Wild South works across seven states and therefore maintains a landscape scale perspective for conservation rooted in the science and philosophy of conservation biology. Conservation biology is the science dedicated to the protection of biodiversity that aims to conserve natural areas. This science rest on the philosophy that: 1) the diversity of species and biological communities should be preserved, 2) the untimely extinction of populations and species should be prevented, 3) ecological complexity should be maintained, 4) evolution should continue, and 5) biological diversity has intrinsic value.
At Wild South we work to ensure that biodiversity thrives and we believe that a network of protected areas connected across the Southern landscape is critical for the survival of many species and the protection of the environment in our region. We are fortunate to have public lands in the South which can serve as the “core” of this protected network. These public lands are the most critical piece but are not completely protected. Our national forests are routinely abused for extractive uses causing habitat destruction and fragmentation.
The purpose of this fellowship will be to examine the current landscape of public lands across the South and select priority areas for increasing protection. Increased protection will ensure long term viability of species by supporting connectivity and reducing ecological threats. Once these priority areas are identified the fellow will choose a specific area on which to focus and will be given the opportunity to customize a specific project on one of two tracks either research or advocacy.
Example of research projects might include:
- Examine the affects of climate change on a specific priority area
- Explore how a particular species may benefit from increased protections
- Study the potential for reintroduction of an extirpated species
Examples of advocacy projects might include:
- Build a coalition of interest groups interested in protecting an area
- Develop a campaign for the protection of a critical habitat
- Produce educational materials for website and other media to increase awareness
This project is intentionally designed to be flexible and adaptable to the fellow’s personal experience and interests and is not limited to the examples above.
The fellow will be an integral part of the Wild South team, working both independently and in group situations. S/he will take on a variety of tasks, including taking the lead in their project, but at the same time engaging in the full spectrum of Wild South’s work.
Expectations for our fellows are that they will interact with the organization similar to Wild South staff in that they are expected to participate in events and activities that forward the mission of the organization. This may include volunteer work projects organized by Wild South and assisting in other conservation initiatives.
Fellows will be provided information/materials and will receive an orientation and training specific to Wild South at the onset of their fellowship. Once accepted as an fellow, they will assist in the design of the individual fellowship experience. This will be done by establishing a timeline and clearly defining the goals and expectations for the summer.
A variety of products may be produced during the fellowship and may include but are not limited to: written articles, web pages, videos, photographs, technical reports, GIS maps, GIS analyses/models, outreach presentations, press releases, grants, etc.
An energetic, enthusiastic student or recent graduate are eligible to apply.
The following technical, organizational, and interpersonal skills are requisite:
- Knowledge and experience with land management activities
- Understanding of basic ecology
- Comfortable in the outdoors
- Experience with GPS and GIS systems encouraged
- Environmental literacy
- Good time management skills
- Ability to learn fast, adapt, and remain self-motivated
- Excellent communication and writing skills
- Able to work well with others
- Passion for the environment
- Sense of humor
- Reliable transportation to and from the Wild South office is required. A car is not critical but it is preferred and a valid Driver’s License may be necessary.
The fellowship will be hosted at Wild South’s Asheville headquarters: 13 1/2 West Walnut Street, Asheville, NC 28801
Wild South takes pride in our fellowship program and offers a variety of unique opportunities. These include:
- Staff /Intern Retreat that involves two nights of camping and outdoor fun and fellowship
- Participation in signature summer events hosted by Wild South
- Opportunities to explore the Southern Appalachians including National Forests, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Blue Ridge Parkway through field trips and assignments
- Collaboration with other fellows with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences
- Networking with dozens of leading environmental conservation organizations Involvement in all aspects of Wild South’s work
- Flexible schedule and adaptable working environment
- Development of communication skills, leadership skills, and time-management skills
- Knowledge of conservation science, public land management, resource ecology, wildlife science, and advocacy
How to Apply:
Please send current resume and cover letter describing your interests in the Fellowship to firstname.lastname@example.org