Terms needed: Summer 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019
Faculty mentor name: Sandy DeBano
BES Facility: HAREC
Location (town) of internship: Hermiston
Hourly Salary: $13 Expected hours/week: 40
Student may be asked to work on weekends or outside of 8-5. Students may work more than 8 hours a day when doing fieldwork (but not more than 40 hours per week), or may start earlier than 8 AM or end later than 5 PM.
Are Housing Benefits included in addition to hourly salary? no
Student will be operating vehicles or farm equipment/machinery. Student will need to submit a driving background
Grasslands and forests serve agriculture in numerous ways, including providing extensive rangeland habitat for livestock production. These rangelands also serve as important habitat for pollinators, including native bees which, in turn, are important crop pollinators. In fact, native bees are estimated to pollinate over $3 billion of crops in the US annually. Because of this, producers and land managers are interested in developing management plans that not only focus on livestock production goals, but also on maximizing pollinator habitat in these areas. This internship focuses on how livestock and native ungulate management, fire, non-native annual grasses, and riparian restoration influence native bees in eastern Oregon.
The intern involved with this project will work on two projects focused on how land management and invasive weeds influence native bees. The grassland project will take place at The Nature Conservancy’s Zumwalt Prairie Preserve near Enterprise, OR – the largest intact remnant of the once extensive Northwsest Bunchgrass Prairie. The forest project will take place at the USFS Starkey Experimental Forest and Range near La Grande, OR. The objectives of the project are to:
1) examine how fire, invasive annual grass invasion, and livestock grazing interact to affect grassland native bees and the plants they depend on; and
2) investigate the effect of riparian restoration, native ungulate herbivory, and a new livestock grazing regime on native bees and the plants in forest habitats.
The internship will involve both field and laboratory work. Field work may last all day and involve physical activities such as extensive walking to and among field sites while carrying up to 25 pounds of equipment, collecting bees and other insects using nets and other trapping techniques, and sampling plants and soils. It is anticipated that 50-70% of the intern’s time will be spent in the field and the remaining time in the laboratory. Most field work will take place at remote locations that involve staying in field station housing or camping for up to a week at a time. Laboratory work will consist of preparing insect specimens for identification (e.g., washing, drying, pinning, and labeling specimens), organizing insect collections, cataloging plant specimens, and entering data into Excel. The intern may also be involved in soil sampling and other field sampling methods necessary to characterize study sites. The intern can expect to learn or further develop existing skills in vegetation and soil sampling, bee sampling methods, laboratory techniques (including bee and plant preparation and preservation), data entry and analysis, and presentation skills in the development of their final project. Although helpful, no previous experience with insects or plants is necessary. The intern must have a driver’s license.