Henry's Fork Foundation
Summer 2023 Recreational River Use Intern
Organization: Henry's Fork Foundation
The Henry's Fork Foundation is a nonprofit organization that works to conserve, protect, and restore the unique fisheries, wildlife, and water resources of the Henry's Fork Watershed. HFF uses a collaborative, science-based approach to achieve its mission and works closely with water users, hydroelectric power companies, government agencies, and other nonprofit groups.
Job Type: full time internship with stipend
Matt Hively, email@example.com
Matt began working with the Foundation in early 2019 as a conservation technician and transitioned into the Aquatic Resources Coordinator in 2020. Graduating with a B.S. in biology from Idaho State University, Matt spent his summers between school years as a fisheries technician working on the South Fork and Teton rivers for IDFG and Friends of the Teton River. He is currently a graduate student at Utah State University pursuing a master's degree in natural resources. As the ARC, Matt handles fishing access, monitors proposed stream bank alterations, assists staff in furthering long-term datasets, and helps researchers in the field. He and his family live in Ashton and enjoy everything the surrounding public lands have to offer.
Recreational use of the Henry's Fork and its tributaries has been increasing rapidly over the past few years. Anglers report that crowding and conflicts among recreational users are decreasing the quality of fishing experience. To provide scientific data that can help track trends in river use and contribute to improved recreation management, the Henry's Fork Foundation began assessing river use and user attitudes in 2018, on the upper Teton River. HFF conducted similar assessments in 2019 on the Big Springs Water Trail at the headwaters of the Henry's Fork, and in 2021 on two other reaches popular among both anglers and non-angling recreational floaters.
In 2023, HFF will begin regular monitoring of use on the Henry's Fork reaches on a three-year interval. After initial training, the intern will assist Matt in collecting and analyzing river use data on recreational users at multiple access points along these reaches. The intern will also be available to assist with Henry's Fork Foundation staff and researchers on a variety of office, field, and lab work throughout the internship. Such tasks may include data entry, fundraising events, flow monitoring, equipment maintenance, livestock fencing maintenance, and more.
The intern will be expected to present preliminary results in a scientific conference framework during the final weeks of the Summer Seminar Series (described below). To do so, the intern will collect, input, prepare, and analyze data collected during the internship period to produce graphics and tables that best represent the findings. The intern should expect to spend, on average, four days per week in the field (two days during the week, two days on the weekend/holidays).
The workload distribution will be ~80% fieldwork and ~20% office work.
Interest in scientific research and science communication
Interest in watershed management and conservation from the perspective of a non-profit organization
Basic background in environmental science, statistics, ecology, and/or biology.
Good written and oral communication skills
Some background/experience working with R or a similar program.
Ability to work independently on some tasks and as a member of team on others
Good time management skills
Flexibility in work assignments
Ability to share living space with four or five other interns
Valid driver's license
Ability to work in inclement weather and carry ~25 lbs
What to Expect During the Internship
The 3,200-square mile Henry's Fork watershed lies at the headwaters of the Snake River in eastern Idaho and western Wyoming. The Continental Divide, Yellowstone Plateau, and Teton Range form the watershed's northern and eastern boundaries. Elevations range from 4,300 feet above sea level at the bottom of the watershed to over 10,000 feet along the Teton crest. Irrigated farms of potatoes, grains, and hay dominate land use in the lower half of the watershed. At higher elevations, National Forest and other public lands provide outstanding outdoor recreation, including hiking, climbing, camping, fishing, hunting, cycling, and snow sports. The watershed is very rural, with a total population of around 70,000 people. Agriculture and tourism are the largest economic sectors; HFF's work seeks to maintain a balance between water use for agriculture and streamflow to support world-class fishing and related ecological resources.
Interns from out of the Henry's Fork area will live in a co-ed dorm space at HFF's campus in Ashton, a farming community of 1,000 people. The campus is housed in Ashton's old community hospital, which was completely refurbished in 2017 to house HFF's offices, laboratory, interpretive center, and intern/graduate student housing. The dorm space consists of two bunk rooms, two large bathroom/shower facilities, a large open kitchen, laundry facilities, and a living room. Bunk rooms and bathrooms will be gender-separated, but all other living space is shared. Housing, including linens and all kitchen implements, is provided by HFF, but interns are responsible for their own meals. If any intern would like to live in separate housing, it is their responsibility to find and pay for separate housing arrangements before the internship begins. They will also be responsible for driving to and from HFF in their own vehicle without fuel reimbursement.
Other than businesses oriented primarily toward tourism and agriculture (auto parts and repair, hardware, etc.), services in Ashton are limited to a small health clinic and pharmacy, one grocery store, a dollar store, and five small eating establishments (Mexican, three traditional American diners/drive-ins, and a pizza/sandwich shop). The grocery store is well stocked for a small town but does not carry much in the way of organic and natural foods and is difficult to access from HFF's campus because of a busy highway crossing with no stoplight or pedestrian facilities. The nearest large supermarkets, Walmart, drug stores, and other business are located in Rexburg, about 25 miles southwest of Ashton. There are a few restaurants with broader menu options located in the tourist area of Island Park, 20-30 miles north of Ashton. The closest natural-food stores and restaurants, "finer" dining establishments, and "night life" (e.g., weekly outdoor concerts) are located in Teton Valley, 40-50 miles southeast of Ashton. The closest regional airport is located in Idaho Falls 53 miles southwest of Ashton. The closest international airport is located in Salt Lake City (SLC) 220 miles south of Ashton. The Salt Lake Express shuttle runs from the airport Salt Lake City International Airport to Rexburg several times a day, but should be booked in advance.
