Job Type: Permanent
Salary Details: $50,400/year and USFWS transportation fellows who complete their assignment will be eligible for federal non-competitive hiring status for two years following the completion of the program.
Deadline: Aug 25, 2023

As an entry level transportation professional with the Public Lands Transportation Fellows (PLTF) program, you will work on real-world challenges and implement solutions that make a lasting impact in public lands. This program pairs transportation fellows with a National Wildlife Refuge where you will be provided a unique opportunity to gain a wide array of experiences and exposure to a range of projects such as improving transportation access, fostering community partnerships, and solving critical, unit specific transportation challenges. This job will empower you to follow your passion and incite innovation, while expanding your transportation expertise, exploring what is it like to work with leaders at multiple levels of a federal agency, building a network of transportation and public lands professionals, and participating in unique experiences only found at a National Wildlife Refuge (past examples include bird banding and leading public events). This 18 month position will be stationed at Ridgefield, Washington at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Ridgefield is located just north of Vancouver, Washington and 45 minutes from Portland, Oregon.

Job Description

As a fellow, you will be an employee of the Western Transportation Institute (WTI) at Montana State University (MSU) Bozeman. Through WTI, you will be provided with an orientation, professional development opportunities, the ability to attend conferences to build a professional network, and a transportation mentor to provide you with guidance. Through the Service, you will be provided with an onsite supervisor as well as a workspace and computer at Ridgefield NWR.

At the start of their assignment, fellows are provided with a detailed scope of work (SOW), including tasks, deliverables, and approximate work schedule to guide them throughout their assignment. This SOW includes the transportation priorities outlined by staff at the Ridgefield NWR complex. Within the first few months of their assignment, fellows will be able to work with staff to suggest updates to this SOW based on their expertise, passions, and exploration of the complex.

Some of the potential projects that the transportation fellow will provide support for during this assignment at the Ridgefield NWR Complex include:

  • Work to increase car-free options of access to the units
  • Work to increase mass transport options for the complex
  • Assist with plans and permits for wayfinding, interpretation, and amenities on the Army Corp levies
  • Plan and implement ideas for increased accessibility within the complex (e.g. not just traditional accessibility, but also sensory simulation sensitivities and others)
  • Project administration and coordination with contractors and stakeholders for bridge vehicular replacements
  • Conduct stakeholder outreach in the area
  • Opportunity to work with Tribal partners

Fellow Expectations

  • Commit to an eighteen (18) month fellowship term.
  • Report to duty at the Ridgefield NWR.
  • Attend an in-person orientation at Montana State University in Bozeman at the beginning of the fellowship (date TBD).
  • Complete a rotational assignment (at both the USFWS Headquarters Office and the regional office) for a total of two
  • Attend twice monthly transportation fellows’ group video conferences, twice monthly individual phone calls/video conferences with your WTI mentor, and USFWS Regional Transportation Coordinators (RTC) video conferences as needed.
  • Host a 1-3 day site visit for your mentor and provide them an agenda with an update on
  • Attend 1-2 conferences (TBD).
  • Present at a poster session during the Transportation Research Board (TRB) in Washington, D.C. (January 2024).
  • Complete a final report and a webinar that discusses the work completed during the
  • Travel for occasional business as needed as part of the

Skills and Qualifications

  1. Strong oral, writing, and graphic communication skills to interact with federal, state, and local agencies, interest groups, partners, Service regional staff, and Service field staff;
  2. Strong organizational skills;
  3. Ability to establish and maintain positive professional relationships with a variety of agencies and the public;
  4. Excellent working knowledge of GIS and mapping tools;
  5. Working knowledge of common spreadsheet and database tools;
  6. Knowledge of transportation planning and asset management principles and techniques;
  7. Ability to assess transportation needs, evaluate and identify priorities, and to modify or develop new approaches to solve transportation or access management challenges;
  8. Ability to assist with scoping projects to pilot and implement transportation management systems and programs, potentially working on multiple projects at once;
  9. Ability to assist with assembling grant applications with provided technical information;
  10. Familiarity with methods for assessing the sustainability and resiliency of transportation assets;
  11. Ability to take initiative and work independently, yet know when to ask for help and guidance;
  12. Ability to work in a small team and willingness to assist with some day-to-day tasks and
  13. Familiarity with marketing and social media; and
  14. General knowledge of the Service and NWR system and a genuine interest in supporting our collective transportation efforts related to our primary


All applicants must:

  • Be S. citizens, nationals, or lawful permanent resident aliens of the U.S.;
  • Be 30 years of age or under by the start date; and
  • Have at least a Bachelor’s

Financial Package

  • Assignment Period: Eighteen (18) months including two (2) months of rotational assignments.
  • Salary: $24.23/hour or $50,400/year
  • Benefits: Eligible for benefits through MSU ( onboarding/FY23%20Benefits%20Overview.pdf)
  • Relocation Expenses: Reimbursement of up to $750 for relocating to and from your home to assignment location, for a maximum total of up to $1,500. Travel costs from the assignment location to the rotational assignment locations will also be covered (see additional information under travel costs below).
  • Personal Transportation: Personal transportation (e.g., travel from your housing to unit, to grocery store, ) will be the financial responsibility of the transportation fellow.
  • Professional Development: up to $1000 is available for pre-approved, transportation fellow professional Note that this cannot be used for professional society membership.
  • Travel Costs: Costs for travel to orientation, relocation to rotational locations, conference travel, and occasional business travel will be reimbursed/covered by


  • Completed employment application (download here)
  • Resume
  • Candidate statement that addresses the following in 1000 words or less:
    • interest in the program and preferred assignment(s)
    • interest in contributing to the Federal Lands
    • ability to adapt to new situations and people
    • relevant experience / knowledge / skills – do not be afraid to include something that does not seem to be “transportation” related as these other skills and experiences are often what makes applicants stand out
  • Writing and/or graphics communication sample
    • Writing sample – the purpose of this submittal is to show us your technical writing skills.
    • Graphics communication sample – the purpose of this submittal is to show us your GIS skills, graphical skills, and/or marketing skills.
  • Letter of recommendation from a current or past supervisor, academic advisor, or other person who can attest to your knowledge, skills, and character.  (Letter can be sent directly to Jaime Sullivan at

For more information, a detailed position description with expectations, qualifications, requirements, financial package information and application requirements can be found at: and more detailed information on the Ridgefield position and duties can be downloaded here.