Paid 6 month internships in Fisheries and Aquatic Science (Olympia, WA)


Apply/Position Descriptions

Summary:  American Conservation Experience, a nationwide Non-Profit Conservation Corps based in Flagstaff, AZ and Salt Lake City, Utah in partnership with the USFWS Puget Sound & Olympic Peninsula Complex in Lacey Washington is seeking TWO Fisheries Field Interns to dedicate 6 months to the monitoring of fisheries resources.  The fisheries monitoring includes providing field, lab and hatchery support for a diversity of projects. Field sampling and hatchery evaluation efforts (biosampling and sample processing) will be primary roles.  While each intern will primarily assist a specific biologist, opportunities to assist with other projects will be permitted when the schedule allows in order to maximize experience diversification. This opportunity is intended for enthusiastic young professionals with a deep interest in advancing their career goals in fisheries management.

Start Date: late May / early June

End Date: 6 months later

Location: Lacey, WA

Project Partner Website: For more information about Puget Sound & Olympia Peninsula Complex, please visit:

Complex Web Site is under construction.  The following are the four complex facilities:

For more information and ACE, please visit:

Compensation:  Interns will receive a Living Allowance of $400 /week, paid bi-weekly.

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.

AmeriCorps: This 26 week position may be eligible for a 900 hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($2,960 each) upon successful completion of internship service hours.

Position Description: 

Safety in the Field:

  • The work involves regular and recurring moderate risks or discomforts which require special safety precautions. This includes the inherent risk of working around water and watercraft, as well as the risks associated with the operation of electrofishing units. FWS specific trainings will be held at the beginning of the position.
  • Internship requires an understanding of the communication plan, and a basic level of comfort using both the radio and inReach devices.
  • Interns are required to use protective clothing or gear such as hard hats, masks, gowns, earplugs, coats, boots, goggles, gloves, or shields to moderate risks, or to follow procedures for minimizing risk.
  • Interns should be proficient in operating a 4-wheel drive vehicle on rugged roads and able to navigate using topo maps, compass and GPS. Applicants should be willing and able to camp in remote locations, and to work independently.


  • Relay daily mission, technical skills and safety concerns to interns and others

Physical Demands:

  • The work requires some physical exertion, such as regular and recurring running, walking, or bending, walking or climbing ladders or scaffolds to observe, collect, or record research data.
  • In many situations, the duration of the activity (such as most of a workday) contributes to the arduous nature of the job.
  • The selected intern must be fit enough to hike in mountainous and swampy terrain over long distances in various weather while carrying equipment (40lb+) and should expect to hike and/or wade 10 miles or more per day in mountain streams.

Preferred Experience:

In support of research, conservation, production, and management of fishes, or fishery resource:

  • Collects and analyzes data from samples, conducts tests and assists in the identification of any problems.
  • Compiles and summarizes data from survey, biological evaluations, and pilot tests.
  • Runs routine computer programs and checks resulting data for inconsistencies.
  • Provides results to professional personnel for refinement, adjustment, and analysis and may assist in the preparation of reports.
  • Identification of freshwater fish species

Potential responsibilities:

  • Field biological sampling, including minnow traps, electrofishing, seins, gill nets, and screw trapping.
  • Fish identification and data collection (length, weight, scale samples, tag scans, etc)
  • Abiotic data collection such as substrate sampling and water salinity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen and temperature.
  • Hatchery fish spawning, fish transfers and biosampling.
  • Keeps records of all data
  • Laboratory processing and data collection, including coded wire tag retrieval from hatchery salmon samples, fish stomach sample identification and sediment sample analysis.
  • Schedules, services, calibrate repairs, and installs sampling instrumentation.

Desired Skills and Knowledge:

Technical Methods:

  • The position requires knowledge of the technical methods and procedures for a work area to employ them in carrying out (alone, as crew lead, or as a fully functioning crewmember) a variety of technical duties common to fisheries.
  • Also required is the knowledge to operate complex equipment systems such as those with numerous components or parts which must be calibrated and synchronized to achieve desired results.
  • The work involves execution of specific rules, regulations, or procedures, such as those found in common technical manuals, laboratory handbooks, and administrative manuals.

Biological Sciences:

  • The duties require a knowledge of the basic principles of a biological science to assess readings and measurements taken, tests executed, observations made, work completed, samples collected, etc.
  • The employee will be required to understand and relate the significance of the results to the higher objectives to which the activity is related.

Data Analysis:

  • The technician must assess the worth of the data by considering its applicability to the higher objective, by assessing and reporting on the characteristics and quality of the source of the data, or by otherwise creatively interpreting the data produced.
  • Work products affect the accuracy, reliability, or acceptability of further procedures, processes or services, or the quality of day-to-day operations of a significant program in land management.

Qualifications: Applicants must have an interest in Fisheries, natural resource management or other related disciplines appropriate to the position. Resumes must contain enough information to show that the applicant meets the experience as defined in the announcement.  We are looking for determined, strong and developing natural resource managers who are looking for experience working with the Fish and Wildlife Service in an internship.



  • U.S. Citizen or permanent resident
  • Must be between the ages of 18-35
  • Must have a valid driver’s license, provide documentation of a clean driving record, and have a personal vehicle (required). Interns must be 21 + to drive Agency vehicles.


  • Must be able to pass a driver’s test, read traffic signs and fill out trip tickets when driving government vehicles


  • Ability and willingness to undergo a Federal criminal background check
  • Effective communication skills with resource specialists, colleagues, and the public
  • Able and willing to work alone and in a group
  • Able and willing to work outdoors in varying weather conditions and capable of hiking moderate distances in somewhat rough terrain during inclement weather conditions.
  • Drug users should not consider applying, as ACE reserves the right to require drug testing.

**Position may change or close at any time**

To Apply: Please submit a thoughtful resume and cover letter along with 3 professional references using the APPLY NOW section located on the upper right hand corner of the position listing on our website here:

NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications are received. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact ACE EPIC USFWS Recruitment and Member Manger Melissa Early at or 801-573-8984.