2021 Conservation Internships Job Announcement

Two positions available: 1) Field Conservation Intern (Job Description), and 2) GIS & Field Conservation Intern (Job Description)
Location: Remotely from home | Field sites in western Multnomah County and Sauvie Island
Period of Employment: Approximately 6 months: April 1st – October 2nd, 2021 (dates somewhat flexible)
Pay: $17.00 / hour
Work hours: Average of 20 hours per week, two to three 8-hour days per week, 9:00 am to 5:30 pm (times somewhat flexible), M-F, with occasional optional evening and weekend hours.
Application deadline: Friday, January 15, 2021 by 5:00 pm (See How to Apply below.)

General Summary
West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District (“District”) is hiring two adult (18+ years old) temporary, part-time Conservation Interns for spring through fall of 2021. Conservation Interns will receive mentorship, gain experience, and have opportunities to learn more about the field of natural resource conservation and caring for and giving to the land as practiced on non-public properties. We are looking for people with a passion to help make our ecosystems, water, and soil healthier for people, wildlife, and the environment. The District is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our organization; therefore, interns will be provided with equity training, are expected to help co-create an inclusive work environment with fellow staff, and are invited to participate more deeply through the District’s diversity, equity, and inclusion committee or other opportunities.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Monitoring native and invasive plants and assisting with other field site visits
  • Surveying, mobile data collection, and treating priority invasive weeds (including use of herbicides)
  • Data entry and analysis, making graphs, and writing reports
  • Mapping with ArcGIS (for the GIS & Field Conservation Intern only)
  • Communicating and working directly with staff, the public, property owners, and contractors through face-to-face contact, telephone, written, or email correspondence

Other Duties and Responsibilities

  • Meets regularly with Internship Program Supervisor for mentorship, training, and to check in on goals
  • Collects GPS, water quality, and forestry data
  • Assists with writing conservation plans and completing special projects related to the intern’s professional interests
  • Assists with outreach and educational activities to inform the public on natural resource conservation issues

Minimum Qualifications for BOTH positions (required to be eligible for either Intern position)

  1. Experienced with plant identification: Able to recognize and name common plants of the Pacific Northwest, trained in the use of plant identification resources, knowledgeable of plant anatomy and/or traditional ecological knowledge of plants and first foods
  2. Competent in the use of Microsoft Excel and Word software (or similar): Able to enter data and create graphs and compose written documents incorporating text, pictures, and tables
  3. Able to work outdoors under a range of conditions and terrain and able to lift up to 17 pounds
  4. Willing to work with and apply herbicides alongside other District staff members who are licensed herbicide applicators and who will provide training and supervision
    Covid-19 Minimum Qualifications for BOTH positions (required to be eligible for either Intern position)
  5. Hold a valid driver’s license and either be: a) comfortable using a personal vehicle and being reimbursed for mileage or b) consent to a motor vehicle report in advance of using a District vehicle.
  6. Have a space to conduct office work remotely. Those who can provide a computer and internet access may be eligible for a monthly stipend. Those who cannot will be provided with a laptop and/or internet at the District’s expense.
  7. Wear a mask when interacting face-to-face with staff, the public, property owners, and contractors, and when using a District vehicle.

Additional Minimum Qualification for the GIS & Field Conservation Intern position ONLY

8. Competent at using ArcGIS mapping software: Able to import, create, and edit both spatial and attribute data in ArcGIS and create readable maps incorporating clear symbology and basic cartography elements such as labels, keys and scale references.

Desired Experience, Abilities, and Attributes

  • Participation in an environmental workforce development program (such as Green Jobs Program, VERDE, Wisdom Workforce, Greenspaces Restoration and Urban Naturalist Team/GRUNT, TALON, or Northwest Youth Corps)
  • Active students working toward a vocational or associates degree with an interest in natural sciences, natural resource management, environmental education, or other related field
  • Personal and/or professional experience engaging with underrepresented communities and/or individuals in a welcoming and respectful way, and support of diversity, equity & inclusion practices
  • Experience collecting field data and maintaining field notes
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Maintains positive, cooperative relationships with others and conducts work in a professional manner

Job Conditions

  • Both positions will work in the field approximately 60% of the time, and in the office 40% of the time.
  • The fieldwork includes working in and around such locations as urban areas, farms, and working forests; streams and ponds; properties with dense, thorny vegetation; steep slopes, and other hazardous terrain, and applying herbicides. Herbicide application will include training and supervision by staff who will be working alongside the intern. Occasional interactions with farm animals and pets may occur while in the field.
  • Physical exertion is required, such as walking and carrying equipment and tools weighing up to 17 pounds.
  • Due to COVID-19, our office is closed for now and staff is working from home for the foreseeable future, however; this is subject to change. Office work will be conducted remotely for an undetermined length of time. The office and outreach work includes using a computer and working or standing at a table or desk.
  • A valid driver’s license is required. Interns must EITHER be comfortable using their own vehicle and being reimbursed for mileage OR consent to and pass a motor vehicle report (paid for by the District) in advance of using a District vehicle to independently travel to field sites.


Base pay is $17.00 per hour. While the positions come with pro-rated Holiday pay and sick leave as required by law, this position does not offer health, retirement and other benefits that are available to our permanent employees. The employee or the District can withdraw employment without cause. The District will pay for any required training and licenses. Use of a personal vehicle, phone, computer, or internet is not required, but if such use occurs, certain expenses are eligible for reimbursement.

How to Apply

Interested applicants may apply for one or both positions. Past WMSWCD interns are not eligible for re-hire for this internship, though Green Jobs Program interns are eligible. Applications must be submitted by the application deadline, 5:00 pm, January 15, 2021.

Fill out a brief eligibility checklist through our online form: https://wmswcd.org/2021-internships-application/

You will then be prompted through the online form to upload a cover letter (maximum length of ONE page) and resume (maximum length of TWO pages). In your cover letter and resume, speak to how your personal and/or professional experience meet the Minimum Qualifications and Desired Experience, Abilities, and Attributes for optimal consideration for an interview.

Applicants are eligible for Veterans’ Preference when applying with West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District. For more information on required materials to submit, please see our Veterans’ Preference Policy.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District is committed to racial diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout our organization: in those we serve, in our workforce composition, through the contractors we hire, and in those that benefit from our work. We welcome and encourage applications from Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

The District does not discriminate based on any class or identity including age, color, disability, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and veteran status. The District is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. The District makes reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities and special needs so as to provide access to district events, materials and services.

To better meet our equity goals and eliminate unconscious bias in the hiring process, the District has elected to redact some personal information from submitted materials that will be reviewed by the selection team including name, address and links to social media accounts.

If you have requests for accommodations or complaints about discrimination, harassment, inequitable treatment, lack of access to District events, materials or services, or for any questions at all, please contact us at info@wmswcd.org or call (503) 238-4775.


For questions about the application process, or to request an accommodation to access and participate in this recruitment, contact Office Manager Randi Razalenti at hiring@wmswcd.org or call (503) 238-4775, ext. 100 and leave a voicemail message with your name, phone number and inquiry.

For questions about the internship positions, contact the Internship Supervisor Ari DeMarco at internship@wmswcd.org or call (503) 539-3605 and leave a voicemail message with your name, phone number and mention of the position.