2022 Conservation Internships Job Announcement

We're hiring text over photo collage of people working in natural settings

Two positions: 1) Field Conservation Intern, and 2) GIS & Field Conservation Intern
Location: Portland, Oregon
Period of employment: Approximately 6 months: April 4th – mid October, 2022 (dates somewhat flexible)
Pay: $17.31/ hour
Work hours: Average of 20 hours per week, two to three 8-hour days per week, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm (times somewhat flexible), Monday through Friday, with occasional optional evening and weekend hours.
Application deadline: Friday, January 28, 2022 by 5:00 p.m.

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 2022. 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 for helping make our ecosystems, water, and soil healthier for people, wildlife, and the environment.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District is committed to 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, people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ individuals. 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.

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. 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 and leave a message with a return phone number at Extension 100.

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

  • Meeting regularly with Internship Program Supervisor for mentorship, training, and to check in on goals
  • Collecting GPS, water quality, and forestry data
  • Assisting with writing conservation plans and completing special projects related to the intern’s professional interests
  • Assisting 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, with or without accommodation.

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

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

5. 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 (used in evaluating and ranking applicants)

  • Previous participation in an environmental workforce development program (such as, but not limited to: Green Jobs Internship and Training 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 another related field
  • Personal and professional commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, including exploration of power and privilege, a willingness to self-reflect, and experience engaging with marginalized communities and/or individuals in a welcoming and respectful manner
  • 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 an office setting 40% of the time.
  • The fieldwork may include 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 may be required, such as walking outdoors and carrying equipment and tools.
  • Interns may need to transport themselves and some field equipment to a site and between sites throughout the day in a timely manner, including to sites up to 30 miles from downtown Portland in the west hills and Sauvie Island. If interns hold a valid driver’s license and consent to a motor vehicle report, a District vehicle may be provided. Use of personal vehicles will be reimbursed for mileage.
  • This position requires abiding by District safety policies and requirements including COVID-19 which may require working remotely, physically distancing, and mask wearing. The District’s COVID-19 policies mirror State of Oregon mandates. The District office is closed to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic; staff are required to work primarily from a home/remote office until further notice. Internet and computer accommodations may be made by the District.


Base pay is $17.31 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, include trainee pesticide license. Use of a personal vehicle, phone, computer, or internet is not required, but if such use is required, certain expenses may be 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 p.m., January 28, 2022.

  • Fill out a brief eligibility checklist through our online form.
  • 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, please discuss or give examples of how your personal and/or professional experiences meet the Minimum Qualifications and Desired Experience, Abilities, and Attributes, and share your ability to work under the Job Conditions, 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.

District Redaction of Your Application Materials

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 reviewed by the hiring team including name, contact information, links to social media accounts and personal websites/webpages, photographs, graduation dates and names of schools (degrees obtained or number of years attended will be retained for review).

Questions: 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.