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Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) is a grassroots organization of over 10,000 members and supporters that exists to protect, defend and restore Oregon's deserts. ONDA’s Hillis Internship was launched in 2021 to honor Harv Hillis’ passion for desert conservation and stewardship by providing early career individuals with valuable learning and professional growth opportunities while contributing to the conservation of Oregon’s high desert.

This year’s Hillis Internship will be assigned to ONDA’s stewardship program where we conduct ecological restoration, monitoring, and inventory work across thousands of acres in Oregon’s high desert with the support of hundreds of volunteers. In 2021, ONDA responded to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic by expanding our Independent Stewards Program to engage volunteers safely and effectively in this critical stewardship work. The intern will support this program by developing the data processing and analysis system for data collected by Independent Stewards and by assisting with riparian restoration activities such as planting and fence construction. The intern will work alongside stewardship staff to determine what systems are needed to ensure that the data collected by Independent Stewards is processed and stored in an accessible format. They will also be responsible for developing a report analyzing and documenting data for at least one Independent Stewards project that ONDA can utilize to inform future stewardship and conservation campaign work.  

This is a part-time, 12-week internship from October through December 2021. It includes both field-based and office-based activities. Field activities will require physical exertion such as prolonged hiking over rough terrain and carrying heavy items. The intern must be able to perform safely under strenuous field conditions and work outdoors, in a small team at remote sites with variable weather conditions, rough terrain and other hazards. The intern will be expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self and others, or damage property with which they are entrusted. Camping in central and eastern Oregon for 4-5 day periods will be required. Office activities will require prolonged periods of sitting and computer work. 

The intern will develop a broad understanding of ONDA’s stewardship program, gain skills in field data processing and analysis, GIS, and riparian restoration. There will also be opportunities to connect with conservation program staff to develop knowledge and skills in land management and conservation policy related to their work on the Independent Stewards portion of the project. 

The Hillis Internship is open to early career individuals with a demonstrated interest in ONDA’s conservation mission. Early career individuals are defined as:

  1. Students currently enrolled in a post-secondary educational institution (e.g., undergraduate, graduate, 4-year university, 2-year college, trade school, etc.);
  2. Recent graduates who have completed a post-secondary degree or certificate within the past 12 months, or 
  3. Independent students who are pursuing an education or experience – formal or informal, within or without the bounds of a traditional educational institution – in a subject area related to ONDA’s mission and the internship.  

Ideal candidates are those with experience or training in ArcGIS and data analysis/management.  

This is a 20-30 hour/week part-time position paying $15/hour. It includes pro-rated paid holidays, plus food and travel costs for field activities. Transportation, equipment and training are provided by ONDA.

ONDA uses an anonymous applicant screening process to ensure fair and objective applicant evaluation. To help facilitate this review, please submit your application via email, with your email including two separate attachments as follows: 

  1. Attachment #1: A single page that includes your name, address, email and phone number. Do not include this identifying information anywhere else in your attachments.
  2. Attachment #2: A cover letter (without your name) describing your qualifications and interest in the internship, resume (without your name), and the contact information for two references.  This information should be combined into a single .doc or .pdf file.

Please submit these application materials to no later than 5PM Pacific Time Tuesday, August 31, 2021. 

For three decades Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA) has connected people to their public lands and championed the conservation and stewardship of central and eastern Oregon's wild lands, waterways and wildlife. ONDA’s mission is to protect, defend and restore Oregon’s high desert. From championing land protection to speaking out for fish and wildlife, ONDA’s members and supporters sustain the natural character of Oregon’s high desert. ONDA envisions a high desert in Oregon where eight million acres of public lands are conserved to ensure that fish and wildlife thrive and wild places exist for all people to treasure and explore, now and always.

ONDA is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and seeks to create an inclusive environment for all volunteers, partners, collaborators and employees. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and cultures. We strongly encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law. Please review our commitment to fostering diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in environmental conservation at