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  1. Illinois DNR
  2. Conservation
  3. Natural Heritage

Natural Heritage Graduate Student Residency Program Requirements and Qualifications

In order to be eligible to apply for a Natural Heritage Graduate Student Residency, an applicant must meet the following requirements:

  • Possess a Bachelor’s degree in fisheries, natural resource, forestry, wildlife management or equivalent
  • Be currently enrolled in a graduate degree program in plant or animal ecology, botany, forestry, wildlife biology, ecology, zoology or related environmental discipline.
  • Possess a valid Illinois Class D driver’s license (or other state’s equivalent)
  • Be able to obtain an Illinois Pesticide Applicator’s license for herbicide application
  • Submit a CMS-100 form (see “Application Process” )
  • Have written approval of their major advisor

 

In addition, a successful applicant must meet the following additional requirements by the first day of employment:

  • Reside within 30 miles of their field-based office (does not apply to Springfield-based positions)
  • Provide evidence of registration with the Federal Selective Service System (applies only to male candidates between the ages of 18-27).

 

Field-based positions and field work are physically demanding (e.g. crossing rough terrain with 40lb of equipment; hiking miles to locate rare plants) and occur in sometimes challenging conditions (e.g. heat and humidity, ticks and chiggers).  Biologists and Residents may work long days, weekends, and be away from home for up to a work week at a time.  Applicants must be able to successfully work in these situations.

Other desirable traits and skills:

  • Be proficient with MS Office suite, including Access; GPS and GIS conservation applications and software
  • Be able to work in or near poisonous plants and animals
  • Have a high tolerance for mosquitoes, ticks and chiggers
  • Be able to work in the field at some distance from a vehicle
  • Be able to work occasional weekends and early morning/late night shifts
  • Be able to work as part of a team and to find fulfillment in achieving group goals over personal goals
  • Be able to work with a variety of personality types and in professional social situations