U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast

The US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) have partnered to connect diverse college students to careers in natural resource conservation. This internship program was designed to hire and train undergrad and graduate students at national wildlife refuges throughout the Northeast region (hosting sites are listed below). As part of the Service's Urban Wildlife Conservation Program, the partnership will also expand the agency's connections with Latino communities.

Project Goal & Objectives

The partners’ long-term goal for this project is to build a strong number of inspired, skilled, culturally, ethnically, and economically diverse young people who have experienced natural resource careers. This will result in a diverse workforce of conservationists that reflects the composition of the regional population.

Through this project, HAF will select and oversee a cohort of highly motivated students, ages 18-35, who will be introduced to natural resource careers through 12-week paid internships involving hands-on work with, and training by, natural resource professionals employed by the USFWS. Each intern will receive a weekly stipend of $400 based on a 40-hour workweek, plus a commuting/transportation stipend if needed. On-site government housing or a housing stipend will be provided for all positions. Travel expenses to/from refuge sites will be covered.

Students will be introduced to various real-world public education, interpretation, and communications, conservation, and rehabilitation activities through work assignments at USFWS sites and through informal and/or formal training sessions provided by USFWS employees. Participants will receive specialized training, mentoring and ongoing support from HAF to effectively carry out their assignments and to build or enhance skills such as culturally appropriate or bilingual community outreach in a manner consistent with local site priorities. Young adults will gain an understanding of the opportunities for careers in natural resources and will build skills and experience required for success in these careers.

Winter 2019 FWS Hosting Sites

  • Potomac River National Wildlife Refuge Complex - Woodbridge, VA (ALREADY FILLED for 2019)
  • Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge - Basom/Buffalo, NY (open position, accepting applications - starts in Jan/Feb 2019)

Summer 2019 FWS Hosting Sites

  • Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge - New Haven, CT
  • Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge - Hadley, MA
  • Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge - Northern NJ
  • Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge - Northern NJ
  • Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge/Providence Parks Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership - Providence, RI 
  • John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge - Philadelphia, PA
  • Patuxent Research Refuge - Laurel & Baltimore, MD
  • Eastern Massachusetts National Wildlife Refuge Complex - Lowell, MA


Application Deadline & Timeframe

Applications are due on February 1, 2019. You will be asked to submit a resume with your application. Final decisions will be made by the end of February 2019. The 12 week internship will run from May 28 - Aug 16, 2019, kicking off with an orientation conference for all interns on May 28-31 in DC. Travel expenses will be covered.


Basic Eligibility

  • Be enrolled in a university/college undergraduate or graduate program or have graduated with a bachelor's degree within the past year
  • Local candidates or candidates with community ties to refuges' neighboring areas are preferred
    • Priority will be given to applicants currently living in the states of MA, CT, RI, NY, NJ, PA, MD, VA and DC
  • Ages 18 to 35
  • Possess US citizenship or US permanent residency, must undergo a government background check if selected 
  • Have a strong interest — or relevant experience — in areas pertaining to natural resource management, wildlife management, biology, community outreach, and/or environmental education
  • Bilingual skills (Spanish/English) are preferred but not required for all positions
  • Must have a valid Driver's License for all positions
  • A personal vehicle is required for some sites

Selection Criteria

Candidates may express interest in specific refuge sites. Specific assignments will be based on best fit with the unique requirements of each site. Final candidates will undergo a background check before beginning their assignment. Applications will be reviewed and rated according to the following criteria:

  • Relevant educational and work experience
  • Professionalism, technical knowledge, and expertise
  • Oral and written communication skills, through application responses and phone interviews
  • Adaptability and ability to work effectively with diverse audiences


MANO Project
is an initiative of Hispanic 
Access Foundation.

E: info@hispanicaccess.org
P: (202) 640-4342