The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is offering summer jobs similar to that shown here where workers are cutting down an invasive salt cedar tree from Bitter Lake Refuge in Nevada.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Offering Summer Jobs in the Great Outdoors

The agency is hoping to hire 2,000 people; some positions offer stipends while others are volunteer assignments.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the country’s 553 national wildlife refuges, hopes to hire more than 2,000 young people this year, as it did in 2010. Apply now for a job this summer on a national wildlife refuge or other public land. A commitment to youth hiring is part of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative.

At the Refuge System website, visitors will find 2011 youth job opportunities in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Scroll down and click on “Student Employment Opportunities” to learn about jobs through program partners such as the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and AmeriCorps. Interested individuals can apply directly for some openings on partner websites. For other opportunities on refuges, such as those through the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC), contact your local refuge (use the “Find Your Refuge” feature on the Refuge System homepage).

The Department of the Interior (DOI) has a new website, that also provides job information. Listings are for both permanent and temporary jobs. DOI manages the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service and several other technical bureaus.

Youth jobs on national wildlife refuges can change lives and career pathways. They also stimulate learning and personal growth, say those with firsthand experience:

  • Tylar Greene, from the Bronx, felt “culture shock” on arriving for an internship in summer 2010 at Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge in New Hampshire, she recounts in a video. But she loved the work and the moral support she got from refuge staff.
  • Lexxs Sutton, a 2010 YCCer who helped build a boardwalk, maintain trails and pull invasive plants at William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, called the work hard. Even so, she says, “I learned a lot, and it was probably the most fun job I will ever have.”

Youth job candidates are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Most internships include a stipend, and others are volunteer positions.