Field Ecology internship opening [CLOSED]

FMR is seeking a Field Ecology intern for late May to mid-August 2022 to assist with our Land Conservation program. 

FMR's Land Conservation program is actively working to restore hundreds of acres at over 30 metro-area sites and assessing how well restored lands provide habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.

This is an excellent opportunity for an undergraduate or graduate student with an ecology, wildlife or natural resources-related major to connect their academic studies with professional field and habitat restoration work.

This internship offers a blend of indoor and outdoor, hands-on and project-oriented work. The Field Ecology intern will work with FMR ecologists as they conduct day-to-day natural resources management tasks. They will gain hands-on experience in ecological survey methods, data management, research and ecological restoration methods of prairie and woodland habitats.

Roles and responsibilities

  • Conduct independent surveys of pollinators, monarchs and soil invertebrates (training provided)
  • Lead volunteers in those surveys
  • Assist with vegetation surveys (or independent if able)
  • Assist with small mammal trap surveys and wildlife camera monitoring
  • Assist with breeding bird surveys
  • Participate in active restoration research, including vegetation plot set-up, treatment implementation, data collection and simple analysis
  • Manage field data: record and enter field data and manage database, catalog photos, keep project records
  • Assist with other volunteer restoration events​ such as plantings and invasive plant removals
  • Additional tasks and activities that may arise


  • Coursework or background in natural resource fields such as general ecology, restoration ecology, conservation biology, soils, entomology forestry, ornithology, wildlife biology, botany, etc.
  • Detail-oriented in both field and office/data work
  • Comfortable working in Microsoft Excel and Word, and in the Google suite of products
  • Ability to and interest in interacting with volunteers from the general public
  • Have a reliable vehicle and be able to drive to project sites in Dakota, Washington and Hennepin Counties (mileage will be reimbursed)
  • Comfortable with spending long hours outdoors, hiking rugged terrain, with adverse weather and field conditions (insects, dense brush, heat, sun, rain), and have suitable footwear and clothing for such conditions 
  • Requires ability to hike rugged terrain, steep hills, sometimes mucky areas and to carry some tools and equipment for field work and volunteer events.

Additional desired qualifications

  • Native plant or pollinator identification skills
  • Students of color are particularly encouraged to apply 

Training and supervision

  • At each step along the way, we will offer ample support (including templates, resources, and training) but also encourage creativity and independent exploration in areas of interest.
  • Most interns become valued members of the FMR team, and also have the opportunity to get to know staff from partner groups such as the National Park Service, St. Paul Parks, the Department of Natural Resources and others.
  • The intern is expected to attend monthly staff meetings and/or monthly staff lunches when possible.


  • Preferred season/semester: 13-15 weeks, between late May and mid-August. Start and end dates are somewhat flexible
  • Average hours per week: 15-18. Some weeks may be significantly more or less.
  • Workdays are typically Monday-Friday but may include occasional Saturday events
  • Hours can be flexible and may change week to week, but workdays are typically between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., but may begin as early as 6 a.m. for a few days in June, and as late as 8:30 p.m. for a few evening events

Stipend and mileage

  • FMR is offering a stipend of $3,800 and will cover mileage reimbursement at the current federal rate for travel to and from survey sites. 

COVID-19 considerations

Friends of the Mississippi River's office is located in downtown St. Paul in view of the river. Throughout the pandemic, we have prioritized staff safety and followed CDC and state guidance regarding when and how to interact in-person and indoors. We currently require vaccinations and masks in our office and offer staff the option to work from home. As pandemic conditions improve, we will explore moving to a hybrid work scenario (some days in-office and some remote) to maintain flexibility, while also creating opportunities to foster staff cohesion and collaboration.

While most working hours for the Field Ecology intern will be spent outdoors, the intern will lead and/or participate in community volunteer events and meetings in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings. Because of this, we require vaccination against COVID-19 for this position. Accommodations can be made for religious or medical exemptions on a case-by-case basis.

Ready to apply?

  • To apply, please send a single PDF document that includes a resume, contact information for two references (preferably one academic and one from a previous employer or contact in your field) and a cover letter detailing why you are interested in this internship and explaining any relevant experience you may have. 
  • Please email your application to Karen Schik, (651-222-2193 x15).
  • Interviews will occur on a rolling basis as applications are received so early applications are encouraged. The application period will close when a suitable candidate is found or by March 15. 

If interested, please read further about our organization and follow the links to review our annual reports and other program materials.

Learn more about internships at FMR.


Upcoming Events

Saturday, April 29, 2023 - 9:00am to 11:00am
Hastings Sand Coulee Scientific and Natural Area
Saturday, May 13, 2023 - 9:00am to 11:00am
Nicollet Island, Minneapolis
Applications due Fri, May 5 - 5 pm
Virtual and in-person