Rangeland Monitoring Intern

Opportunity Type: 
Location of Opportunity: 
Off Campus
Host Department/Organization: 

American Conservation Expereince & Bureau of Land Management

Opportunity Description: 

Summary: American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Phoenix District Office is seeking ONE Rangeland Monitoring Intern to dedicate 40 Months assisting the BLM’s Lower Sonoran Field Office (LSFO) with the monitoring of rangeland resources on the Sonoran Desert National Monument (SDNM). The SDNM is approximately 480,000 acres of untrammeled Sonoran Desert southwest of Phoenix, AZ. This position involves physically demanding work for extended periods of time. Typical work responsibilities include monitoring rangeland inventory sites, data entry, organizing data, maintaining field monitoring equipment, and database management. A general knowledge of rangeland monitoring techniques and local plant identification is required.

PLC Competitive Hiring Authority: This position is authorized by the Public Land Corps (PLC) Act of 1993 and expanded by the Public Lands Service Corps Act of 2013. Interns who meet basic requirements during their term of service may be eligible to receive their Noncompetitive Hiring Eligibility Certificate to be used when applying to future federal jobs. Requirements are: (1) Intern must be between the ages of 18 to 30 and (2) Intern must complete at least 640 hours on a federally approved PLC Project. More information can be provided upon request.

Position Description: The intern must have a working knowledge of rangeland monitoring techniques including but not limited to line point intercept, density, and indicators of rangeland health. The intern must have a Bachelor’s Degree in Rangeland ecology and management (or closely related field). It would also be extremely beneficial to have had some Southwest field experience. The candidate must be able to work early mornings, operate a 4 x 4-wheel vehicle in remote areas, and be proficient with topographical maps and GPS equipment. A candidate with some GIS mapping capability would be especially helpful to this effort.

The bulk of the work will be performed in the area encompassed by the LSFO and SDNM. This geographical area is typically low Sonoran Desert scrublands south and west of Phoenix, Arizona. The work will be performed on BLM managed lands under the jurisdiction of the Phoenix District Office. It is estimated that about 2/3 of the work is field related and about 1/3 is office work.

Since field work will occur in every season, the intern should expect summer day-time temperatures to range between 100 degrees and 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter season day-time temperatures range from 45 degrees to 80 degrees.


Duties of a Rangeland Monitoring Intern are, including but not limited to:

  • Reading and recording rangeland assessment inventory and monitoring (AIM) sites on the SDNM.
  • Entering and organizing monitoring data as hard copies and in the range monitoring database.
  • Maintaining monitoring equipment and vehicles.
  • Learning native flora observed in the field.
  • Performing miscellaneous duties in relation to the LSFO’s grazing administration program.



Education Requirement: This position requires applicants to be currently pursuing/received a degree in Rangeland Mgmt./Ecology, Natural Resource Mgmt., or related disciplines appropriate to the position, or a combination of education and experience in courses equivalent to a major, as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education. Resumes must contain enough information to show that the applicant meets the experience as defined in the internship announcement.


  • Interns must be 18-35 years’ old
  • Internship is available to US Citizens or Permanent Residents only
  • Ability to pass a federal criminal background check is required
  • Clean driving record and current/valid license
  • Availability to work approximately forty hours per week
  • Ability to hike in rugged terrain for 8 hours a day, in variable weather conditions, in a remote location. Must be able to lift and carry 35+ lbs. for extended periods of time
  • Basic knowledge of local Flora.
  • Ability to safely drive a four-wheel drive vehicle on both improved and primitive roads
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and ability to interact with the public
  • Ability to work alone/in a small group with minimal supervision
  • General computer skills; including use of Google based email, Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.
  • Must be able to take initiative, work independently, and participate in collaborative efforts
  • Must be able to communicate clearly and concisely with resource professionals

The interns must be willing to represent ACE and the BLM in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner. Drug users should not consider applying, as ACE reserves the right to require drug testing

Time Commitment: 

40 weeks from start date

Paid Position: 

$600 per week; housing not provided

Required Documents: 
How to apply: 

If interested:

Please submit your resume and contact information to Doug Whitbeck at dwhitbeck@blm.gov

NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications are received.

If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact the ACE EPIC Recruitment Specialist at (801) 573-8984 or mearly@usaconservation.org

For more information: 

Project Website:

For more information on the BLM Lower Sonoran Office: http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/fo/lower_sonoran_field.html

For more information on the Sonoran Desert National Monument: https://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/blm_special_areas/natmon/son_des.html

For more information regarding the ACE Internship Program, please visit: www.usaconservation.org

Engagement Category(s): 
Professional Development
Research Theme(s): 
Informatics, Modeling, and Remote Sensing
Natural Environment and Biodiversity