The Farmscape Ecology Program is dedicated to exploring the human and natural dimensions of the landscape in and around Columbia County, NY through research and outreach. The Program is part of Hawthorne Valley Association, an educational non-profit, and is comprised of a wildlife ecologist, a botanist, a social scientist, a conservation biologist, and a research technician.
Our interdisciplinary research explores various dimensions of the historical, current, and potential future interactions of people with the land. An important part of our work is applied farmscape ecology, which involves documenting synergies between agricultural production and nature conservation, as well as creating, managing, and monitoring experimental on-farm habitats for beneficial wildlife.
For our 2020 field season, we are looking for an entomology intern to assist us in monitoring insect life on farms and other lands. The season will run approximately three months, starting in late May to early June and ending in late August to early September; the exact start and end dates are somewhat flexible. There is the potential for a three month extension of the internship with an independent project, but that is not guaranteed. We welcome inquiries from graduate students who feel their projects may fit our research objectives. We would also be glad to collaborate with undergraduate students whose universities offer the opportunity for them to earn independent credits.
Activities: The intern will participate in collecting and processing standardized insect samples as part of our applied farmscape ecology research. The work will involve collecting and processing insects in the field using sweep nets and malaise, vane, and pitfall traps, and will require the intern to accurately identify and count both living insects in the field and preserved insects (with the aid of a dissecting microscope) in the lab. The intern will be responsible for accurate record keeping, including data entry. S/he occasionally might also be asked to assist with horticultural tasks (e.g., work in the native plant nursery) and with on-farm habitat management (e.g., weeding in native wildflower plantings, invasive plant removal and planting of shrubs in hedgerows). S/he may also be asked to assist FEP staff in insect-focused outreach, including introducing the public to our planned butterfly house.
Qualifications: We are looking for candidates with a strong interest in insects, their conservation, and their role in agriculture, who also enjoy the outdoors and interacting with the public. The ideal candidate has previous experience with insect sampling and identification and is eager to further hone his/her skills, but also has a broader interest in agriculture and nature conservation, and in their potential synergies. Candidates should be comfortable living and working in a rural setting, be energetic, and thrive in the outdoors even when the going gets rough (think long, hot days in a field without shade!). Given the work environment, it is important that candidates are sociable and communicative, able to interact with a diverse range of people of all ages and backgrounds, self-motivated, and have attention to detail. Most importantly, we are looking for people who are eager to learn. We expect the candidates to have basic computer skills (Word, Excel) and some academic and/or work experience in field biology, field ecology, natural history, environmental science, sustainable farming/gardening, environmental education, or related fields.
General Conditions: The internship is based at Hawthorne Valley Farm, a 500-acre organic and biodynamic diversified farm located in the heart of Columbia County, NY. Interns will be expected to work at least five eight-hour days (40–45 hours) per week, and will occasionally be asked to work early, late, and on weekends.
Compensation: The successful applicant will be provided with communal housing (a private bedroom in a small apartment with a shared kitchen and bathroom) in the Farmscape Ecology Program building and a stipend of $800/month.
Additional Information: Information about Hawthorne Valley Association is available at https://hawthornevalley.org;
for more on the Farmscape Ecology Program itself, see https://www.hvfarmscape.org
Application Process: Please email us (email@example.com
) a CV including contact information for three references along with a cover letter explaining your interest in the entomology internship and highlighting your relevant experience. Suitable applicants will be interviewed by phone, and finalists will typically be required to visit us in-person (again, we are located in eastern NY State) before we make a final commitment. If you have questions, please contact Conrad Vispo at (518) 672-7994 or via the email address provided above.
We will begin reviewing applications on Feb. 10, 2020, but continue to accept applications until the position is filled (after Feb. 10, please check on https://www.hvfarmscape.org/internships
to see if the position is still available).