2017 Native Plant Propagation Internship

Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge
Internships - Paid
20 miles east of Des Moines, Iowa


Do you have a passion for plants? Opportunities are available to gain experience and contribute to the refuge’s People for Pollinators program! The Friends of Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge are sponsoring a Native Plant Propagation internship at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge for 2017. Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge is a unique ecological restoration project featuring endangered tallgrass prairie and oak savanna ecosystems. Located 20 miles east of Des Moines, Iowa, it is one of the first large-scale prairie reconstruction projects ever attempted. The People for Pollinators program promotes habitat for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators in urban and rural communities. We partner with local organizations and provide native plants and seeds to community gardens in Central Iowa. The local partners plant and maintain the gardens to provide food and shelter for pollinators throughout the year. Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Duties: The Native Plant Propagation intern will be a crucial part of the People for Pollinators program. Duties are centered on propagating plants in a greenhouse including sowing seeds, transplanting seedlings, S:\Biology\photos\2016_06_23 caring for greenhouse plants, and maintaining records of greenhouse plants. Other duties may include seed collection, seed cleaning, packaging and storing seed, developing outreach materials related to prairie plants and pollinators, and other tasks.


Benefits: The internship will run 9 - 12 weeks. Timing of internship is spring, ideally March through June, but dates are negotiable. The intern will receive a stipend of $3600 to $4800 for 9-12 weeks. Housing will not be provided, but nearby housing is available for rent. Refuge staff will work with students to fulfill internship credit requirements at individual universities. Non-students are also eligible to apply.


Qualifications: Any qualified person 18 years or older with a valid driver’s license is eligible for an internship. Native Plant Propagation interns must have a strong interest in native plants and plant propagation. Experience working in a greenhouse setting is preferred, but on-the-job training will be provided. Most important are sincere interest, enthusiasm, and a good work ethic.


To Apply: Submit the following:

1) a one-page cover letter highlighting your qualifications and describing why you would like to participate in this internship program and what you hope to gain from this experience. Please include dates you are available
2) a detailed resume noting education, experience, and skills, including 3 references and their contact information
3) a letter of recommendation written by an educator or employer.

For Native Plant Propagation Internships, information should be mailed to: Karen Viste-Sparkman, Wildlife Biologist, Neal Smith NWR, P. O. Box 399, Prairie City, IA 50228. Applications received via email or fax will not be considered.


Intern applications including letters of recommendation must be postmarked by February 10, 2017.


For additional information visit http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Neal_Smith/or http://www.tallgrass.org/ or contact