Connecting Latino/as to Natural Resource Conservation: Northeast & Midwest Urban Wildlife Refuges Program

The US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) have partnered to connect diverse college students to careers in natural resource conservation. This internship program was designed to hire and train undergrad and graduate students at national wildlife refuges throughout the Northeast and Midwest regions (locations are listed below). As part of the Service's Urban Wildlife Conservation Program, the partnership will also expand the agency's connections with Latino communities.

Project Goal & Objectives

The partners’ long-term goal for this project is to build a strong number of inspired, skilled, culturally, ethnically, and economically diverse young people who have experienced natural resource careers. This will result in a diverse workforce of conservationists that reflects the composition of the regional population.

Through this project, HAF will select and oversee eleven highly motivated students, ages 18-35, who will be introduced to natural resource careers through 12-week paid internships involving hands-on work with, and training by, natural resource professionals employed by the USFWS. Each intern will receive a weekly stipend of $400 based on a 40-hour workweek, plus a commuting stipend if needed. Local or on-site housing and travel expenses will be provided for out-of-state students for most sites. Students will be introduced to various real-world public education, interpretation, and communications, conservation, and rehabilitation activities through work assignments at seven USFWS sites and through informal and/or formal training sessions provided by USFWS employees. Participants will receive specialized training, mentoring and ongoing support from HAF to effectively carry out their assignments and to build or enhance skills such as culturally appropriate or bilingual community outreach in a manner consistent with local site priorities. Young adults will gain an understanding of the opportunities for careers in natural resources and will build skills and experience required for success in these careers.   

Basic Eligibility

  • Be enrolled in a university/college undergraduate or graduate program or have graduated with a bachelors degree within the past year
  • Local candidates preferred for both the Northeast and Midwest regions, or individuals with previous community ties in those regions
    • Northeast Region: Priority will be given to applicants currently living in the states of MA, CT, RI, NY, NJ, PA, MD, VA and DC
    • Midwest Region: Priority will be given to applicants currently living in the states of MN, MI, and IL
  • Ages 18 to 35
  • Possess US citizenship or US work authorization, must undergo a government background check
  • Have a strong interest — or relevant experience —  in areas pertaining to natural resource management, wildlife management, biology, community outreach, and/or environmental education
  • Bilingual skills (Spanish/English) are preferred but not required for all positions


  • FWS NORTHWEST Positions: Applications must be submitted by: Monday, March 12, 2018 at 11:59pm EST.
  • FWS MIDWEST Positions: Applications must be submitted by: Monday, March 26, 2018 at 11:59pm EST.
  • Final placement decisions and assignments will be made by the end of March 2018
  • The 12-week internship period will generally begin in late May and conclude in August 2018, depending on specific requirements of the refuge site

Selection criteria 

Candidates may express interest in specific refuge sites. Specific assignments will be based on best fit with the unique requirements of each site. Final candidates will undergo a background check before beginning their assignment. Applications will be reviewed and rated according to the following criteria: 

  • Relevant educational and work experience
  • Professionalism, technical knowledge, and expertise
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Adaptability and ability to work effectively with diverse audiences



Available Internship Positions for Summer 2018

The available internship assignments with USFWS and The Urban Wildlife Refuge Program are listed below. The Urban Wildlife Refuge Program is a national USFWS program that works to connect urban communities to local natural resources.


NORTHEAST REGION - Applications due Monday, March 12, 2018 at 11:59pm EST.

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge
Buffalo, NY
Natural Resource/Outreach Intern 
Read Full Description

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge
Philadelphia, PA
Visitor & Community Engagement Intern    
Read Full Description

Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex 
Providence, RI
Environmental Education and Community Outreach Intern  
Read Full Description

Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge 
New Haven, CT
Environmental Education and Community Outreach Intern  
Read Full Description

Wallkill River & Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuges
Northern NJ (Basking Ridge, NJ) and Yonkers NY
Natural Resource & Environmental Interpretation Intern
Read Full Description


Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge
Hadley, MA
Visitor Services & External Affairs Intern - April start date possible
Read Full Description


MIDWEST REGION - Applications due Monday, March 26, 2018 at 11:59pm EST.

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge 
Bloomington, MN
Visitor Services/Outreach Intern   
Read Full Description 

Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge 
Saginaw, MI
Visitor Services/Outreach Intern   
Read Full Description 

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
Marion, IL
Visitor Services/Outreach Intern   
Read Full Description 



USFWS Headquarters - Communications Office
Falls Church, VA
Communications and Digital Media Specialist 
Read Full Description



Summer 2018 Internship Positions Already Filled

  • Patuxent Research Refuge - Laurel, MD
    Environmental Education and Interpretation Intern 
  • Wallkill River & Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuges  - Northern New Jersey (Basking Ridge, NJ)
    Natural Resource & Environmental Interpretation Intern 1
  • Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge  - Springfield and Hadley, MA
    Natural Resource and Environmental Interpretation Intern