Invasive Species Intern

Jamestown Audubon Society
Work Site Location: 
Jamestown, NY
Job Description: 

The objective of this internship is to develop protocols for long-term monitoring of Trapa natans, or Water Chestnut, and collect data during the control efforts to document the spread of and the success and failure of control methods.

Interns will collect data, sample designated areas, collect and inventory seeds, develop some protocols for data collection, and record findings in a database. This project involves getting wet and muddy. Waders can be provided by Audubon, but clothes that can get dirty (and possibly ruined) are a necessity. Sampling takes place in all seasons so dress for the weather.

Wage: none
Time-frame: ongoing, usually semester length (September-December; February-May; May-August)
Hours: 45 per semester for 1 credit


  • We expect the student to work independently, after training. Some of this work will be carried out in the field, other work will be done offsite – at home or school, still more in Audubon’s offices. The student is required to keep track of his/her own hours and report them bi-weekly to the Intern Coordinator at Audubon.
  • The student is expected to provide his/her own clothes, boots and cold-weather gear.
  • The student is expected to enter information into the Access database onsite at Audubon. He/she is expected to find time during Audubon’s normal business hours to do this.
  • The student is expected to keep his/her faculty advisor up to date with project progress.
  • The student is expected to act in a professional manner and be a positive representative of his/her educational institution and Audubon.
  • We expect the student to contribute to the overall project as well as create a unique element. This can be an interpretive display, an added research element, a land management suggestion, a traveling display, an educational brochure, a verbal presentation, a slide show, etc. The Audubon Intern Coordinator will work with the student on educational related elements. The faculty advisor will work with the student on research based elements.

First Phase: for the initial phase of this, we feel that collecting baseline data on ponds that are not yet infested with Water Chestnut is the best use of time. A team of experts is in the process of establishing the control methods for Big Pond. Until that is complete, we do not know what data we should be collecting from Big Pond. In the meantime, we are going to focus on the next largest pond, Spatterdock Pond, and select others (Maple-Big Field Pond, and Pond at the Sidewalk’s End). Potential baseline data we would like to collect includes the following:

  • Random survey transects for plant types
  • Amphibian egg and larval count and species
  • Water depth
  • Substrate depth
  • Basking turtle survey
  • Waterbird/Shorebird survey
  • Temperature – air and water and substrate
  • Muskrat den sites
  • Kingfisher survey
  • Winter pond use by pond-dependent animals
  • FrogWatch
  • Surface cover by pond plants

This is designed to supplement the education of a biology, conservation, or environmental studies major at a local college or university. The student must:

  • Be able to work out of doors in all weather
  • Be able to navigate rough, muddy, and wet terrain
  • Have knowledge of scientific protocols
  • Show attention to detail, meticulous notation skills
  • Maintain enthusiasm for outdoor research
  • Preferred: experience using Microsoft Access
Unpaid, for credit

To apply for this internship, please contact the Office of Experiential Learning at 716.338.1381 or use this contact form.