Careers in the Plant Sciences

Apprentice in Restoration or Wildlife Ecology

the Wilds - Cumberland, OH, US

Position Title: Apprentice in Restoration or Wildlife Ecology
Position Type: Temporary Position
Application Review Begins: Friday, December 16, 2016
Application Deadline: Sunday, April 30, 2017
Institution: the Wilds
Department/Division: Restoration Ecology or Wildlife Ecology Departments
Field (e.g., systematics): restoration, wildlife, botany
City: Cumberland, OH, US
General Information: The Wilds – Wildlife Ecology or Restoration Ecology Apprenticeship

The Wilds is one of the largest and most innovative conservation centers in the world, offering diverse training programs for early career professionals. Applicants can choose from either a Wildlife Ecology Apprenticeship, or Restoration Ecology Apprenticeship. There is a lot of overlap between the two positions, your choice of departments will help define your research project. Apprentices will evaluate the response of plants and wildlife to coal mine reclamation on the Wilds and also work with conservation programs at a regional scale. Apprentices will have the opportunity to work on projects involving field, lab, and/or computer modeling components.

Schedule: Five days per week. 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM , six-month positions available starting either February 27, 2017 (spring and summer) or May 15, 2017 (summer and fall). Exact starting date may be flexible.
Qualifications/Requirements: • Position requires hiking and some physically demanding tasks, including outdoor work throughout the seasons. This may include hot, buggy, cold or otherwise challenging conditions. Participants should be prepared with appropriate field gear / foot wear.
• Candidates should be eager for learning opportunities and willing to practice new skills independently. Apprentices must be responsible, flexible, self-motivated and able to work effectively with limited supervision, as well as in a team setting.
• Must have a valid driver’s license and be able to lift at least 45 lbs.
Responsibilities: Apprentices gain hands-on experience, participate in wildlife and vegetation studies and receive field training on a variety of ecological studies in wetland, forest, stream & grassland habitats.
• Wildlife Typical tasks: Survey and monitoring for wildlife populations, habitat measurement, implementing habitat improvements and monitoring wildlife recovery, genetic analysis, population modeling, and report writing.
• Restoration Typical tasks: implementing habitat improvements and monitoring ecosystem recovery through invasive plant management, vegetation and wildlife surveys, environmental monitoring, photo point collection, data analysis and report writing.
• Training: field methods (species identification, survey protocols, research methodology), laboratory methods (genetic techniques, microscope work), GPS & GIS applications / map making, biological monitoring and application of wildlife research techniques or land management and restoration techniques
• Apprentices are responsible for an independent scientific research project, and will communicate their findings to Columbus Zoo and Wilds employees at the end of their term. Potential Wildlife project topics include, but are not limited to:
o Hellbender ecology and conservation
o American burying beetle reintroduction
o Environmental DNA monitoring
o Grassland bird ecology
o Radio telemetry of snakes and mesocarnivores
o Bat monitoring and habitat improvement
o Modeling priority wildlife habitat for conservation planning in Ohio
o Amphibian colonization of the Wilds’ reclaimed landscape
Potential Restoration project topics include:
o Wetland restoration monitoring
o Prairie development
o Soil ecology
o Understory vegetation changes with time
o Monarch butterfly presence
Application Instructions (submission methods, etc.): Apprentices do not receive monetary compensation; however the position allows participants to customize their apprenticeship to gain and enhance skills that will be most beneficial for their future careers, and is particularly well suited to prepare participants for graduate school or work in a conservation organization. Opportunities for school credit are available. On-site housing is available for $250/month.

To apply, send your resume with references and a cover letter to one of the contacts below. There will be the opportunity to work with both departments, but for application purposes please apply to only one program, wildlife or restoration. Please outline your interest in the position, what you would hope to gain from it and how your past experience makes you an ideal candidate. All apprenticeships at the Wilds are competitive and we value placing individuals in programs that suit their career goals.

Please send application materials to:
Dr. Stephen Spear
Director of Wildlife Ecology

Dr. Rebecca Swab
Director of Restoration Ecology
Compensation Range: None
Contact Name: Rebecca Swab,