters may be responsible for providing work direction for volunteers and YCC enrollees.
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’s data that they themselves did not enter.
Supervisor: Refuge Manager, Biologist, or other trained assistant.
Training: Orientation about Big Oaks NWR. Take driver training and approval of driver record by refuge manager if needed.
• 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 is needed if working alone.
• Data entry: procedures for entry on computer
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