Internships at Wheeler

Interns photo

Refuge internships are unpaid internships, but the free housing is provided in bunkhouse style quarters provided at the refuge. Interns work 40 hours per week for a minimum of 10 weeks. The refuge intern program is designed to provide valuable work experience for college students or recent graduates and to provide work assistance for the refuge. We strive to always provide a variety of quality experiences for interns while accomplishing needed refuge work.

The primary purposes of the intern program are to identify and introduce potential employees to the National Wildlife Refuge System. For this reason, internships are usually filled by college students or recent graduates. Interns provide a valuable work force for these refuges. Having an interest or goal of future employment with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is not a requirement for those applying to be refuge interns.

Click link below for Summer 2020 internship opportunities:

Summer 2020 Biological Technician Internship Opportunity

To be considered for a Summer 2020 (mid-May through early-August) biological technician internship position at Wheeler NWR, please submit application packet before February 21, 2020.

A cover letter, resume and three references with email and phone contact information are required.

All interns will be involved in multiple refuge programs.  This gives an intern a well-rounded look at and direct involvement with many aspects of national wildlife refuge operations which often proves useful when searching for jobs after your internship.  However, summer internships tend to 

  • Interns often have the opportunity to spend time at the other refuges within the complex – Mountain Longleaf NWR, Cahaba River NWR, Watercress Darter NWR, Sauta Cave NWR, Fern Cave NWR and Key Cave NWR.
  • Interns assist with water management, wood duck banding, bird surveys and other biological program activities.
  • Interns assist with the youth summer day camps. 
  • All interns assist with refuge maintenance which includes mowing, trimming, trail work, invasive plant control (spraying herbicides), trash collection, and other maintenance as it comes up.
  • General refuge summer internships typically run from mid-May to early-August. If refuge operational needs allow, other terms may include September – December or January – April.


To Apply:
In most cases, to be considered for an internship position, an applicant must be able to stay a minimum of three months. However, in rare cases, slightly shorter internships (10 week minimum) may be scheduled.

Internships are volunteer positions. Housing will be provided. Interns stay in the large and modern bunkhouse having 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, large kitchen, and large community area located directly behind the refuge headquarters. Applications are accepted continually, with selections being made on specific dates.

Email a cover letter with your specific interests and dates available. Include a resume and three references with phone and email contact information to david_r_young@fws.gov .

In your application describe your background & experience relating to the following:

  • Educational background
  • ATV/UTV, boat experience
  • GPS/GIS and computer experience
  • Map reading skills
  • Basic plant identification skills
  • Basic wildlife identification skills
  • Wildlife survey experience
  • Maintenance experience (trail and other)
  • Be sure to provide your dates of availability!

Thanks for your interest!