The Prairie Enthusiasts: Summer Internship

3 March 2023

Paid Internships Restoration Ecology, Summer 2023

Looking for field experience in natural area restoration and management? Five paid internships in restoration ecology are available through The Prairie Enthusiasts (Empire-Sauk Chapter). Work will be carried out at several prairie and savanna preserves in southern Wisconsin. This is an opportunity to learn plant and animal identification, ecosystem ecology, habitat needs of rare and declining species, and the tools, methods, and philosophies of restoration ecology from professional ecologists and experienced practitioners. You will also learn about the conservation significance and goals of various preserves.

These are full-time positions for 12 weeks from Tuesday, May 30, through Friday, August 19, 2023. Applicants should be in college, at the sophomore level or higher, and have a demonstrated interest in restoration ecology or the conservation/management of rare species and ecosystems. Also desireable is a major in ecology, biology, botany, conservation, forestry, environmental studies, environmental engineering, zoology, wildlife, or soils. Applicants must be able to perform sustained physical work outdoors under a variety of conditions. A valid driver’s license is required.


$15.00/hour (40 hours per week). Academic credit may be available for participation in this program; each intern is responsible for making academic credit arrangements with their institution.


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 owned or leaesd by The Prairie Enthusiasts. They include remnant and restored prairies, oak savannas, oak woodlands, streams, and wetlands.


The interns will be working together as a team lead by an experienced restoration ecologist. As an intern, you will spend the summer outdoors where you will learn by doing a number of tasks in broad-scale landscape restoration and management. The primary focus of activities is the control of invasive species, but time will also be spent on seed collecting and planting, plant ecology and identification, seed orchard maintenance, fencing and boundary posting, endangered species monitoring, and in-field “lectures.” Some use of power tools and herbicides will be involved.

Other Considerations

Interns are 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.


The application deadline to ensure consideration is March 10, 2023. Apply by email to Andrew Sleger at attaching a single PDF file including a cover letter describing your background and interest in this position, and a detailed resume. Begin the file name with your LAST NAME followed by your FIRST NAME.