NIFA Intern (National Institute of Food and Agriculture)




Organization: Fossil Rim Wildlife Center (AZA Member)
Location: Glen Rose, Texas, Country
Job or Internship: Internship

Synopsis of NIFA Grant: Program in International Natural Resource Management, and the role of Fossil Rim Wildlife Center as Project PartnerProgram Mission:The Program address the National Institute of Food and Agriculture Priority Area of “Global Food Security and Hunger” through educational, research, and outreach capacity building. This Program will focus on issues that directly affect food production, such as increased plant or animal production, use of indigenous plants and animals to augment diets, control of plant and animal diseases or parasites, and crop or livestock depredation by wildlife. The Program also will focus on issues that directly or indirectly affect food production such as soil fertility, soil erosion, water quality and quantity, degradation of ecosystem services through conversion of native habitats to farmland, human/wildlife conflicts in agricultural systems, and loss of biodiversity through human development or activity in agricultural systems.Fossil Rim Wildlife Center’s Specific Role in this Program:Lack of global awareness of food insecurity and hunger issues is major obstacle to providing solutions. This includes not only awareness of the direct results of food insecurity (e.g., hunger) but also the direct and indirect causes of food insecurity (soil erosion, water depletion, etc.) as well as the complex interactions and impacts of food insecurity with the society and environment (e.g., increased civil unrest, degradation of wildlife habitat, and loss of biodiversity). One of the more innovative aspects of the Program is the development of outreach programs at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center (FRWC). Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is uniquely placed to play an important outreach role in the project. The proximity of the site to Tarleton State University facilitates interaction among Tarleton faculty, FRWC staff, and the public. Moreover, the existing outreach efforts at FRWC focus on global conservation issues, specifically endangered species and loss of biodiversity in the developing world. Fossil Rim’s existing program provides an ideal context to raise awareness in its visitors of global food security issues.Fossil Rim Wildlife Center will expand its outreach message to include the role of agricultural development and food security in conserving natural resources. Outreach programs will specifically include the results of any partner research funded through this grant. Interns will be hired each year. Working under the direction of the FRWC Education Director, these interns will develop outreach materials that focus on 1) raising awareness of the interrelationship of hunger, poverty, and natural resource degradation, 2) disseminating results of Program research, and 3) explaining ways in which the actions and activities of Americans can have global ecological impacts. Outreach programs may include presentations to interested groups (both on and off site), publication of printed material, website development, placement of interpretive signage, or construction of information kiosks.Duties of NIFA Grant Intern (or Graduate Student)•Learn how to conduct interpretive programming within the educational venues offered through the Fossil Rim Education Department. These venues include, but are not limited to: Outreach (programs taken off-site), Camps, Tours, Family Programming, Teacher Workshops, Scouting Events, Homeschool Events, printed material, website development, interpretive signage, and construction of information kiosks.•Research, design and implement new programming for these venues, including programs, articles, displays, games, videos, and other media. This programming must emphasize the relationship between loss of biodiversity and human hunger, the role of agricultural development and food security in conserving natural resources and wildlife, and must promote a global awareness of the interrelationship of hunger, poverty, and natural resource degradation. Programming will include dissemination of results of NIFA grant partner research.•Help update old programming to incorporate grant information. •Build on what the prior NIFA intern has done, and pass the project on to the next NIFA intern, so as to produce a cohesive whole at the end of the 3-year grant period. (Internships are 6 months each.)•Assist Programs Coordinators and Education Director with other NIFA grant-related projects.•Must have the ability to take direction, accept constructive criticism, ask for feedback, and let future work reflect implementation of that criticism and/or feedback.•Ability to work on own with a minimum of supervision.•Ability to intentionally ask for help and/or clarification when needed, rather than unintentionally getting off course.•Ability to meet deadlines.•Ability to work long hours, sometimes including weekends and holidays, with irregular scheduling in which some days may exceed 8 hours and overnight duties may be required.•Ability to work in unpredictable and sometime inclement outdoor conditions and in rugged terrain.•Work cooperatively with and under the supervision of FR Education staff.•Preferred background: environmental education, environmental science, natural resources, biology, zoology, other related fields.Application materials MUST be in by August 1st 2013.Internship will last from November 1st 2013 - April 30 2014. Housing and stipend provided. To Apply:Send Resume, Cover Letter, and list of 3 references to:Director of Education Fossil Rim Wildlife Center2155 CR 2008 Glen Rose, TX 76043 or email materials to:education@fossilrim.org with "NIFA Intern Applicant" in subject line.