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Conservation Intern

Posted 02/05/2021
County Des Moines
Location Sperry ,Iowa
Salary $10.00 - $12.00/hr plus uniforms & housing (if needed)


The Des Moines County Conservation Internship program is designed to give students in the field of conservation an opportunity to gain diverse work experience within the County Conservation system. Interns will primarily assist maintenance staff with management and maintenance of parks, trails, natural areas, and various public facilities throughout the county. Interns will also have opportunities to assist conservation education staff with program preparation and presentations, natural resource management staff with wildlife management activities, law enforcement staff with patrol and law enforcement duties, and administration staff with various administrative efforts. This internship program is designed to provide students with a solid understanding of all aspects of county conservation department work through hands-on experience.

Job duties will be primarily maintenance-oriented and will include, but are not limited to park and campground maintenance and upkeep, equipment maintenance, construction or repair of facilities, trail maintenance/creation and wildlife habitat management. Conservation Interns will also report/repair safety hazards, offer assistance and information to the public, maintain working relationships with other employees and the public, attend any and all mandatory trainings and meetings, and perform related tasks as assigned and available within the other departments (natural resource, education, administration). Interns will be expected to assume leadership roles as they become familiar with the job duties and may take on crew leader duties should they return in subsequent years. Work will involve, but is not limited to the operation of tractors, chainsaws, brush mowers and power tools.


Students who are pursuing a career in conservation/park management generally fill this position. A sincere interest in conservation work is required.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have no major criminal convictions, and must be able to get to and from the primary work site. A current valid driver’s license is required. Applicants must be able to routinely stand, walk, sit, kneel, stoop, balance, climb, and safely operate a wide variety of hand and power tools, tractors and other heavy equipment. Must be able to lift up to 75 pounds, follow written and oral instructions, work without supervision if required, and work outdoors in all weather conditions. Applicants must be willing to work irregular hours including occasional weekends and evenings.

Applicants should possess a general knowledge of simple construction, carpentry, painting, etc. and have basic ability to identify flora and fauna common to the area.


The employment period is mid-May to mid-August (specific starting and ending dates somewhat flexible, depending on school schedule of applicant), 40 hours/week with no expectation of employment beyond that specified. Normal workweek is Monday through Friday 7:00 AM - 3:30 PM though the occasional evening or weekend may be required. Starting pay is $10.00 - $12.00/hr. depending on qualifications. Interns will be provided with uniforms, all necessary training, and priority consideration for future seasonal employment and higher pay in subsequent employment periods.

Housing is available at no cost to interns in this program. 

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until all available positions have been filled. 

To Apply, send cover letter with resume and references to:

Des Moines County Conservation
Attn: Chris Lee, Executive Director
13700 Washington Rd.
West Burlington, IA 52655

Must be at least 18 years old with clean criminal background, a valid driver's license, and ability to get to and from primary work site at Big Hollow Recreation Area in Sperry, IA.

To Apply
Submit a resume, cover letter and two references to:

Chris Lee, Director
Des Moines County Conservation
13700 Washington Rd.
West Burlington, IA 52655

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