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Conservation Internships

Guest Christal

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Guest Christal

Great Swamp and Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) manage Intern Programs for qualified student applicants who are interested in refuge internships. Each year 4-12 paid internships are available for college students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in natural resources (typically 3 or 4 interns will be selected by Wallkill River NWR and 6 to 8 interns will be selected by Great Swamp NWR each year, but this may vary based on refuge needs). Internships are hosted during the summer months, but may also be hosted during the spring, fall or winter if a qualified applicant is interested. An intern is a college student or recent graduate that works full-time for 12 to 16 weeks to acquire experience or college credit. Interns may be provided free housing (based on availability). The refuges hereby express their intention to review proposals from all potential qualified sources which respond to this grants.gov announcement posted 03/11/09, closing 03/31/09, respondents to which must be willing and able to cooperatively administer a program for providing administration for students placed in Internships at Great Swamp NWR and Wallkill River NWR. Specifically, we anticipate the establishment of one two-year (2009 and 2010) Cooperative Agreement.


Selected Recipient(s) may also provide recruitment and advertisement for the internships. The total federally-reimbursable costs for compensating interns shall not exceed $4,000 per intern per year. From that amount, each participating intern must receive a payment of at least $250 a week from the cooperating Recipient, no less frequently than bi-weekly, during the 12 to 16 week internship. The start and end dates will be determined by refuge staff. This individual student intern payment may be less than $250 a week or less than $4,000 a year only when a student intern fails to complete the full term, in which case the payment reduction cannot be more than $6.25 per unfulfilled hour of on-site internship. Any necessary medical insurance and workman’s compensation insurance costs and the cost of food and other incidental expenses shall be the responsibility of Recipients and/or students (proposals to stipulate).


In addition to the $250 a week payment/$4,000 a year federal share, Great Swamp NWR and Wallkill River NWR will also provide no-cost on-site student housing (when available) for the duration of the internship. Applicants for the award are to explain in their proposal, preferably by itemization, additional amounts they are willing and able to contribute to the balance of reasonable and necessary costs associated with these internships. It is estimated that the refuge will annually need between 4 and 12 interns, each serving a 12-16 week internship, as chosen by Great Swamp NWR and Wallkill River NWR. While the selected interns are stationed at the refuge(s), they will be considered volunteers rather than employees of USFWS for payroll, liability insurance and benefit administration purposes. Vaccinations and other documented expenses incurred as a direct result of the Internship will be reimbursed directly to the Recipient, through the Cooperative Agreement. The refuge will maintain responsibility for oversight of selected interns and the associated training, agreements, and associated forms as required by FWS.


Great Swamp NWR and Wallkill River NWR shall retain final selection and retention authority over each intern. Proposals received in response to this announcement shall be evaluated based on the following criteria (listed in no particular order of importance or ranking): Responsiveness to the stated requirements; Responsibility (including specific demonstrated ability to make and administer payment and benefits); Applicant’s financial wherewithal to conduct this program (including any limitations of, or willingness and ability to subsidize or otherwise contribute the balance of the cost of this internship in excess of Great Swamp and Wallkill River NWR’s $48,000 maximum/$4,000 minimum reimbursement limits per year – whether in cash or in-kind); Overhead costs associated with administering payment and benefits. No applicants currently listed in the Federal Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) will be eligible for award, nor may those named individuals and companies otherwise partake in the refuge Internship Program.


Applications must be sent to the attention of Mike Johnson, Administrative Officer, Great Swamp NWR, 241 Pleasant Plains Road, Basking Ridge NJ 07920 or electronically at Michael_W_Johnson@fws.gov. For more information on this assistance opportunity, contact Mike Johnson at 973-425-1222 x 18.

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