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Urban Bird Conservation Individual Placement

Conservation Legacy

Conservation Legacy

Albuquerque, NM, USA
Posted on Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Title: Urban Bird Conservation Intern

Start/End Date: September 9, 2024 to January 10, 2025 (anticipated)

Term Length: 18 weeks

Living Stipend: $600/week

Additional Housing Allowance: $250/week

Reports To: Program Chief, Division of Migratory Birds - U.S Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) Southwest Region

Location: 500 Gold Avenue SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102

Status: 675-hour AmeriCorps Service Term

Benefits: Travel funds $1,500; Public Lands Corps Certificate* (that allows for competitive hiring for USA jobs/government jobs) and AmeriCorps Education Award $2,626 - both with successful completion of the internship; health insurance eligible.

AmeriCorps is the federal agency for national service and volunteerism. AmeriCorps provides opportunities for Americans of all backgrounds to serve their country, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, and improve lives and communities. Environmental stewardship programs help conserve natural habitats, improve energy efficiency, protect clean air and water, and help to mitigate the effects of climate change among other environmental efforts.

Conservation Corps New Mexico (CCNM)

Conservation Corps New Mexico, a program of Conservation Legacy and AmeriCorps partner, aims to continue the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930's. CCNM is focused on connecting youth, young adults, and recent era military veterans with conservation service work projects on public lands. CCNM operates programs across New Mexico and parts of Texas/Oklahoma that engage individuals and strengthen communities through service and conservation. The CCNM Las Cruces office manages the Individual Placement Program.


These Individual Placement Positions are unique development opportunities. Interns are paired with a local supervisor and gain technical, hands-on experience in the work of these organizations or agencies. Site supervisors commit to facilitate career development; provide an introduction to numerous pathways within the conservation field; and create accessible, meaningful, learning opportunities and experiences for interns.

Position Summary:

The mission of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is to work with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The FWS-Southwest Region Migratory Bird Program works with partners to protect, restore and conserve bird populations and their habitats for the benefit of future generations by: ensuring long-term ecological sustainability of all migratory bird populations, increasing socioeconomic benefits derived from birds, improving hunting/bird watching and other outdoor bird-related experiences, as well as increasing awareness of the value of migratory birds and their habitats for their aesthetic, ecological, recreational and economic significance.

In 2014, Albuquerque was designated as an Urban Bird Treaty city and since then, a strong partnership has formed into the ABQ Urban Bird Coalition. This coalition plans to build a Lights Out for Birds campaign (https://www.audubon.org/our-work/cities-and-towns/lights-out) and because this coalition relies heavily on FWS leadership to maintain engagement, the selected intern will be able to support the Migratory Bird Program at a critical stage in this collaboration.

Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was a foundational partner in the Urban Bird Treaty designation and has played a key role in leading the partnership since the beginning. As the first urban refuge in the Southwest, and the first certified Urban Night Sky Place through the International Dark-Sky Association, Valle de Oro NWR uses an innovative and collaborative approach to connect people with wildlife, plants and the land by providing equitable and just ways to deepen personal relationships with nature. The Refuge balances healthy natural habitat management with opportunities for education, visitor engagement, youth employment, community involvement and stewardship. The intern will have the opportunity to assist Refuge staff with various programming, continuing the national bird collisions prevention initiative, and annual reporting for the Urban Bird Treaty program.

The intern will be exposed to and mentored by two different programs within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Migratory Birds and Refuges. Within the Migratory Birds Program, the intern will work directly with the Program Chief on the Lights Out campaign and will gain exposure to the permitting program through technical guidance and public inquiry assistance. If possible, this intern may also participate in a long-term urban research study by riding along on a winter nest survey. At Valle de Oro NWR, the intern will interact with both Refuge staff and visitors and may have the opportunity to job shadow. In addition, there will be a wide variety of networking opportunities through the external partnerships the position will serve.

Essential Responsibilities and Functions:

  • Develop the foundation of an implementation plan for a 2025 Lights Out for Birds campaign.
    • Work with supervisor to identify needs and topics for meetings.
    • Conduct email availability polls for partners to identify meeting dates, times, and locations.
    • Develop agendas and maintain meeting notes. Send meeting notes to partners.
    • Lead meetings to facilitate partner engagement and decision making.
    • Translate partner meeting decisions into stories and outreach products.
    • Capture partner decisions and discussions into a formal draft plan for partner review.
    • Track commitments and accomplishments.
  • Gather and compile information for the Albuquerque Urban Bird Treaty annual report.
    • Contact partners to remind them of the annual report and the deadlines.
    • Set up online form to collect data, download responses and compile into one document.
  • Conduct bird collision surveys at the Albuquerque Regional Office, and possibly other Albuquerque area U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service facilities.
    • Contact the biologist that completed the previous annual survey and the building manager to verify data.
    • Potentially assist biologist with a walking survey around the building during bird migration to collect data on numbers of birds impacted.
  • Work with Refuge Environmental Justice team to link Dark Sky work with Environmental Justice program.
    • Work with Valle de Oro Environmental Justice Coordinator and Environmental Justice Leadership Team to identify and conduct projects that connect Dark Sky with environmental justice and meet the goals of the Valle de Oro Environmental Justice Strategic Plan.
    • Support students from NexGen academy in working on Dark Sky data with the Refuge.
    • Mentor and guide a group of 5-10 high school students in a semester long Dark Sky research project gathering data on Valle de Oro and in the surrounding community.
  • Assist Valle de Oro NWR with Dark Sky events
    • Assist with set up of materials and opening the Refuge.
    • Greet visitors, share materials, and educate them on the Dark Sky program and events.
    • Break down and clean up after events.
  • As time allows, assist with public inquiries and technical guidance.
    • Respond to telephone calls or emails to the Migratory Birds permitting branch.
    • Log calls and emails into the system.

