Tom's Blog

Monday, January 6, 2014

Summer 2014 internships in restoration ecology

The Prairie Enthusiasts has just announced their summer internship program. As an added attraction, new sites  have been added in northwestern Dane County.

Six internships in restoration ecology will be available through The Prairie Enthusiasts in the summer of 2014. Work will be carried out at several outstanding Wisconsin prairie and savanna sites in western Dane County and eastern Iowa County.

These are full-time positions for 12 weeks (8 hours a day, 5 days a week) from Tuesday May 27 through Friday August 15, 2014 and pay $10.25 per hour. Those interested should be in college at least at the sophomore level and have a demonstrated interest in restoration ecology or rare species and ecosystem conservation. Also desirable is a major in a field related to restoration ecology such as biology, botany, conservation, forestry, environmental studies, environmental engineering, zoology, wildlife, or soils. Applicants must be able to perform sustained physical work outdoors. A valid driver’s license is required.

Sites: The Empire-Sauk chapter of the Prairie Enthusiasts manages a number of high-quality sites in western Dane County and eastern Iowa County near the villages of Black Earth, Mount Horeb, Mazomanie, and Barneveld. These include remnant and restored prairies, oak savannas, oak woodlands, and wetlands.

Work: The interns will be working together as a team. As an intern in this supervised practical experience, you will spend the summer outdoors where you will learn by doing a number of tasks in broad-scale landscape restoration and management, including work in prairie, savanna, woodland, wetland, and cold-water stream habitats. The primary focus of activities is the control of invasive species, but some time will be spent on seed collecting and planting, plant ecology and identification, seed orchard maintenance, fencing and boundary posting, and endangered species monitoring. The internship will give you the opportunity to become familiar with both native and alien plants, and many specialized grassland and savanna insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.  You will also learn from professional ecologists and experienced practitioners in restoration about the conservation significance and goals of the various preserves, the habitat needs of rare and declining species, and a variety of restoration techniques, strategies, and philosophies that are employed at these sites.  Some use of power tools and herbicides will be involved.

Interns are responsible for their travel, housing, and other living expenses, and are encouraged to carpool between residence and worksites. Sturdy work boots, gloves and clothing, as well as sun, rain, and insect protection are required. All tools will be provided. Academic credit may be available for participation in this program; each intern is responsible for making academic credit arrangements with her/his university.

How to Apply:      The application deadline to ensure consideration is Friday, February 21, 2014. Apply by email to Please include a cover letter describing your background and interests, plus a resume which contains details of relevant college course work and previous work and volunteer experience. Be as detailed as necessary to describe your background, interests, and what you wish to gain from this internship. Your application should consist of a single computer file and your last name should be the first word of the file name.

Summer 2013 Prairie Enthusiasts interns


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