Expected Dates

October 16, 2015 to March 25, 2016


McNary National Wildlife Refuge

Position ID


The Mid-Columbia River National Wildlife Refuge Complex is recruiting for an internship opportunity for an individual with skills in GIS/Mapping and an interest in natural resource conservation to assist with the Complex’s vegetation monitoring activities.  The Complex includes 8 National Wildlife Refuges (McNary, Umatilla, Cold Springs, McKay Creek, Conboy, Toppenish, Columbia and Saddle Mountain) and one National Monument (Hanford Reach), encompassing almost 300,000 acres in southern Washington and northern Oregon.  The areas are primarily dominated by shrub-steppe habitats with natural and manmade wetlands, forested areas and rivers interspersed.

Restoration of native habitats is a critical component of the work we do.  This is an office based position with responsibilities that include: inputting, formatting and analyzing existing GIS/GPS data to produce mapping products that will inform management decisions, 80%;  field surveys to inventory and monitor native and non-native vegetation, 20%.  Required: Valid driver’s license, ability to work independently, excellent work ethic, and completion of a college degree with a demonstrated competency in GIS mapping skills and analysis utilizing ArcGIS 10.1.  Desired: Field experience or ability to operate independently or with a group in a natural environment setting and competency using GPS Pathfinder Office S.4 and Trimble Handheld GPS units.

Location Description

The position will be located in south central Washington at the McNary National Wildlife Refruge in Burbank, WA. Burbank is a rural area within a 15 minute drive of the Tri-Cities which consist of Pasco, Kennewick, and Richland and a population of 200,000. The arid and open shrub-steppe environment has plenty of sunshine and is enhanced by the Columbia, Yakima and Snake Rivers. Abundant recreational opportunities are available on the water and on the land. In addition, the mountains (1-2 hours) and the coast (4-5 hours) are nearby.

Training Provided

  •     Real world on-the-job training using existing skills in GIS programs and GPS field units will be realized. Field identification of native and non-native vegetation. ATV operation.
  •     Educational/Recreational Opportunities
  •     Outdoor opportunities and facilities are abundant in the area with plentiful sunshine and three large rivers. Education and information are available on the Hanford Reach NM, Native Americans, geology, agricultural and wineries.
  •     Handicap Accessible?
  •     Yes

Main Area of Focus

Geographic Info Systems (GIS, includes GPS)
Education, Training & Skills Expected

Earth Sciences
    degree minor or extensive experience
Resource Management
    some coursework or experience
Computer Science
    some experience
Data Entry
    competent without supervision
    competent without supervision
    some experience
Data Analysis
    competent with supervision

Further Details

Driving Logistics
Valid Drivers License Needed
Personal Vehicle Required
Distance to town for the basic necessities.
Housing or Stipend Provided?
The housing will consist of a shared bunkhouse located at the McNary NWR headquarters in Burbank, WA.
US Citizenship
Not Required