Skip Navigation


Wildlife Monitoring Intern


Individual Placement/Internships

Job Location

1611 NM HWY 161, Watrous, New Mexico

Tracking Code


Position Type


Title: Wildlife Monitoring Intern

Start/End Date: September 3, 2024 – February 28, 2025 (anticipated)

Term Length:  26 weeks

Living Stipend: $680/week

Housing: Free housing provided

Reports To: Wildlife Biologist

Location: Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge (1611 NM HWY 161, Watrous, NM 87753)

Status:  900-hour AmeriCorps Service Term

Benefits: Travel funds $1,500; Public Lands Corps Certificate* (that allows for competitive hiring for USA jobs/government jobs) and AmeriCorps Education Award $3,447 - both with successful completion of the internship; health insurance eligible.


AmeriCorps is the federal agency for national service and volunteerism. AmeriCorps provides opportunities for Americans of all backgrounds to serve their country, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, and improve lives and communities. Environmental stewardship programs help conserve natural habitats, improve energy efficiency, protect clean air and water, and help to mitigate the effects of climate change among other environmental efforts.


Conservation Corps New Mexico (CCNM)

Conservation Corps New Mexico, a program of Conservation Legacy and AmeriCorps partner, aims to continue the legacy of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930's. CCNM is focused on connecting youth, young adults, and recent era military veterans with conservation service work projects on public lands. CCNM operates programs across New Mexico and Texas that engage individuals and strengthen communities through service and conservation. The CCNM Las Cruces office manages the Individual Placement Program.



These Individual Placement Positions are unique development opportunities. Interns are paired with a local supervisor and gain technical, hands-on experience in the work of these organizations or agencies. Site supervisors commit to facilitate career development; provide an introduction to numerous pathways within the conservation field; and create accessible, meaningful, learning opportunities and experiences for interns.


Position Summary:


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) National Wildlife Refuge System is to conserve, manage, and restore fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats, as well as provide quality wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities that foster wildlife conservation for the enjoyment of future generations.


Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) was established on September 27, 2012, when the 4,224-acre former Wind River Ranch was donated by E. V. Thaw Charitable Trust to FWS. Since being established, the Refuge’s focus has been to create a site for ecological restoration, native species, conservation research, education of local youth, and to provide a place where people can come together and form solutions to counter degrading ecological systems. The Refuge has strong partnerships with agencies, tribes, universities, local schools, and non- governmental organizations (NGOs) to conduct work on the refuge and conservation area.


The Wildlife Monitoring Intern will help collect, maintain and analyze data on wildlife crossings and movement, specifically focusing on areas near and around the Rio Mora National Wildlife Refuge Boundary fence. This information is essential in determining the appropriate fence for encouraging safe wildlife passage and evaluating the success of wildlife-friendly fencing. 


This project will also help inform our partners, adjacent landowners and the surrounding conservation area on how to create safe wildlife crossings, while still maintaining a bison herd within the refuge boundary. The Pueblo of Pojoaque manages an active bison herd within the refuge boundary, and monitoring the newly installed fence will be necessary to ensure the fence is effective.


This project will support climate resiliency by ensuring and increasing wildlife access to the Refuge's 4,224 acres. The intern will help staff to identify and resolve obstructive fence characteristics or barriers in order to improve wildlife connectivity on and around the Refuge.


The intern will have several opportunities to shadow refuge managers, biologists, maintenance workers, the New Mexico Invasive Species Strike Team, and visitor service managers at one of the three refuges at the complex. The Refuge also has a strong partnership with New Mexico Highlands University and past interns have been able to assist researchers with projects such as grasshopper studies, leopard frog surveys, and vegetation monitoring. When possible, the intern will be able to complete ATV/UTV and Heavy Equipment (Tier 1) trainings as there are certified trainers onsite. The intern will also have the opportunity to collaborate with other intern projects.


Essential Responsibilities and Functions: 

  • Collect wildlife monitoring data
    • Work with wildlife biologist to select and map wildlife camera locations.
    • Utilize a UTV to drive safely to locations.
    •  Use tools to safely install and maintain wildlife cameras and prepare/maintain camera sites (i.e. remove tree branches or vegetation obstructing camera view).
    • Use ArcGIS Online (Field Maps, Survey123) to locate and record site locations and associated meta data.
    • Keep organized records of camera sites and collected camera data.
    • Prepare data for analysis and sorting.
  • Sort and analyze wildlife monitoring data.
    • Develop and create a protocol for sorting/organizing data and data analysis.
    • Follow protocol with attention to detail.
    • Summarize data to prepare reports and presentations.
  •  Assist wildlife biologist with wildlife surveys
    • Conduct early morning elk surveys once a month.
    • Conduct waterbird surveys twice a month at Las Vegas NWR.
    • Conduct waterbird surveys once a month at Maxwell NWR.
    •  Conduct New Mexico Jumping Mouse surveys in September.


