Virginia Tech wildlife science major Jarrett Wansley of Richmond, Va., was selected for a competitive STEP (Student Temporary Employment Program) position with the Appalachian Mountain Joint Venture this summer. Wansley, a senior, will be traveling up and down the East Coast where his responsibilities will range from performing vegetation sampling and bird-point counts to removing invasive plants at project sites.
“This federal program is a paid internship and provides opportunities for students to receive some great experience in a field that is their professional interest,” said Todd Fearer, coordinator for the Appalachian Mountain Joint Venture.
Wansley will also work with Virginia Tech’s Conservation Management Institute on select projects to enhance his experience and bolster his knowledge. “The STEP program is a great opportunity for minority students to get an early career start with the Fish and Wildlife Service,” said Scott Klopfer, CMI executive director. “Our hope is that this will not only go well for Jarrett, but that it will open up similar opportunities for Virginia Tech students in the future.”
The position could also lead Wansley to the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP), which would give him support through graduate school and help him transition into a career with the government. “This is a tremendous opportunity to launch a career,” Klopfer said.
The original article was published in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment Newsletter.