U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Directorate Resource Assistant Fellows Program (DFP)

D-01 (Kendra Chan Fellowship): Ohlone Tiger Beetle Habitat Analysis 

Region: Pacific Southwest – Region 8 (CA, NV)
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Position Type: In Person (Fellow will be required to report to the duty station periodically to complete the project)
Host site Location: Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, Santa Cruz Suboffice, 1100 Fiesta Way, Watsonville, California 95076, USFWS Region 8
Fellowship Dates: Either May 20-August 9 or June 9-August 30, 2024 (with Orientation June 16-21 at NCTC)

Housing Support: Housing stipend up to $5,000 for the entire internship is authorized based on actual expenses incurred. Fellow will be required to provide documentation to validate reimbursement.  

Housing Description: Fellow will be responsible for locating and securing suitable housing.

Valid Driver’s License: Required

Transportation Support Description: Limited public transportation is available at this site location. A personal vehicle or alternate mode of transportation (such as ridesharing via Uber, Lyft, etc.) at the Fellow’s expense, is required for commuting to and from work and personal needs. Personal vehicle recommended for personal travel as public transit is available but not reliable.

Position Description: The Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office's (VFWO) Santa Cruz Suboffice is located in Watsonville, CA. The VFWO works on administering the Endangered Species Act (ESA) within seven counties in central and southern California. The Santa Cruz Suboffice is strategically located within several narrow endemic ESA-listed species' ranges. For this position, the Fellow would help further recovery efforts for the ESA-listed Ohlone tiger beetle (OTB), which is endemic to the Santa Cruz area only occurring in approximately 10 discrete locations.

The Fellow would analyze data and develop findings that provides the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and resource managers with information to inform management of OTB habitat. Specifically, we do not fully understand how oviposition (egg-laying) sites are chosen by OTB females. For example, at Glenwood Preserve, the most well-studied OTB site, OTB have not been observed ovipositing outside of a relatively small, well-defined area, despite the appearance of suitable habitat located in abundance adjacent to this area. Therefore, the Fellow will analyze historical and current information regarding OTB oviposition site selection to provide an understanding of preferred site conditions.

Information to be investigated and analyzed may include the:

  • Relationship between historical OTB burrow locations or abundance with historical rainfall data at Glenwood Preserve;
  • Habitat components at Glenwood Preserve, University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC), and Santa Cruz Gardens to determine variance between OTB occupied and adjacent unoccupied areas to include components such as vegetation density, effects of fire, elevation, slope, soil compaction, density, and moisture;
  • Relationship between small mammal burrows to oviposition site selection at Glenwood Preserve, UCSC, and Santa Cruz Gardens;
  • Relationship between artificial small mammal burrows to oviposition site selection; and
  • Small mammal burrow presence and/or abundance at extant and/or extirpated OTB sites.

The Fellow will provide results in a standard written report, which includes statistical analysis of a subset of findings and maps. The Fellow also will develop an online or printed summary or article describing their experience in terms of coordination with partners and how this coordination contributed to achieving the project goals.

We anticipate the Fellow developing or improving skills involving collecting data, writing a professional report with substantial findings, and learning about species conservation. The Fellow will gain critical thinking skills by adapting methodologies or altering component collection during the fellowship. Additionally, the Fellow will improve their communication and coordination skills by working with USFWS, UCSC, Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, and the Center for Natural Lands Management to ensure proper training, access to project sites, and data transfer.

Minimum Education Level: Open for consideration to both undergraduate and graduate students who will not complete their degree requirements before September 22, 2024.

Fields of Study:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Education/Outreach

Working Conditions Requirements: 

  • Ability to work outdoors in high temperatures. Ability to walk and hike through natural habitats.

Desired Characteristics: 

  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Technical writing skills



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Last modified on 02 October 2023

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