Home Forum topic Announcements Job Opportunity: Conservation Intern at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

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    emily@bettyfordalpinegardens.orgCPC Conservation Officer

    A Conservation Intern in the field on top of Bald Mountain

    Conservation Internship at Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Summer 2024

    Supervisor: Emily Griffoul, Conservation Scientist

    Betty Ford Alpine Gardens is uniquely positioned to address conservation of the fragile alpine environment. The Gardens is spearheading the implementation of the North American Botanic Garden Strategy for Alpine Plant Conservation to understand and protect this special habitat.

    We are looking for a recent college graduate to assist our Conservation Scientist with the summer 2024 field season. Work will include extensive time in the alpine areas of Colorado collecting and documenting alpine plants and managing data and collections on-site at the Gardens. Occasionally, the team will travel overnight and/or camp, including in the backcountry. The ideal candidate will be passionate about conservation and alpine ecosystems, be organized, self-motivated, a team player, a diligent worker, and interested in developing leadership skills. S/he will also have experience identifying plants in the field using a dichotomous key and be comfortable working outside in tough conditions.


    Identify alpine plants in the field using dichotomous key and build comprehensive species lists for each site
    Survey alpine plant areas and monitor rare species populations
    Collect seeds and vouchers of alpine plants
    Prepare voucher specimens to be sent to herbarium
    Record data, including GPS coordinates, soil type, slope, aspect, vegetation type, associated species, land manager, conservation status and more
    Keep detailed, organized records of field and lab activities
    Supervise volunteers both in the field and in the lab
    Clean and count seed collections
    Enter and check data both on paper and electronically
    Label and organize photos from the field
    Participate in garden events, workshops and educational outreach seminars
    Occasionally provide garden visitors with information
    Post social media updates and blog posts relating to conservation
    Help with projects and duties as staff needs


    Recently graduated from college with a focus on environmental science, ecology, plant science, and/or conservation
    Ability and experience using a dichotomous key
    Practical previous experience in an ecological field setting
    Valid driver’s license and access to vehicle
    Passion for conservation and ecological research
    Works well in a team setting and communicates efficiently and effectively
    Physical requirements:
    Ability to hike at elevation in remote areas on steep, difficult terrain in inclement weather (rain, snow, heat, sun, etc)
    Ability to carry up to 50lbs of equipment
    Ability to spend full days in the field (4+ a week), office, and lab settings, and occasionally overnight camping trips in remote areas

    Desired Skills:

    Ability to work independently and solve problems
    Experience using Google Workspace and Microsoft Excel
    Picks up new skills quickly and adapts to new information and situations
    Understanding of Colorado mountain ecosystems and their native plants
    Basic understanding of conservation topics and rare plant management techniques
    Excellent attention to detail
    Organized and self-directed
    Backcountry hiking and camping experience

    Internship Details:

    $500/ week stipend, plus shared housing provided in Vail
    Internships start June 2024, and end late September 2024
    Internship promotes studying and understanding alpine plants, mountain ecosystems, and the inner workings of a small nonprofit botanic gardens

    To apply for the Conservation Internship, please email a resume, cover letter, and contact for two references to our Conservation Scientist, Emily Griffoul, at emily@bettyfordalpinegardens.org.

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