Volunteer Opportunity Details

Ecology Field Assistant

The Nature Conservancy


821 SE 14th Avenue, Portland, 0 97214

Start Date: 05/29/2018

End Date: 09/28/2018

Volunteer Position Description The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Position title: Ecology Field Assistant (Volunteer) Number of positions: Up to 4 volunteer placements Location: Zumwalt Prairie, Wallowa County, Oregon, USA Report to: Heidi Schmalz, Zumwalt Science Specialist Position summary: The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a global organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. In Oregon, we own more than 40 preserves and have helped protect more than 511,000 acres of critical habitat and 425 miles of rivers & streams. Each summer The Nature Conservancy conducts various botanical and ecological studies on the Zumwalt Prairie in northeastern Oregon to further our understanding of the unique biological diversity of these grasslands and how human management affects it. Volunteers with education and/or skills in botany, biology and other natural resource disciplines are needed to assist Conservancy staff in conducting these studies. We may be able to design this position as a volunteer internship for applicants who are currently enrolled in school and studying a related field. Volunteers will assist Conservancy staff with a variety of vegetation inventory, monitoring, research, and stewardship projects in support of The Nature Conservancy’s conservation efforts on the Zumwalt Prairie. Volunteers will learn a variety of field ecology skills and apply them in collecting and analyzing data on the Zumwalt Prairie and will have the opportunity to learn about and contribute to on-the-ground conservation work. Duties: • Familiarize yourself with terrain, vegetation, and ecology of the Zumwalt Prairie. • Learn basic botany and field ecology skills, including use of maps, compass, global positional systems and other equipment. • Work as part of a team conducting a variety of research and monitoring projects in the field. These include: plant inventory and collection, mapping weeds, monitoring plant communities, rare plant surveys and plant phenology. • Assist with data entry and quality control. • Conduct yourself in a professional and timely manner as you learn foundational skills for future employment in natural resources. Requirements: Volunteers must be in good physical condition and be able to walk at least 5 miles (8 km) per day over rough terrain and tolerate extreme weather conditions while in the field. Volunteers must be able to maintain concentration and data collection accuracy under fatigue and strain. Previous botany experience is desirable but only a keen interest and solid work ethic is required. Positions require mature, responsible individuals who can work independently and as part of a team. Volunteers must be willing to live in rustic, remote field housing and share housing with other crew members. Length of appointment: Minimum of 8 weeks, up to 10 weeks. Start dates: Applicants should indicate which of the following options they are available for (as many as possible): Position 1-option A (8 weeks): May 29 – July 20 Position 1-option B (10 weeks): May 29 – Aug 3 Position 2 (10 weeks): June 18 – Aug 24 Position 3-option A (8 weeks)*: July 23 – Sept 14 Position 3-option B (8 weeks)*: Aug 6 – Sept 28 Position 4 (8 weeks): Aug 6 – Sept 28 * Note that Position 3 timing depends on Position 1 timing. Time commitment: 35 hours of volunteer service per week. Support provided: Shared (“dorm style”) housing will be provided on The Nature Conservancy's Zumwalt Prairie Preserve and/or at its field office in Enterprise, Oregon. The Nature Conservancy will provide transportation to and from the worksite each day and will offer one trip per week to town to purchase food and other supplies. Reimbursement of actual food expenses up to $80 / week will be provided. Benefits: Although this is an unpaid position, the opportunity to acquire skills and substantial work experience will prepare individuals for future employment in natural resource fields. This is a chance to work closely with conservation professionals and learn about the ecology and conservation challenges on the Zumwalt Prairie. Volunteers will receive training in common methods of field ecology—especially those relating to vegetation—and will observe how quantitative monitoring can contribute to conservation in the real world. Volunteers also have the option during weekends to explore the surrounding area, including the neighboring Wallowa Mountains and Eagle Cap Wilderness. How to Apply: E-mail your résumé, cover letter and list of 3 references as one document to Molly Dougherty at mdougherty@tnc.org by March 9, 2018. Contact: Molly Dougherty, The Nature Conservancy in Oregon, 821 SE 14th Avenue, Portland, Oregon, 97214: (503) 802-8100 or mdougherty@tnc.org.

Contact Info

Molly Dougherty, mdougherty@tnc.org, 503-802-8100

Registration details: nature.org/oregon