Job Opening: Conservation Crew Intern

Semester: Spring/Summer 2023

To apply: Send resume and cover letter to Wil Rainer, Field Programs Director, at [email protected]

Time Requirement: 10-20 hrs/wk starting April 1-8, 2023. Hours and dates flexible. Ability to work 1 day/wk preferred.

Compensation: $13/hr paid biweekly

Position Summary

The Cahaba River Society’s Stewardship program is seeking three motivated individuals for a part-time Conservation Crew Intern position. This part-time position will work directly with Wil Rainer, Field Programs Director, and as part of a team to restore native habitat in the Cahaba River watershed. Primary duties include removing invasive plant species from the Cahaba River and its tributaries, restoring streambank and riparian areas with native plants, and working to produce a “Best Practices Guide” for riverfront property owners. This guide will inform landowners on how to protect streamside forests and reduce storm water runoff, erosion, and streambank degradation, as well as provide strategies for invasive plant management. Through this work the intern will gain experience with and knowledge of field identification of Southeastern flora and fauna, project planning, partnership building, and river guiding. The intern may also assist on various programs and projects of CRS including but not limited to CLEAN Environmental Education, Indigenous History of the Cahaba River Watershed, invasive and native plant fact sheets, ArcGIS and large scale mapping, and vegetation monitoring and collection. Through collaboration, the intern will have the opportunity to meet and work with many public, private, and governmental organizations across Alabama.

The intern will work with CRS staff, board, partners, and volunteers. The successful intern will gain valuable insight into partnership building, project design, habitat restoration, volunteer coordination, and field safety. A successful project could create opportunity for continuation of the position through Fall 2023.

About the Cahaba River Society (CRS):  Founded in 1988, CRS leads our community to restore and protect the Cahaba River watershed and its rich diversity of life. The diverse lives depending on the Cahaba include the people of Birmingham and central Alabama as well as the River’s globally significant biodiversity of freshwater wildlife. The Cahaba, the heart of “America’s Amazon,” has more fish species per mile than any other river in North America and a similar rich diversity of other river life.  The Cahaba is a major source of the Birmingham area’s drinking water, and CRS’ service area – the “peopleshed” of those whose lives are affected by the River – is larger than the watershed, including Jefferson, Shelby, Bibb, Perry and Dallas County, stretching from Birmingham to the Black Belt.

Through collaboration, river restoration policy advocacy, and bringing people to the River for hands-on education, recreation, and volunteerism, we have been building community support and making a lasting positive impact for over 30 years. Learn more about the full range of our goals, partners, programs and successes at

Opportunities for Personal Advancement

  • Learn firsthand about the Cahaba River’s world class biodiversity
  • Gain trip guiding experience
  • Meet and network with government, civic and community leaders, educators, and conservationists
  • Direct projects and develop partnerships
  • Gain insight into the non-profit sector
  • Gain insight into conservation mentoring and career opportunities

Specific Duties and Responsibilities (training provided)

  • Assist stewardship field trips, including invasive plant management, streambank restoration and stabilization, seeding and planting native species, and river cleanups both from canoes and on foot along waterways. Many of these activities take place in remote locations. These locations are sometimes in “wilderness” settings.
  • Work with staff to produce a “Best Practices Guide” for riverfront property owners which will inform landowners on how best to protect streamside forests and reduce storm water runoff, erosion, streambank degradation, and present environmentally sensitive strategies for invasive plant management.
  • Keep accurate records of program participation, evaluation, and expenses.
  • Assist with equipment maintenance, including vehicle, trailer, paddling gear, stewardship tools, etc.
  • Assist with planning, coordinating and implementing restoration projects and clean-ups.


  • Ability to perform strenuous outdoor work
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and as a team member
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Suite
  • Must have own transportation
  • Physical capability of loading and unloading equipment, including canoes. Canoes are typically > or < 90lbs. They are unloaded and loaded to/from a trailer. Carrying and loading the boats is physically strenuous. The boats are often carried over uneven terrain, up and down river banks.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Familiarity with natural history and ecology of rivers
  • Experience and comfort in outdoor settings, including hands-on interactions with aquatic wildlife
  • Canoeing proficiency or other paddling experience
  • Familiarity with ArcGIS or other GIS mapping tools

Non Discrimination Policy

The Cahaba River Society is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment for any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, gender, gender identity or gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, age, religion (creed), disability, or military status.  We also will not discriminate in selection of volunteers and vendors or provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, contractors, vendors, and program partners.

How to Apply

Qualified applicants should send a resume and a cover letter to Wil Rainer ([email protected]). Please reference “Stewardship Intern.”