Summer conservation assistant, Sante Fe, NM


Job Title:  Summer Conservation Assistant

Office Location:  Santa Fe, NM

Status:  Full time, seasonal Williams College Internship (unpaid by IAE other than housing stipend)

Term: June 10, 2019 – August 16, 2019


Application period:  February 8, 2019 – April 5, 2019


Spend the summer in unique, exotic Santa Fe, New Mexico where three cultures merge together and the majestic 12,000-foot-high Sangre de Cristo mountains are your playground just outside of the city.


The Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) is a dynamic nonprofit organization whose mission is to conserve native species and habitats through restoration, research, and education. Our Southwest Program works in New Mexico and Arizona. We cultivate partnerships to facilitate large-scale, regional conservation projects, develop ecologically appropriate sources of native seed, offer native species education opportunities and materials, provide technical assistance to restoration and management planning and implementation, and conduct on-the-ground habitat restoration and applied research.


The Southwest Program of the Institute for Applied Ecology ( seeks a Summer Conservation Assistant to support restoration and research programs in New Mexico and Arizona. The Conservation Assistant will work closely with IAE staff to support the Southwest Seed Partnership (, a collaborative program working to improve the supply of native plant materials for restoration and conservation in the Southwest. This position will be based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and will involve occasional travel for fieldwork. The Conservation Assistant’s time will be split between office and fieldwork, depending on candidate interests and program needs. This position will be for 10 weeks, from June 10, 2019 – August 16, 2019.  A 5-week option could be considered on a case by case basis, but 10 weeks is preferred.  Plant identification and seed collection and cleaning training provided.


Specific Responsibilities of the Summer Conservation Assistant:

  • Office and Field: Coordinate with federal and state partners to develop and maintain a spreadsheet “database” of on-going and planned restoration projects in the Southwest
  • Office: Assist Southwest Seed Partnership Coordinator in creating a Seed Needs Assessment document for the Southwest
  • Office: Conduct a market analysis for the native seed industry with guidance from SW team
  • Office: Perform literature reviews on the biology, ecology, and production potential of native plant species
  • Field: Work with IAE and Bureau of Land Management native seed crews to collect and process seed from native species from numerous sites around NM and AZ
  • Field: Assist IAE staff with native seed collection and native seed farming workshops
  • Field: Assist with research plantings and monitoring as needed
  • Occasional out of town travel may be required in NM and AZ.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • At least one year of coursework in environmental science, biology, botany, or a related field
  • Interest in botany, conservation biology, and/or restoration ecology
  • Outgoing, energetic, and flexible
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills and experience and interest working on a collaborative team
  • Leadership experience or enthusiasm for acquiring leadership experience
  • Highly organized, detail-oriented, and self-driven


Preferred Skills:

  • Two to three years of coursework in environmental science biology, botany, or a related field
  • Plant identification skills and experience using dichotomous keys
  • Plant voucher collection experience
  • Experience using GPS
  • Data management experience; experience with Excel (or Access)
  • Comfortable in a backcountry setting: ability to work long hours in adverse weather conditions while maintaining attention to the task and safety
  • Ability to work in bent-over, kneeling, or standing positions for significant periods of time
  • Ability to lift at least 40 lbs. and hike up to 6 miles per day


Compensation and Start Date:

This is an unpaid internship. A housing stipend of $50/week is, however, provided.  The position is full-time and temporary, with no additional benefits. Employment term runs from June 10th – August 16th (10 weeks) with some flexibility determined on a case by case basis.


How to Apply

To apply for this position, submit:

  1. Letter of interest – In your letter of interest, state when you would be available to start work
  2. Resume
  3. Contact information for 3 references


Letters of recommendation, writing samples, and/or college transcripts may be requested for top applicants.  Applications must be received by March 31, 2019 but sooner is better.  INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.  Non-U.S. residents must also include a copy of their work visa.  Applications will be considered upon receipt.  For more information about IAE and this program, visit our website  Email or mail application materials to:


Maggie Parrish

Institute for Applied Ecology

1850 Old Pecos Trail, Suite I

Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505

[email protected]

Questions?   Contact Maggie Parrish, Southwest Seed Partnership Coordinator, at 541-753-3099 ext. 722.