Internship Opportunity Spring/Summer 2016 (All 2016 internship positions have now been filled).

If you are potentially interested to intern with us in the future, please feel free to arrange for a visit whenever you are in the area.

The Farmscape Ecology Program is dedicated to exploring the human and natural dimensions of the landscape of Columbia County, NY through research and outreach.  Our interdisciplinary research focuses on historical, current and potential future interactions of people with the land.  The Program is part of Hawthorne Valley Association, an educational non-profit, located in the center of Columbia County, and is comprised of wildlife ecologist Conrad Vispo, botanist Claudia Knab-Vispo, social scientist Anna Duhon, and technician Dylan Cipkowski.

This summer, we are looking for a second intern to assist with biodiversity surveys in a variety of habitats throughout Columbia County (on and off farms) and with various cultural research and office tasks related to preparation of the manuscript for an “Ecological and Cultural Field Guide to the Habitats of Columbia County”.

The minimum duration of an internship is three months with a flexible starting date. We would also be glad to discuss possibilities to extend the full-time internship during the summer months into a part-time internship while school is in session, including possibilities to develop an independent study.

Internship Activities: The intern will participate in field inventories of plants and, occasionally, animals in a variety of on- and off-farm habitats and will have responsibilities related to the preservation and identification of plant and invertebrate specimens collected during the fieldwork. The intern will also spend time on the computer with such tasks as data entry and analysis, some simple GIS tasks, processing interviews with land users and other cultural data, researching historical land use, compiling activities for interacting with habitats, and working with a photo database.  Finally, there will be some gardening work in our ornamental garden featuring native plants. Outdoor and office time will be split approximately 50/50.  The intern may work directly with all staff members, but will primarily work with Claudia (botanist) and Anna (social scientist) to support their projects.

Qualifications: We are looking for a candidate with a broad interest in nature and how people interact with it, and with an affinity for plants. Some plant identification skills and some gardening experience are a plus but not required.  The candidate should have strong writing and research skills, be eager to learn field botany, be comfortable in a rural environment, be energetic, and thrive out-doors even when the going gets rough. Given the work environment, it is important that the candidate is sociable and happy around dogs, able to interact with a diverse range of people of all ages, self-motivated and can work independently with attention to detail. Most importantly, we are looking for people who are eager to learn and willing to ask questions.

We expect the candidates to have basic computer skills (Word, Excel). Experience with GIS software and social media would be a plus.

General Arrangements

Location & Hours: The internship is based at Hawthorne Valley Farm, a 400-acre organic and biodynamic diversified farm located in the heart of Columbia County, NY, in the southeastern corner of Ghent. Interns will be expected to work at least five days per week, including the option of working half a day a week in the Hawthorne Valley Farm gardens (in order to obtain some hands-on farming experience). Occasional weekend and after-hours work might be requested, but the basic internship is organized around a 40 to 45-hour work week.

Compensation: $700/month stipend. Free on-farm housing in a 3-bedroom apartment shared with two other people is an option.

Application Process: Please send a CV including contact information for three references along with a cover letter explaining your interest in the internship, including the types of research you feel most drawn to and qualified for to or to FEP, 1075 Harlemville Road, Ghent NY 12075. Potentially suitable applicants will be interviewed by phone, and typically a personal visit to the Farm is requested before we make a final commitment.

We hope to fill this position as soon as possible and urge you to apply quickly. Please don’t hesitate to call Claudia or Anna at (518) 672-7994 or email if you think you might be interested in applying, but have questions.