The COVID-19 pandemic seriously impacted and even wiped out many field programs run by conservation agencies and non-government organizations like the OFAH.
That said, one positive outcome that arose from this upheaval has been a re-evaluation of our internships, which were originally created to provide early career opportunities for young conservationists coming out of school AND support our programs busy with projects out of the office — such as delivering field trips for classroom hatchery participants or monitoring invasive water soldier populations.
While our interns have always had occasional tasks that support our fish and wildlife policy biologists and our conservation program communications, the sudden lack of fieldwork in 2020 meant these roles become their primary assignments. To no one’s surprise, our interns were more than up for the job as undertaking tasks such as reviewing legislation and scientific literature on the impacts of lead fishing tackle and ammunition, the use of drones in hunting, fish and wildlife diseases, and so much more. They provided a significant boost to our communications efforts across the board, too, helping us coordinate updates on pandemic-related fishing and hunting access issues, as well as creating social media content for many of our programs.
This past fall the OFAH’s Fish and Wildlife Department became the Policy and Programs Department and within under the same umbrella,we’ve added our stable of outreach programs into it. As we continue to hope for a full return to field programs in 2022, the demonstrated success of interns tackling policy and communications work, the addition of outreach programming duties to the interns’ job description, and the obvious benefit of having trained staff stay on longer, the OFAH management team felt it was time to move to longer internships.
STRENGTH IN PARTNERSHIP
Fortunately, we have great partners here at the OFAH – chief among them, the Fitzsimons Financial Group Inc. who immediately stepped up recently in support of extending the OFAH/Fitzsimons Financial Group Inc. Fish and Wildlife Conservation Internship to eight months. What had traditionally been a winter and spring term, running from January to early May, will now become a January to August term.
If you are a recent graduate of a fish and wildlife, conservation, or environmental post-secondary program looking for an introduction to the field – or know someone else who is — please check out the posting here.
Check out the links below for more on our internships and an inside look on how to get job with the OFAH.
Conservation Intern Partnerships – Helping OFAH, Helping Young Conservationists
Jonny Nene looks back on his OFAH internship experience
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