The Prairie Enthusiasts: Restoration Ecologist Position for Graduates

3 March 2023

Graduating this June and interested in a career in field work and natural area restoration? The Prairie Enthusiasts located just 40 minutes outside of Madison, WI, are offering a full-time position as a Restoration Ecologist.


This is a full-time field position (40 hours-per-week) leading, supervising, and educating 4-5 college level student interns in hands-on ecological management and restoration of native prairie, wet meadow, streams, and oak savanna. This position is with The Prairie Enthusiasts (Empire Sauk Chapter), a non-profit conservation group focused on the protection and recovery of fire-dependent ecosystems of the upper Midwest.


  • B.S. degree, or equivalent experience, in biological or natural history sciences related to native fire-dependent ecosystems of the upper Midwest
  • Experience in hands on land management and restoration techniques, with power equipment (chainsaws, brush cutters, etc.), and in supervising and directing people is required.
  • Knowledge of the species and ecology of the upper Midwest prairies, sedge meadows, and oak savanna is required.
  • Must be self-motivated
  • Ability to motivate others
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Have a commitment to conservation of endangered ecosystems
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Experience with tractors is desirable, but not required.


  • Direct and lead interns in the field
  • Lead by example
  • Foster a safe, productive, and educational work environment
  • Assess the abilities of the interns and be responsible for their well-being
  • Provide on the job training to interns in the use of equipment and restoration and biological survey methods
  • Provide education about the natural history of the preserves, the need for restoration/management, and the methods used
  • Be responsible for equipment care and maintenance
  • At the direction of preserve site stewards, develop weekly work plans


The work will primarily take place at two high-quality nature preserves in western Dane County and eastern Iowa County near the villages of Barneveld and Mazomanie. Other sites near Blue Mounds, Arena, and Mt. Horeb may require occasional visits during the internship. These sites are owned or eased by The Prairie Enthusiasts. They include remnant and restored prairies, oak savannas, oak woodlands, streams, and wetlands.

Other Considerations

The Restoration Ecologist responsible for their travel, housing, and other living expenses, and are encouraged to carpool to worksites. Sturdy work boots, gloves and clothing, as well as sun, rain, and insect protection are required. All tools will be provided.

Start date: May 24, 2023

End date: August 18, 2023

Compensation: $20–$23/hour depending upon experience. No benefits beyond workman’s compensation are included.


Applications are due March 13, 2023. To apply, email Andrew Sleger at with a single PDF file including a cover letter and detailed resume.

This full-time field position offers