The west entrance to Yellowstone National Park is a one-hour drive from Ashton, and Jackson, Wyoming is about a 90-minute drive. The best climbing and hiking opportunities are 45-60 minutes from Ashton, although outstanding fly fishing can be found 5 minutes away from the campus. An out-of-state fishing license costs $108. Some of HFF's boats and rafts are available for intern recreational use after hours and on weekends, when not being used for HFF's field work. HFF provides company vehicles for work but does not provide vehicles for interns to use on their personal time. Although not required, a personal vehicle is strongly recommended to allow full enjoyment of the area's recreational opportunities. Interns without vehicles must rely on those with vehicles for transportation to and from shopping and activities.
The Work Schedule
HFF is committed to supporting a diverse and inclusive workplace and to promoting careers in the environmental and natural-resource sciences among groups underrepresented in these professions. Thus, we will make every effort to adjust assignments to accommodate strong applicants who may initially be uncomfortable with the work requirements described below. However, these adjustments are much easier to make during the recruiting process rather than after interns arrive for the summer, which is why we request that applicants contact us with questions before applying.
Interns are expected to work 40 hours per week, on average. Work weeks start with mandatory staff meeting at 9:00 a.m. on Monday. The other mandatory weekly event for interns is seminar, held from 4:00-5:00 p.m. on Tuesday afternoons. For additional information on HFF's Summer Seminar Series and what they entail, please visit https://www.henrysfork.org/internship-program and click on the link under the Summer Seminar Series section. For the first 2 weeks of the internship, expect to work more than 40 hours, including some evenings and weekends. These weeks will be filled with orientation and training events-including CPR and first aid for those not currently certified-and with Henry's Fork Days, a week of HFF's most important outreach and fundraising events. During that week, June 12th - 17th, all interns will be expected to assist the fundraising and event team with no fewer than three events, including a donor reception, HFF's annual membership meeting, and a fundraising dinner and auction on Saturday the 18th attended by 600 of HFF's most dedicated supporters. Work days during these first few weeks of the internship can begin as early as 6:30 a.m. and end as late as 10:30 p.m. Interns will be given extra time off around July 4 to compensate for the additional work time. Other than June 17th, weekend work will be rare, but it may be necessary to staff the interpretive center and accommodate availability of volunteers and shared equipment, vehicles, or lab space. During the first few weeks, all interns will also participate in educational short courses focused on hydrology and water rights, data analysis and statistics, fundraising, and communications.
After the business of the first few weeks (and it is equally busy for staff), interns will settle into a weekly routine of field, laboratory, and office work, with individual schedules dependent on the particular internship position. Not all internships will require field work. For the internships that do require fieldwork, this can vary between 25% and 75% of the intern's work hours. Field work occasionally begins as early as 7:00 a.m. All field work will require driving to/from field sites, usually 20-45 miles one way. Some field work will be done in teams with the intern's mentor and possibly other interns, staff or volunteers, while other tasks will require the intern to work alone in remote, rural settings. If you think you will not be comfortable working alone, please request more information about the particular internship(s) of interest to you before you apply.
Depending on the internship position, field work could include conducting experiments in farm fields, measuring various ecological and physical parameters in the river, surveying river users, and maintaining fences to keep livestock away from streambanks. Field and laboratory work will include use of expensive high-technology equipment as well as boats, rafts, and other standard outdoor equipment and clothing. Field work will be done in all types of weather, aside from lightning and severe thunderstorms. In June, temperatures can be below freezing, and snow is possible at high elevations. During the rest of the summer, temperatures range from 40 degrees to 90 degrees, sometimes spanning that range in a single day. Expect wind, low humidity, and bright sun, all of which add to the physical stress of working at high elevations, especially for those not accustomed to the climate and altitude of the arid western U.S. At the same time, afternoon thunderstorms are possible on any given day, usually producing some combination of strong winds, heavy rain, hail, dangerous lightning, and sudden temperature drops of up to 40 degrees. Orientation and training will cover procedures for conduct under these conditions. If you have questions about field work and physical requirements of a particular internship, please request more information before you apply.
As a Henry's Fork Foundation intern you must assist with fundraising and member events, education, outreach and other projects as needed, including water quality monitoring, field work in hydrology and stream ecology, maintaining fish passage facilities, installing/maintaining livestock fences, and staffing HFF's interpretive center. Occasional evening and weekend work will be required on these tasks. Interns will contribute to the HFF intern blog where they will provide a weekly update on their work to our membership. Early in the internship, interns will select a topic for his/her seminar presentation, within the scope of the independent project of their internship. The intern will prepare to present on this topic in a seminar session structured like a professional conference, with a 15-minute presentation followed by a 5-minute period for questions. This seminar session will be scheduled near the end of the internship period.
You can contact Jasper Davis for more information about the internship.