Hannah INHF intern at Quigley-Slattery Heritage Prairie

Loess Hills Land Stewardship

Help restore Iowa’s unique Loess Hills landform and other important natural areas while learning about ecology, land management and wildlife.

Job description

Loess Hills land stewardship interns work hard to maintain and restore native landscapes in western Iowa. Interns will conduct needed land management and restoration on remnant and reconstructed prairies, woodlands, oak savannas and other natural areas owned or protected by INHF. Interns will use a variety of hand tools and chainsaws to help accomplish restoration goals.

Students selected for INHF’s Loess Hills internship will learn from and work closely with private landowners, Iowa conservation organizations and other conservation professionals. Educational opportunities beyond day-to-day experiences will be provided, including participation in regional natural resources conferences. COVID-19 safety protocols may impact interns' ability to participate in some educational opportunities.

The internship will provide interns with vital skills and experience for a career in conservation or land management, as well as a greater appreciation for the importance of our natural areas.

Work examples

Much of the work will focus on prairie, oak savanna and woodland restoration with an emphasis on invasive species control. Control of species is by chainsaw, brush cutter, hand saw, digging, pulling and herbicide treatment. Removing Eastern red cedars from Loess Hills prairies, thinning oak woodlands of fire-intolerant tree species and pulling Sweet clover from remnant prairies are examples of some of the important restoration work that will be performed. Interns may also assist with fire break construction and prairie seed harvesting.

Safety is of the utmost importance to INHF and our land stewardship internship program. We will train interns to work in a safe and effective manner. Each intern will receive individual and group training in the areas of chainsaw/brush cutter operation, UTV operation, herbicide application, first aid, CPR and workplace harassment prevention.


This internship is physically demanding. Interns will work on varied terrains and outdoors in all kinds of weather conditions including heat, humidity and rain. Ideal candidates will be highly motivated and possess a positive attitude, eagerness to learn and desire to make our natural areas healthier.  Prior natural areas management and equipment operation experience is beneficial, but not required.

Driving to various work sites (predominately within a 13-county area, with an emphasis in Monona and Harrison counties) is required, so interns must have access to a working vehicle. Carpooling is encouraged, though COVID-19 safety protocols may limit carpooling at this time.

College students of any age, even freshmen, are eligible for this internship. Compatible majors to this internship include, but are not limited to: animal ecology, botany, biology, forestry, environmental studies or environmental science. 

Note: This internship does not supply lodging or meals, however limited camping will be offered.


Three full-time interns will be hired and work together as a crew. The internship begins May 24, 2021 and ends August 12, 2021. Interns will work a total of 11 weeks within that period. The work week will consist of 10 hour days, Monday through Thursday. Pay is $11/hour.

Application information

Thank you for your interest in the Loess Hills land stewardship internship. The application deadline for the 2021 internship has passed. Please check back at a later date to learn about future opportunities.