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Don C. Byers Water Quality Internship

Don C. Byers Water Quality Internship
This internship is only open to students who have graduated from or are currently attending one of the high schools in the Henry’s Fork Watershed (Madison, Sugar-Salem, South Fremont, North Fremont, Teton). Please specify which of these high schools you attend/attended in your cover letter. You can apply for this internship using Handshake, or by sending a cover letter, resume with two professional references, and a copy of your academic transcript to Kamberlee Allison at Application deadline is on March 1, 2022.

Organization: Henry’s Fork Foundation

Organization Overview
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
Paid internship, funded by the family of the late Don C. Byers. A $5,000 stipend will be paid for the equivalent of 12 weeks of fulltime work.

COVID-19 Safety Plan
We anticipate being able to offer an in-person internship in Ashton, Idaho. During the 2020 and 2021 field seasons we learned how to safely conduct our business within the environment of COVID-19, and we plan to apply that learning to continue to conduct our 2022 field-season work safely.

Matt Hively –
Matt holds a B.S. in biology from Idaho State University and is pursuing a master’s degree in natural resources from Utah State University. Matt joined the HFF team in 2019 as a conservation technician assisting staff and researchers in furthering long-term datasets of water quality and spawning trout populations, maintaining a real-time data transmission network, and flow monitoring for precision water management of Island Park Reservoir. In 2020, Matt transitioned as the Aquatic Resources Coordinator and oversees the “Voice of the River” efforts that HFF performs including monitoring stream channel alteration permits to ensure adherence to the Clean Water Act, maintaining and improving fishing access throughout the Henry’s Fork, and others.  

Don Byers was Chairman of the Henry’s Fork Foundation (HFF) in 1994-1995, before passing away from cancer in early 1996. In his memory, his family established the Don C. Byers internship to fund a high school Senior or college student originally from the Henry’s Fork Watershed to work with HFF.
The Byers intern will assist staff and other researchers in collecting water quality and water quantity data, maintaining HFF’s network of water quality monitoring instruments, maintaining livestock fencing along the historic “Ranch” reach of the Henry’s Fork, and undertake an independent project described below.

Independent Project
One of the chief motivations behind the establishment of HFF was to protect the river from the consequences of cattle grazing. This year’s intern will 1) assess the current cattle fencing infrastructure, then 2) propose an action for improvement(s) and 3) execute the approved action. The intern will be expected to give a presentation on the work done during the HFF summer seminar series, as well as provide photos and brief updates to the Communication Director for dissemination through social media and monthly/quarterly newsletters.
  • Interest in watershed management and conservation from the perspective of a non-profit organization
  • Basic background in environmental science or related fields
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • 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 swim and work comfortably outdoors in and around water in a variety of weather
Additional Work Expectations
While the primary focus of this internship will be collecting and monitoring water quality data on the Henry’s Fork, the intern may also be expected to assist with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation in staffing boat wash stations that reduce the chances of invasive species spread (1 day per week). The intern will also have the opportunity, and expectation during some periods, to assist with various other HFF programs including, but not limited to; helping with fundraising events, education and outreach, assisting PhD students and other interns.
What to Expect During the Internship
The Watershed
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.

Living Arrangements
All 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 $98. 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.
*To see HFF’s full policy on nondiscrimination diversity and inclusion please click here.
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 and click on the link under the Summer Seminar Series section. During the first few weeks, all interns will also participate in educational short courses focused on hydrology and water rights, data analysis and statistics, and communications.
After the business of the first few weeks, interns will settle into a weekly routine of field, laboratory, and office work, with individual schedules dependent on the particular internship position. All internships will require field work, which can vary between 25% and 80% 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 20-60 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, 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 apply for this internship through, or by sending a cover letter, a resume with two professional references, and a copy of your academic transcript to Kamberlee Allison at Application deadline is March 1, 2022.
You can also contact Ms. Allison for more information about the internship.
To learn more about the HFF and the work we do, please explore the following links.
Henrys Fork Foundation website: