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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Region 1) – Terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) Monitoring Program Intern

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Region 1) – Terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) Monitoring Program Intern


Term of positions is 18 weeks; full-time 40 hrs/wk 

(2 positions available)


Washington – Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge; Willapa National Wildlife Refuge

Living Allowance:

$600 Weekly Living Stipend

$300 Housing Stipend 

AmeriCorps Award:

Position is eligible for an AmeriCorps education award upon successful completion of the program. Value of education award is $2,626.27 (pre-tax). 

Start Date/End Date:

05/06/2024 – 09/06/2024

Application Due Date:

Preference given to applicants that submit application by Friday, April 19, 2024

Title of Position

LiDAR Monitoring Technicians (2)

Reports To:

Todd Rankin, Regional Fuels Management Specialist



Position Details

Stewards Individual Placement Program (STE) provides individuals with service and career opportunities to strengthen communities and preserve our natural resources. Participants work with federal agencies, tribal governments, and nonprofits building institutional capacity, developing community relationships, and supporting ecosystem health.


 STE in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Region 1 is looking for individuals to serve as interns in the Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) Monitoring Project. LiDAR integrates the latest forest vegetation and ecosystem surveying technology into land management practices. Terrestrial LiDAR scanning (TLS) surveying and monitoring protocols gather empirical data to inform active habitat management on refuges. The techniques used in this project visualize and quantify fuel lodging changes in the interest of wildlife fire, forestry, and biology. The efforts mentioned support multiple USFWS priorities and informs the conservation, protection, and enhancement of habitats for wildlife and plants. 


The data collected in this program will help refine adaptive management, using models to predict the impacts of management activities before they occur, thus finding the best management option to meet the plan objectives. This project will also give power to USFWS Region managers to justify the treatments being implemented and show results, both at a visual and quantifiable capacity. USFWS will utilize this data to model fire behavior across the landscape based on known vegetation (fuel loading), which when measured pre and post burn will help better communicate the importance and effectiveness of fuels treatments. 


To learn more about the Terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging Monitoring Program from our 2023 LiDAR interns, click here!


Position Responsibilities will include: 


  • Coordinate with supervisor to receive required training on LiDAR use and maintenance for proper data collection in the field.
  • Training will include terrestrial LiDAR system operation and tier two monitoring plots designed to collect information on fuel loading and vegetation type.
  • Driving to/from duty station to field sites. Practice proper vehicle maintenance and inspection as well as defensive driving techniques. 
  • Training will include defensive driving course and vehicle evaluation. 
  • Data evaluation and quality control. Ensure proper data collection is conducted and data management processes are followed to ensure quality data is recorded and stored on appropriate databases. 
  • Training will include collecting and processing LiDAR and other monitoring information given specific protocols. Work might be conducted in vehicles or in remote areas with limited traditional office type furniture.

Minimum Requirements: 


Background in Botany, Biology, or other natural science area is preferred for this internship. 


  • Possession of a valid driver’s license and ability to safely operate a vehicle. 
  • The ability to learn and apply new technologies in remote field settings.
  • The ability to work and live in a remote location.
  • The ability to hike off trail and navigate using GPS systems.
  • Must be able to conduct field work involving hiking and carrying equipment.
  • The ability to communicate effectively in both written and verbal format.
  • The ability to move locations for housing/service. This internship will require multiple moves. Initial training will be at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge out of Cheney, WA. Interns will then move to Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge for 6 to 8 weeks. Housing at Conboy NWR may be available but not guaranteed. Intern will finish out the service term at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. The weekly housing stipend should be used towards lodging while in service. This housing includes but is not limited to hotels and/or Airbnb near wildlife refuges.


 Preferred Qualifications: 


The ability to work with a team and coordinate activities with other team members. 


Working Conditions/Physical Effort:


The LiDAR Interns may work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on varying terrain and potentially under physically demanding circumstances. 


These conditions:

• Present the possibility of injury and exposure to hazards such as venomous snakes, heat, humidity, and insects. 

• Require long hours in isolated settings

• Require physical exertion, outdoors, in all weather conditions on potentially difficult or hazardous terrain

• Require the ability to occasionally use hand tools and/or light machinery

• Require the willingness to travel frequently, work varying shifts, and potentially overnight stays.



Position is eligible for an AmeriCorps education award upon successful completion of the program. Value of education award is $2, 626.27 (pre-tax).

  • Living Allowance: $600/week (pre-tax)
  • Housing Allowance: $300 unless housing is provided by FWS/refuge. 
  • Travel Relocation expenses covered up to a certain amount.
  • PPE/Field Gear Stipend up to a certain amount. 


Substance Free: 
In accordance with a drug free workplace, alcohol and drugs are prohibited while participating in AmeriCorps and program activities and while on organization property. 


Additional Notes: 

All applicants must pass a criminal background and motor vehicle background check prior to hiring. 



How to Apply
Apply on-line at:  In addition to your resume, please submit a one-page cover letter highlighting why you are interested in this position and how your background and experience will help you succeed in this position.



If you have questions about the application process, please contact: 


Kahla Stewart

Program Coordinator 

Stewards Individual Placements

(423) 402-6004



Stewards Individual Placements Program does not and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.