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Field Conservation Intern and GIS & Field Conservation Intern

December 20, 2019 @ 8:00 am - January 15, 2020 @ 5:00 pm

Two positions available: 1) Field Conservation Intern, and 2) GIS & Field Conservation Intern

Location: 2701 NW Vaughn Street, STE 450, Portland, OR 97210

Period of Employment: Approximately 6 months: April 1st – October 2nd, 2020 (dates somewhat flexible)

Pay: $16.50 / hour

Work hours: Average of 20 hours per week, two to three 8-hour days per week, 9:00 am to 5:30 pm (times somewhat flexible), M-F, with occasional optional evening and weekend hours.

Application deadline: Wednesday, January 15, 2020 by 5:00 pm

General Summary

West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District (“District”) is hiring two adult (18+ years old) temporary, part-time Conservation Interns for spring through fall of 2020. Conservation Interns will receive mentorship, gain experience, and have opportunities to learn more about the field of natural resource conservation and land stewardship as practiced on private land. We are looking for people with a passion to help make our ecosystems, water, and soil healthier for people, wildlife, and the environment. The District is committed to racial diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our organization; therefore, interns will be provided with equity training, are expected to help co-create an inclusive work environment with fellow staff, and are invited to participate more deeply through the District’s diversity, equity, and inclusion committee.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Monitoring native and invasive vegetation and assisting with other field site visits
  • Surveying, mobile data collection, and treating priority invasive weeds (including use of herbicides)
  • Data entry and analysis, making graphs, and writing reports
  • Mapping with ArcGIS (for the GIS & Field Conservation Intern only)

Other Duties and Responsibilities

  • Communicates and works directly with staff, the public, property owners, and contractors through face-to-face contact, telephone, written, or email correspondence
  • Meets regularly with Internship Program Supervisor for mentorship, training, and to check in on goals
  • Collects GPS, water quality, and forestry data
  • Assists with writing conservation plans and completing special projects related to the intern’s professional interests
  • Assists with outreach and educational activities to inform the public on natural resource conservation issues

Minimum Qualifications for BOTH positions (Required to be eligible for either Intern position)

  1. Experienced with plant identification: Able to recognize and name common plants of the Pacific Northwest, training in the use of plant identification resources, knowledge of plant anatomy and/or traditional ecological knowledge of plants and first foods
  2. Competent in the use of Microsoft Excel and Word software (or similar): Able to enter data and create graphs and compose written documents incorporating text, pictures, and tables
  3. Able to work outdoors under a range of conditions and terrain and able to lift up to 17 pounds
  4. Willing to work with and apply herbicides alongside other District staff members who are licensed herbicide applicators and who will provide training and supervision
  5. Additional Minimum Qualification for the GIS & Field Conservation Intern position ONLY: Competent at using ArcGIS mapping software: Able to import, create, and edit both spatial and attribute data in ArcGIS and create readable maps incorporating clear symbology and basic cartography elements such as labels, keys and scale references.

Desired Experience, Abilities, and Attributes

  • Participation in an environmental workforce development program (such as VERDE, Wisdom Workforce, Greenspaces Restoration and Urban Naturalist Team/GRUNT, TALON, or Northwest Youth Corps)
  • Active students working toward a vocational or associates degree with an interest in natural sciences, natural resource management, environmental education, or other related field
  • Personal and/or professional experience engaging with historically underrepresented communities and/or individuals in a welcoming and respectful way, and support of diversity, equity & inclusion practices.
  • Experience collecting field data and maintaining field notes
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Maintains positive, cooperative relationships with others and conducts work in a professional manner

Job Conditions

  • Both positions will work in the field approximately 60% of the time, and in the office 40% of the time.
  • The fieldwork includes working in and around such locations as urban areas, farms, and working forests; streams and ponds; properties with dense, thorny vegetation; steep slopes, and other hazardous terrain, and applying herbicides. Herbicide application will include training and supervision by staff who will be working alongside the intern. Occasional interactions with farm animals and pets may occur while in the field.
  • Physical exertion is required, such as walking and carrying equipment and tools weighing up to 17 pounds.
  • The office and outreach work includes working at a desk, using a computer, and working or standing at a table.
  • Travel in a District vehicle is required to field sites, workshops, meetings and training sessions. Although not required, applicants who hold a valid driver’s license may be asked to drive a District or personal vehicle.


Base pay is $16.50 per hour. Positions are at-will and non-exempt. The District will pay for any required training and licenses. Use of a personal vehicle or a personal phone is not required or expected, but if such use occurs, certain expenses are eligible for reimbursement. TriMet reimbursement is available for public transit commuters and bike parking is available for cyclists.

How to Apply

Interested applicants may apply for one or both positions. Past interns are not eligible for re-hire for this internship. Applications must be submitted by the application deadline, 5:00 pm, January 15, 2020.

  • Fill out a brief eligibility checklist through our online form: https://wmswcd.org/2020-internships-application/
  • You will then be prompted through the online form to upload a cover letter (maximum length of ONE page) and resume (maximum length of TWO pages). In your cover letter and resume, speak to how your personal and/or professional experience meet the Minimum Qualifications and Desired Experience, Abilities, and Attributes for optimal consideration for an interview.

Applicants are eligible for Veterans’ Preference when applying with West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District. For more information on required materials to submit, please see our Veterans’ Preference Policy.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The District does not discriminate based on any class or identity including age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and veteran status. The District is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. The District makes reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities and special needs so as to provide access to district events, materials and services.

West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District is committed to racial diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our organization: in those we serve, in our workforce composition, through the contractors we hire, and in those that benefit from our work. We welcome and encourage applications from indigenous people and people of color.

To better meet our equity goals and eliminate unconscious bias in the hiring process, the District has elected to redact some personal information from submitted materials that will be reviewed by the selection team including name, address and links to social media accounts.

For complaints about discrimination, harassment, unequitable treatment and access to district events, materials and services, email info@wmswcd.org or call (503) 238-4775.

Questions: For questions about the application process, or to request an accommodation to access and participate in this recruitment, contact Office Manager Randi Razalenti at hiring@wmswcd.org or call (503) 238-4775, ext. 100.

For questions about the internship positions, contact the Internship Supervisor Laura Taylor at internship@wmswcd.org or call (503) 238-4775, ext. 112.