Category Archives: Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

Career Pathway Program Seeking Applicants

Applications are being accepted until May 28 for the Increasing Diversity in Environmental Careers (IDEC) program, a partnership between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Board of Water and Soil Resources. The successful applicants will form the third cohort for this innovative program.

The program, which launched in summer 2019, creates pathways to natural resources and environmental careers for underrepresented students — racial or ethnic minorities, women, or individuals with disabilities — who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in science, technology, engineering, or math.

“The most beneficial thing about the IDEC program is the safe space it provides to explore opportunities free of judgment, while also making friends,” said Tasha Kurtz, IDEC fellow and St. Cloud State University student. “It’s a way to meet and learn from a diverse group of people who are experiencing the same excitement and stress about entering the professional world.”

The program consists of three parts: a fellowship with a stipend; a mentorship to connect students with professionals in the field; and an internship to provide students with field experience before graduation.

After completing a first-year summer rotational internship, fellows can intern at the DNR, the MPCA or BWSR for their second and third summers.

Instructions on how to apply and register for information sessions can be found on the Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa website. Fifteen to 18 applicants will be selected for the third cohort and will start the program at the beginning of the fall 2021 academic term.

Applicants must be:

  • A full-time undergraduate student:
  • A high school senior who will be a college freshman in fall 2021 at a two- or four-year institution (not through PSEO); or
  • A first year college student at a two-year college in fall 2021; or
  • College sophomore or junior as of fall 2021.
  • An ethnic or racial minority, woman, or individual with a disability. (Definition of Disability defined by MN Statute 363A.03 Subd 12.)
  • Pursuing a STEM/Natural Resources degree. (Click here to see all accepted STEM majors)
  • Interested in working in a natural resources or environmental career after graduation.
  • Accepted to or enrolled in a two- or four-year, full-time program at an accredited Minnesota state, community, private or tribal college or university.
  • Willing to commit to the full IDEC program. (See program timeline)
  • Authorized to work in the United States.

The program is funded by the Minnesota Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund.

For opportunities in Wisconsin, visit the jobs page-– then click on the 2021 SWSDIP Catalog link.  Interested students need to apply via 

Virtual Aldo Leopold Celebration – March 5

Celebrate Aldo Leopold Day with author and naturalist J. Drew Lanham as he presents “Coloring the Conservation Conversation” as part of the Viterbo University D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership’s Spring Lecture Series at 7 p.m. Friday, March 5 on Facebook Live: Lanham is the author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a… Continue Reading

Summer Jobs on the Refuge

Seasonal Biological Science Technician position This job description and pay level are typically filled by an employee who has a four-year degree in wildlife or other natural resources field. Note that these positions close on Thursday, December 17. The positions we typically advertise for students who are still in college will be coming out at… Continue Reading

Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Recognizes Volunteers

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife & Fish Refuge (Refuge) Winona offices recently recognized Beverly Spande of Winona, MN as the 2020 Volunteer of the Year. Bev has contributed hundreds of hours since she started volunteering for the Refuge in 1996. She is a mainstay of the annual Youth Ice Fishing event and fishing and… Continue Reading

Aghaming Park Management Plan Available for Public Review

The City of Winona, Minnesota (City) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Refuge) entered into a 25 year Lease Agreement to manage the lands and waters of Aghaming Park in March 2018. Under this agreement, the City maintains ownership of 1,139 acres of lands donated to… Continue Reading

Availability of Trapping Permits for the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

The Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Refuge) announced that Refuge special use permits and trap tags for the 2020-2021 furbearer trapping season will be issued by mail. Trappers who received trap tags and returned their fur catch report for the 2019-2020 season will receive instructions for obtaining their permit and tags at… Continue Reading

Fall on the Refuge Photo Contest – Call for Entries

The Friends of the Refuge Headwaters are encouraging all amateur photographers to get outside this fall and capture the beauty of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Refuge) for a Fall Photo Contest. Photos in the following categories will be accepted until December 4, 2020: Scenic Views of the Refuge, Wildlife and… Continue Reading

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