Working in Alaska
Imagine a state the size of the Midwestern United States with a longer coastline than the other U.S states combined and fewer people than city of San Francisco. Imagine a place where herds of caribou out number people in many towns and villages, and salmon fill rivers from shore to shore on their migrations. This is Alaska!
Where We Work
Alaska is divided into six general regions South Central, Southeast, Southwest, Interior, North Slope and the Aleutian Islands. The Service has a presence in all of these regions from. Our most northern and smallest office is located in Barrow. Our Fairbanks office houses staff working on projects and refuges throughout Interior Alaska. Our regional headquarters and multiple offices are located in South Central including Anchorage and Soldotna. Homer which is home to Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge protects islands throughout the Aleutians. Finally, in the Southeast the staff at the Juneau Satellite Office work to protect endangered species and conserve fish habitat.
Most offices are located in what would be considered rural communities in the lower 48 states. Even Anchorage, which boasts a population of 350,000, contains vast open spaces, and frequent bear and moose sightings.
Some of our field stations are off the road system and only accessible by boat or plane.
Most of the field work done with the Service in Alaska is completed during the short summer season from May to August. Many field biologists, archaeologists, hydrologists, naturalists, and environmental educators venture outside their office walls to remote field camp for weeks to months at a time.
Is field work right for you?
Below is a list of things you might be asked to do at field camp.
- Carry 50 pounds of gear through shoulder-high grass up slope on a remote island to chase and capture geese.
- Navigate through dense, wet forests while warning bears of your progress with creative vocal warnings. Photo-document wetlands. Keep camera in focus while backing away from bear.
- Stay up all “day” (never mind that in summer, “night” never comes and “day” lasts for four months).
- Spend inordinate amounts of time waiting for airplanes in bad weather.
But Seriously. . . field seasons in Alaska can be pretty tough, but you are rewarded by experiencing extraordinary scenic beauty while getting paid, gaining invaluable field skills, and contributing to the conservation of Arctic and subarctic ecosystems.
Still want to help, but field camp not for you? The USFWS hires a variety of professionals including budget analysts, planners, cartographers and contracting specialists who work in climate controlled office environments, but still support our conservation mission.
Apply for a Job
The Service in Alaska hires numerous temporary/seasonal Park Rangers and Biological Technicians each field season to work on a variety of bird, refuge, trail, fire, wildlife and fisheries projects. These positions are usually advertised mid-winter each year.
We are seeking talented students from a wide range of career paths and backgrounds for employment with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. From arctic tundra to Aleutian coastline, we offer unique jobs conserving the nature of Alaska.
The Service through partnerships and our volunteer program offer a wide variety of opportunities for individuals of all ages and backgrounds, including international visitors who share a passion for Alaska’s Wildlife and would like to contribute.