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Bitterroot Wildlife Internship

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Nature Conservation, Ecology, GIS
Type Temporary / Contract / Seasonal
Status Full Time
Level Voluntary & Interns
Deadline 23/01/2015
Company Name Ecology Project
Contact Name Costa Rica Program Manager Hiring
Website Further Details / Applications
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Bitterroot Wildlife Internship

For the second year, Ecology Project International (EPI) and MPG Ranch are excited about partnering to offer this unique internship for high school and early college students which combines ecological education, conservation service work, and hands-on field research at the MPG Ranch in Florence, Montana from June-August. This internship will provide you the opportunity for one-on-one interaction with scientists working on active research projects and hands-on experience with conservation service work. You will create meaningful relationships and connections with the other interns, instructors, and researchers while working and playing side-by-side. Outside of the research and the conservation work interns will play games, help cook meals, hike, swim, and enjoy the environment at the MPG ranch. At the end of your internship you will present your research project and receive a stipend for all of the hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm you showed during the internship.

About Ecology Project International:
Ecology Project International (EPI) is a non-profit education and conservation organization that offers experiential educational programs to students in a variety of outdoor settings. Students work alongside professional scientists on applied research projects and actively engage in conservation in national parks, forests, and nature reserves throughout the western hemisphere. In the Missoula area we are increasing our student impacts by offering outreach events and the Bitterroot Wildlife Internship program. For more information about EPI visit http://www.ecologyproject.org

About MPG Ranch:
With 9,800 acres of conservation property in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley, MPG Ranch stewards large, undeveloped landscapes for wildlife habitat and the enjoyment of future generations. MPG conducts research, collaborates with other local organizations and researchers, and offers educational opportunities to students of all ages. MPG researchers specialize in restoration and ecology and seek new ways to restore lands affected by invasive weeds, herbicide use, and other management practices that create disturbances. From educational tours of the ranch to teaching college courses in genetics to hiring interns, MPG seeks to inspire and train the next generation of scientists to protect landscapes. For more information about MPG visit http://www.mpgranch.com

Program Description:
Each month-long intern session will be comprised of six interns and be mentored by two instructors. Interns are paired with MPG researchers to engage in ongoing research projects and complete their own project, which they will present at the end of their internship to their fellow interns and researchers and at a September symposium to which friends and family are invited. Interns will spend Sunday -Thursday of each week at the ranch completing conservation service projects (approximately 10hrs/wk), conducting ecological research (approximately 16hrs/wk), and learning about the Bitterroot Valley’s ecosystem (approximately 6hrs/wk) by day, and by night will camp out under the stars. Conservation projects on the ranch might include weed and fence removal, planting, and seed gathering. Potential research involvement includes avian, soil, plant, ungulate, insect, and carnivore projects. Other activities during this internship include becoming Leave No Trace aware, observing wildlife, and nature journaling.

There are two internship options for 2015. The first session begins June 21st and ends July 16th. The second session begins July 26th and ends August 20th. Applicants will have the opportunity to indicate their preferred session when they apply.

May (exact date TBD): Intern researcher meet & greet
Both sessions:
Week 1: Sunday 1:00 pm – Thursday 5:00 pm
Weeks 2-4: Sunday 5:00 pm – Thursday 5:00 pm
September 2nd: End of season symposium

*Please note that interns will be responsible for their own accommodations from Thursday evening – Sunday afternoon.

Intern Responsibilities:

  • Actively & enthusiastically participate in all internship activities.
  • Complete conservation service projects to aid in MPG Ranch ecological restoration efforts. These projects are often physically strenuous.
  • Develop a scientific research question, complete a project, and present project results to EPI and MPG staff and fellow interns at the end of the internship. Projects will also be presented during an end of season symposium to be held on September 2nd, 2015.
  • Assist MPG researchers in gathering quality data. Help with meal preparation, camp set-up and maintenance, and vehicle loading/unloading.
  • Participate in a May intern/researcher pairing evening event.
  • Abide by EPI’s Big Five: No tobacco, drugs, alcohol, coupling, or disruptive behavior.

Intern Qualifications:

  • Must have completed freshman year of high school and not yet entered sophomore year in college;
  • Must be available to attend all field days for the duration of the internship;
  • Willingness to work and camp in inclement conditions including rain, heat, bugs, and rough terrain;
  • Understanding of scientific inquiry;
  • Desire to engage in conservation service work, research, and outdoor learning.


  • Outdoor experience including camping and hiking;
  • Experience with conservation service;
  • Field experience collecting and working with data.

Interns will be paid a stipend of $30 per day, totaling $480, after the successful completion of this internship. Transportation from EPI’s Missoula office to MPG Ranch on Sunday evenings and back on Thursday evenings will be provided. Additionally, meals, snacks, transportation, and camping gear will be provided while at the ranch.

To Apply:
The application deadline is January 23rd. All applications must be completed through our online submission system. Interns will be selected based on the quality of their submitted online application, participation in an in-person or telephone interview, and availability to participate in scheduled internship sessions. Click here to access the application.

Have questions about what to expect during the internship, logistics, or the application process?
Contact Lisa Macki at either (406) 721-8784 or lisa@ecologyproject.org

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