Conservation Practitioner I: Summer Wetlands Intern

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Ellinwood, KS, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Not Specified


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Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable.  One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we strive for a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Working in 72 countries, including all 50 United States, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.

In Kansas we work to ensure that we have vast native grasslands and healthy forests, streams, and wetlands to sustain and enrich all life. At nearly 8,000 acres, Cheyenne Bottoms Preserve is one of the top stopovers for migrating birds in the United States. During their migrations, tens of thousands of shorebirds and up to one-quarter million waterfowl stop at the wetlands each year. We strive to provide optimal habitat for the birds by restoring and protecting the natural marshes, mud flats and adjacent grasslands.


The Summer Wetlands Intern will report to the Cheyenne Bottoms and Avian Programs Manager and will assist the Manager with preserve management. This three-month position is ideal for graduate students enrolled accredited college, university, or other degree program in Kansas, as the hours are flexible and may vary from 0 – 35 hours per week, depending on the Steward’s needs and TNC’s needs. 


The Intern will help manage habitat, remove invasive species, and assist with preserve maintenance and operations as needed.


  • Managing habitat, including controlling invasive species, which involves operating a UTV with sprayer to spot-spray musk thistle, bull thistle, trees, cattail, and phragmites
  • Picking up trash
  • Painting structures
  • Posting preserve signs
  • Checking and repairing fences and cattle water systems
  • May assist with grassland and shorebird surveys
  • Other duties as assigned
  • Work will vary—some days the Steward will work closely with teammates; other days the Steward will work independently.
  • May work outdoors in variable weather conditions, at remote locations for long periods of, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances             
  • Requires considerable physical exertion and/or muscular strain                     
  • May interact with visitors


  • High school diploma or GED and 6 months of related experience              
  • Experience operating various types of equipment in a safe and efficient manner (e.g. lawn mower, UTV, ATV or OHV, or similar equipment, 4-wheel drive manual and automatic pick-up trucks).


  • Enrolled in accredited college, university or other degree program in Kansas.
  • Preference given to graduate students.
  • Knowledge of biology and ecology a plus. Familiarity with species at Cheyenne Bottoms Preserve preferred.
  • Able to work in a team environment and follow instruction with minimal supervision.
  • Has or is able to obtain a valid driver’s license and maintain a good driving record.
  • Experience with GIS and mapping software preferred.


This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with the Conservancy's Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered "high risk drivers." Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee's motor vehicle record.


To apply to position number 47365, submit resume (required) and cover letter separately using the upload buttons. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on March 13, 2019.

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