Trainings Provided:

  • ArcGIS Online, Survey123, i-Pad relevant to the project
  • UTV training
  • Wildlife camera instructions
  • Microsoft Excel relevant to project
  • Program R relevant to project
  •  Wildlife survey techniques


Working Conditions: Uneven terrain; hiking off-trail/unmarked paths; slippery/wet conditions; hot and humid conditions; mosquitos and poison ivy; dangerous wildlife (rattlesnakes, cougars and bears); driving on rocky terrain. Related to computer work – back, neck, shoulder, eye, arm, hand strain, headache.


Minimum Qualifications

  • Per federal grant requirements, this internship is for young adults between the ages of 18-30 (35 for veterans), inclusive, at the time the individual begins term of service.
  • Valid U.S Driver’s License - Drivers must be over 21 or have had a license for at least 3 years.
  • U.S Citizen, U.S National, or Lawful Permanent Resident.
  • Received or on track to receive high school diploma or GED.
  • Willing to undergo and must pass required criminal history checks.
  • Personal vehicle for use during time off.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Prior experience with driving 4WD trucks
  • GIS experience


Physical Requirements:

  • To successfully perform essential functions, the individual is required to sit, stand, walk, speak, hear, etc. May be required to stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl for significant periods of time and be able to safely lift 50 pounds on a routine basis. He/she must be able to operate office equipment, telephone, and computer and reach with hands and arms. 
  • Ability to hike and navigate in rough terrain.
  • Reasonable accommodation may be made for qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 


Participant Essential Eligibility Requirements/Participation and Expedition Behavior:

  • Work effectively as a member of a team despite potentially stressful and difficult conditions. This may require problem solving on an interpersonal or group level as well as a willingness to accept differences.
  •  Contribute to a safe learning environment, no harassment of others for any reason.
  • Willingness and ability to complete all aspects of the program including conservation projects, education, training, and national service.
  • Effectively communicate ideas and concerns as they arise directly to supervisors, colleagues, and organization staff.
  • Appropriately represent Conservation Corps New Mexico, U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, and AmeriCorps to the public and partners at all times.
  • Flexibility, adaptability, and capacity to work in a fluid, changing work environment.


Safety and Judgment:

  • Effectively communicate danger to others in the form of either a warning of danger others may be encountering or a notification of personal distress, injury or need for assistance. Must be able to do so at a distance of up to 50 meters and in conditions with limited visibility or loud background noise such as darkness or high winds.
  • Effectively perceive and understand significant and apparent hazards and follow direction by others so that you will be able to successfully execute techniques to manage hazards. These directions may be given before the hazard is encountered or may need to be given during the exposure to the hazard. Ability to respond appropriately to stress or crises.
  • Stay alert and focused for several hours at a time while traveling and working in varied weather conditions.
  • If taking prescription medications, participants must be able to maintain proper dosage by self- medicating without assistance from others.


Substance Free:

·       In accordance with a drug free workplace, alcohol and drugs are prohibited while participating in AmeriCorps and program activities and while on organization property.


Background Check:

A DOI background clearance must be completed before the selected candidate may report to duty. FWS will provide instructions for completion of the clearance after an intern has been selected and will notify them when they have been cleared to start the internship. This process will determine the internship’s exact start date.


Interns will have access to government facilities and systems, and will be supplied with access to gov’t vehicles, equipment, and materials needed to work on the projects and activities as outlined above. Interns must adhere to all government regulations and policies for operating equipment, vehicles, security awareness, and safety.


*To be eligible for a Public Lands Corps certificate, interns must be between the ages of 18-30 (35 for veterans), inclusive, at the time the individual begins the term of service.

Conservation Legacy is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to hiring a breadth of diverse professionals and encourage members of diverse groups to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, political affiliation, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. We also consider qualified applicants regardless of criminal histories, consistent with legal requirements. If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during application or recruiting process, please send a request to the hiring manager.

To Apply: Please submit an updated resume and cover letter along with the online application at . Consideration will be given as resumes are received and this position may close at any time. If you have questions, contact CCNM’s Individual Placement Program Coordinator, SamJean Simmons at


For more information about Conservation Corps New Mexico, please visit Conservation Corps New Mexico is a program of Conservation Legacy.

This position is located at 1611 NM HWY 161, Watrous, NM. View the Google Map in full screen.