Spring and Summer Natural Resource Intern, Durango, CO

Alexus Kelley Help Wanted, Internship, News

Do you have a passion for plants and wildlife?  Being active and outdoors in beautiful Colorado?  If combining these passions to work on a professional team and gain technical expertise sound good, then ERO Resources Corporation (ERO) is for you.  ERO is an environmental consulting firm headquartered in Denver, Colorado.  We are seeking a Natural Resource Intern for our Durango office for spring and summer 2023.  

At ERO, we are a team of natural and cultural resource consultants with offices in Denver, Durango, and Hotchkiss, Colorado.  Our expertise in science and planning provides an approach to the environment that balances development with natural resource and environmental protection.  Did we mention ERO is a disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE), minority/women-owned business enterprise (MWBE), and small business enterprise (SBE) certified in Colorado? 

Position Overview

This is a seasonal field position from April through September 2023, or longer if work is available.

As an Intern, you will learn to apply technical skills in ecology and wildlife biology.  Interns will gain experience in the environmental consulting industry and exposure to environmental regulations, permit applications, and document preparation.  

Under the supervision of a project manager or staff, Interns will conduct tasks safely and efficiently.  This position supports new and existing natural resource projects based out of our Durango and Hotchkiss offices.  Interns will work on tasks related to fieldwork and reporting in the natural resources department.  Interns will assist in the data collection, analysis, and interpretation of scientific information.  These tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting with literature research and organization, database entry, wetland delineations, natural resource assessments, and other natural resource-related fieldwork.  Depending on experience, additional duties could include preparing sections of draft reports.  The candidate must be well organized and able to perform desktop/office-related duties while working from our downtown Durango office.  Office space will be provided and the amount of time in the office will be dependent on the projects being completed.

Interns must be able to work variable hours, long days, early mornings, holidays, and weekends as the work dictates.  Overtime is likely during periods of extensive fieldwork.  A good portion of time from April through July will be in the field around the Western Slope of Colorado and the Four Corners region.  The candidate must have reliable transportation for travel to and from project sites, with project-related mileage reimbursed at IRS mileage rates.  The number of hours per week will vary from 24 to 40+.  A hybrid work schedule may be available based on fieldwork and business needs.

Professionalism, integrity, and comfort working with people are of the utmost importance as the position requires regular contact with team members in the field, office, and virtually as needed.  Applicants for this position are expected to be capable of performing the tasks described below. 

Expected Pre-Field Duties (approximately 15% of time)
  • Assist in equipment organization, loading equipment, and preparation for fieldwork as requested.
  • Review scopes of services with the project manager so duties are clearly understood.
  • Assist with collecting species lists, habitat information, and other information prior to conducting fieldwork as requested.
Expected Field Duties (approximately 70% of time)

Interns will assist with all tasks during in-field site documentation (as directed) including, but not limited to:

  • Collect digital and spatial data with phones, tablets, digital cameras, and GPS units.
  • Complete field forms: wetland delineation, raptor survey, or other forms as needed.
  • Dig soil pits up to 2 feet deep using a shovel. 
  • Hike and survey with a backpack over rough terrain, and work in adverse weather conditions.
  • Use binoculars to survey for songbirds or raptors and document their activity.
  • Collect and identify vegetation and mark aerial photographs with vegetation community boundaries, noxious weeds, wildlife, and other sensitive natural resources.
  • Follow the Safety Plan and Guidelines.
Expected Post-Field Duties (approximately 15% of time)
  • Unload and properly maintain field equipment.
  • Upload/scan all field data into the appropriate server files daily.
  • Assist with completion of resource documentation on appropriate forms and maps. 
  • Assist with reports as requested.  This may include writing natural resource assessments, wetland delineations, and preconstruction notifications.
  • Work with GIS staff to modify and create figures for reports.
Physical Requirements

The project areas may be located at high elevations in rugged terrain.  Applicants must be physically capable and possess the skills necessary to perform all aspects of fieldwork including strenuous hiking with a heavy backpack in rugged terrain up to 10 miles a day.  Applicants must be able to lift 30 to 50 pounds.  Work may also include periods of sedentary work including sitting/standing and use of a computer.  Overnight travel will be required.

Minimum Qualifications
  • Pursuing or received a bachelor’s degree in biology, botany, environmental science, ecological restoration, range science, natural resource planning, or similar discipline.
  • Completed junior level coursework toward a degree in a desired discipline; plant and wildlife identification or coursework is preferable.
  • Familiarity with tablets, digital data entry, Microsoft Office Suite products, and Adobe Acrobat.
  • General basic knowledge of botany, wildlife, and wetland delineations.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills are required.
  • Willingness to learn and ask questions.

The internship will run April 2023 to the end of September 2023; however, employment may be extended beyond the field season if mutually agreeable.  The salary range is $17-22/hour dependent on experience/education.  This is a nonexempt position, and overtime will be compensated accordingly. 

Qualified applicants, please email a cover letter and resume (PDF) describing your education and experience to opportunities@eroresources.com with NR Intern – Durango in the subject line.  Please include a writing sample (at least one page) with your materials.  Only potential candidates will be contacted for interviews. 

ERO participates in e-verify and preemployment background screening services.  ERO is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and covered veterans to apply.  For more information about ERO, visit our website at www.eroresources.com.