The US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Hispanic Access Foundation 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 . 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.