Trainings Provided:

Ongoing mentorship for project responsibilities

Working Conditions: Related to outdoor survey – uneven surfaces, urban setting (vehicles, potential for interactions with residents and unhoused persons); related to Dark Sky events – inclement weather, uneven surfaces, lifting items.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Per federal grant requirements, this internship is for young adults between the ages of 18-30 (35 for veterans), inclusive, at the time the individual begins term of service.
  • Valid U.S Driver’s License - Drivers must be over 21 or have had a license for at least 3 years.
  • U.S Citizen, U.S National, or Lawful Permanent Resident.\
  • Received or on track to receive high school diploma or GED.
  • Willing to undergo and must pass required criminal history checks.
  • Some college.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Organizational skills.
  • Comfortable interacting with both the public and agency partners.
  • Experience with basic Microsoft Office systems (MS Word, Power Point, Excel).

Physical Requirements:

  • To successfully perform essential functions, the individual is required to sit, stand, walk, speak, hear, etc. May be required to stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl for significant periods of time and be able to safely lift 50 pounds on a routine basis. He/she must be able to operate office equipment, telephone, and computer and reach with hands and arms.
  • Ability to hike and navigate in rough terrain.
  • Reasonable accommodation may be made for qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Participant Essential Eligibility Requirements/Participation and Expedition Behavior

  • Work effectively as a member of a team despite potentially stressful and difficult conditions. This may require problem solving on an interpersonal or group level as well as a willingness to accept differences.
  • Contribute to a safe learning environment, no harassment of others for any reason.
  • Willingness and ability to complete all aspects of the program including conservation projects, education, training, and national service.
  • Effectively communicate ideas and concerns as they arise directly to supervisors, colleagues, and organization staff.
  • Appropriately represent Conservation Corps New Mexico, U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, and AmeriCorps to the public and partners at all times.
  • Flexibility, adaptability, and capacity to work in a fluid, changing work environment.

Safety and Judgment:

  • Effectively communicate danger to others in the form of either a warning of danger others may be encountering or a notification of personal distress, injury or need for assistance. Must be able to do so at a distance of up to 50 meters and in conditions with limited visibility or loud background noise such as darkness or high winds.
  • Effectively perceive and understand significant and apparent hazards and follow direction by others so that you will be able to successfully execute techniques to manage hazards. These directions may be given before the hazard is encountered or may need to be given during the exposure to the hazard. Ability to respond appropriately to stress or crises.
  • Stay alert and focused for several hours at a time while traveling and working in varied weather conditions.
  • If taking prescription medications, participants must be able to maintain proper dosage by self- medicating without assistance from others.

Substance Free:

· In accordance with a drug free workplace, alcohol and drugs are prohibited while participating in AmeriCorps and program activities and while on organization property.

Background Check:

A DOI background clearance must be completed before the selected candidate may report to duty. FWS will provide instructions for completion of the clearance after an intern has been selected and will notify them when they have been cleared to start the internship. This process will determine the internship’s exact start date.

Interns will have access to government facilities and systems, and will be supplied with access to gov’t vehicles, equipment, and materials needed to work on the projects and activities as outlined above. Interns must adhere to all government regulations and policies for operating equipment, vehicles, security awareness, and safety.

*To be eligible for a Public Lands Corps certificate, interns must be between the ages of 18-30 (35 for veterans), inclusive, at the time the individual begins the term of service.

Conservation Legacy is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to hiring a breadth of diverse professionals and encourage members of diverse groups to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, political affiliation, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during application or recruiting process, please send a request to the hiring manager.

To Apply: Please submit an updated resume and cover letter along with the online application at https://corpsnm.org/individual-placement-openings . Consideration will be given as resumes are received and this position may close at any time. If you have questions, contact CCNM’s Individual Placement Program Coordinator, SamJean Simmons, at ssimmons@conservationlegacy.org.

For more information about Conservation Corps New Mexico, please visit www.corpsnm.org. Conservation Corps New Mexico is a program of Conservation Legacy.