Biology Intern

Expected Dates
January 2, 2015 to April 24, 2015
Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge
Position ID
Habitat improvement is an ongoing priority at Buenos Aires NWR. Plant species we are currently working to control on the refuge include native mesquite encroaching onto the grassland and invasive buffelgrass that is out-competing native grasses. Buffelgrass was historically present on the refuge in small treatable patches. However, more recently it has established itself in much larger areas so a significant portion of the duties for this position will be dedicated to buffelgrass surveys in challenging terrain and working with field crews with herbicide application. Other responsibilities include assisting with general care of our captive population of masked bobwhite quail at both our rearing facility and at our flight pens in order to maintain a healthy population for potential release into habitat improvement areas. This will require general weed management around the flight pens with minor electric fence repairs and occasional mending of flight pen wire and hardware cloth. Data entry will be required for all projects as well as administrative work in the biology office. This intern will also be expected to offer support to our Visitor Services staff on a variety of projects with a friendly and helpful attitude while assisting visitors and staff with maps, directions and answering any questions they may have about the refuge. On occasion the intern may be asked to help with audiovisual equipment such as DVD players, Power Point presentations or the use of typing skills with word processing programs, such as Microsoft word and Microsoft Excel. To conduct these activities the intern must be comfortable interacting with visitors of all ages in both group settings as well as individuals.

Intern must also have a valid driver’s license; ability and willingnes to undergo a required criminal background check; have an enthusiasm for learning wildlife habitat management, cultural resources, and the ability to walk up to 5 miles per day while carrying a backpack. This intern will be required to work weekends and holidays during the holiday season. Interns are expected to have clear and legible writing and be capable of basic computer skills (word processing, spread sheets, etc.). Refuge housing and an on-refuge work vehicle will be provided.


  • Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) consists of nearly 118,000 acres of semidesert grassland in southern Arizona. The refuge is home to an abundance of wildlife including the endangered Masked Bobwhite Quail (MBQ) for which the refuge was established. The masked bobwhite quail was extirpated from the United States in the early 1900’s due early settlement and cattle ranching in the Altar Valley. Since its purchase in 1985, Buenos Aires NWR has worked to restore this grassland deemed so vital to the existence of the masked bobwhite quail as well as all the other grassland species that share this habitat.
  • Interns will receive on the job training including the use of GPS units, basic plant identification skills including invasive species; general care of captive breeding flock of MBQ and weather and site related safety.
  • Educational opportunities include nature walks on the Refuge and at the Sonoran Desert Museum near Tucson. Numerous outdoor natural resource recreational opportunities are available within and surrounding the Refuge.
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Wildlife Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Computer Science
some experience
Customer Service
competent with supervision
Data Entry
some experience
some experience
Plant Identification
some experience