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InternsFor over 20 years, the Seney Natural History Association has sponsored interns at Seney National Wildlife Refuge. Many interns go on to have careers in natural resource related fields.

Whitefish Point Unit of Seney National Wildlife Refuge

Outreach Specialist - Still Accepting Applications

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Michigan Audubon Society are searching for a joint outreach specialist to help promote the rich cultural and natural history of Whitefish Point. Whitefish Point is located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, 11 miles north of the town of Paradise on Lake Superior.

The Point is a special place. The geography of the point makes it a migratory hotspot for waterbirds, raptors and passerines. It is home to the Great Lakes piping plover, an endangered species, which has nested at the point since 2009. Bird watchers flock to the point during the peak migration seasons to watch the spectacle. The wooded dune and swell complex habitat is distinctive to the Great Lakes region and supports a diversity of species. Lady slippers, starflower, bunchberry, Labrador-tea, stunted jack pine provide habitat for thousands of migrating and resident birds and white-tailed deer, dragonflies, and a host of other species.

Likewise it has a rich maritime history. The Light Station, which has been in operation since 1849 in some capacity, had served not only as a signal to passing ships, but as a lifesaving station. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society protects the lighthouse, its associated buildings, and interprets the maritime history of Lake Superior.

In 1998, the original U.S. Coast Guard land was divided between the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Michigan Audubon Society to promote and conserve the maritime and natural history of “the Point” and protects its habitats and wildlife for future generations.

Approximately 100,000 people visit the point annually. The outreach specialist is expected to work with all three entities promoting the rich maritime and natural history of the point through tours, interpretive and educational programming, discovery stations or other promotional materials.

Outreach Specialist Flyer

Avian Habitat Technician

The technician will help implement species monitoring, habitat protection, and outreach activities that will benefit breeding Great Lakes piping plovers and migratory birds at Whitefish Point, Michigan. The technician will help expand the presence of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the site in this capacity, and increase public education regarding Great Lakes piping plovers.

The technician’s responsibilities will include tasks that benefit three property owners at Whitefish Point, including: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society and Michigan Audubon and its onsite affiliate, the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently acquired 19.85 acres of land at Whitefish Point within designated critical habitat for the Great Lakes population of Piping Plovers. This makes the total acres owned in fee title by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the point 53 acres. Land at the Point, managed by other agencies in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service , totals an additional 11 acres as follows: Michigan Audubon Society – 2.69 acres and Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society – 8.27 acres. Lands are managed using the 2002 Human Use and Natural Resource Management Plan for Whitefish Point. Acres acquired in 2012 are not included in the 2002 plan.

Avian Habitat Technician Flyer

Seney National Wildlife Refuge

Seney National Wildlife Refuge in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula was established in 1935 by Executive Order for the protection and production of migratory birds and other wildlife. At nearly 96,000 acres, Seney National Wildlife Refuge  is one of the larger National Wildlife Refuges east of the Mississippi River and is diverse in both the number of ecosystem types present and the number of wildlife species using these habitats. Seney National Wildlife Refuge also administers island refuges in Lakes Superior, Michigan, and Huron, as well as the Kirtland’s Warbler Wildlife Management Area in the northern Lower Peninsula.

Visitor Services Internships - 2016 Positions have been filled.

The Refuge offers numerous recreational opportunities including a seven mile Marshland Wildlife Drive, roads open to biking, a self guided interpretive hiking trail, canoeing, bird watching, nature observation, hunting, fishing, photography, hiking and a visitor center.

Major Duties and ResponsibilitiesKnowledge, Skills and AbilitiesBenefits and Logistics | Apply

Major Duties and Responsibilities

The duties assigned to the successful applicant would be wide-ranging and should prepare the applicant for a future career in visitor services or recreation. Assigned duties may include:

  • opening and closing the Visitor Center;
  • working closely with the bookstore manager including daily restocking efforts, bookstore management, software training and operation, organization of the stock, assisting with pricing, tagging and displaying items, developing designs for t-shirts, patches, pins and other souvenirs;
  • developing and presenting programs for refuge visitors and school groups (e.g., nature walks, auto tours and environmental education programs);
  • working on special interpretive projects (e.g., brochures, news articles, exhibits, signs, the website, podcasting, producing short videos about the refuge and its habitats/wildlife/plants etc.)
  • checking and responding to phone messages;
  • planning, organizing and conducting special events (e.g., Children's Fishing Day, Youth in the Outdoors, etc.);
  • staffing the Visitor Center information desk;
  • assisting volunteers;
  • cleaning/maintenance of the Visitor Center, exhibits, grounds, and vehicles;
  • posting updates the official Facebook pages (Seney National Wildlife Refuge and the Marshland Bookstore);
  • assisting with other responsibilities as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Successful applicants should:

  • be energetic and responsible;
  • well organized;
  • be able to work independently and in small groups with a variety of personalities;
  • have public speaking and group management skills;
  • have experience in leading programs and working with public is desired;
  • have excellent verbal and writing skills;
  • be knowledgeable in natural history, biology, bird identification etc.;
  • creative and artistic abilities such as photography, art, computer graphics, website experience, video production, etc. should be noted in your resume;
  • have a valid driver's license (required);
  • interns should be current students or recent graduates;
  • be pursuing a degree in parks and recreation, environmental education, interpretation, or a related field; however other backgrounds may be accepted.

Benefits and Logistics

Three internships are available for the summer season:
  • a 12 to 15 week full time internship available between the months of May to August, $200/week stipend - 40 hours per week average including 1 weekend day.
  • a 24 week full time internship available between the months of May and October, $200/week stipend for the first 12 weeks then $250 per week for the remaining 12 weeks - 40 hours per week average including one weekend day;
  • a part time weekend intern (Saturday and Sunday) for 12 to 24 weeks for $115 per weekend - 18 hours per week;
  • housing, transportation to and from work the bunkhouse, and laundry facilities are provided;
  • vehicles are provided for work purposes;
  • uniform shirts provided, but pants or shorts (shorts, jeans or pants must be in good condition) and closed toed shoes must be provided by the intern;
  • the work week may include some evenings.

We are now accepting internship applications for the summer of 2016.  We will begin to interview candidates in February.  The job announcement will remain open until the positions are filled.  

To apply submit: 

  • a resume (up to two pages in length),
  • cover letter, 
  • unofficial college transcripts, 
  • two letters of recommendation, 
  • your time period of availability
Send your application package to the Visitor Services Manager or mail it to the Visitor Services Manager, c/o Seney National Wildlife Refuge, 1674 Refuge Entrance Rd. Seney, MI 49883. If you have questions call (906) 586-9851 ext. 10.
Page Photo Credits — Seney Natural History Association Interns at Work - Marco Sánchez/USFWS
Last Updated: Apr 04, 2016
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