Dedicated to promoting stewardship and responsible use of aquatic resources, fisheries and habitats.

News and announcements

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  • April 26, 2021 9:13 AM | Anonymous

    As painful as it is, we cancelled the AREA Conference for 2021 and are in the planning for 2022. 

  • April 26, 2021 9:04 AM | Anonymous

    Image depicting spotlightCareer Spotlight


    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service employs Fish Biologists (series: 482), Wildlife Biologist (series: 486), Wildlife Refuge Specialists/ Managers (series: 485), General Biologists (series: 401), and more. Our biologists: 

    • Plan and execute wildlife surveys to determine population trends, patterns in reproductive success, timing of nesting events, and other demographic parameters of a suite of indicator species. 

    • Review comprehensive hatchery and fishery management plans and develop programs that affect biological resources including, but not limited to: fish culture, hatchery quality control, fishery management assistance, sampling for exotic species, assessing fish populations, and recommending habitat restoration/management. 

    • Participate in the development of Comprehensive Conservation Plans, Habitat Management Plans, Land Acquisition and Protection Plans, and other similar actions. 

    • Research potential impacts of proposed Federal program or project operational data to determine the effects of those programs or actions on threatened and endangered species and prepares draft biological opinions as required under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) Amendments for the supervisor's review and/or discussion. 

    • Review and/or prepare biological portions of environment assessment/impact statements or comprehensive resource planning reports to evaluate environmental consequences of proposed actions on Federal fish and wildlife resources of concern. 

    Click here to watch this video about a Pilot Biologist working to study and protect migratory birds. 

  • April 26, 2021 9:02 AM | Anonymous
    Vacancy graphic

    Career & Internship Vacancies

    To view and apply for FWS positions, please click here: FWS Vacancy Announcements.

    Summer intern talking with children

    For more information about FWS careers and available internship opportunities, please visit our FWS Recruitment Opportunities page. You can also explore and learn more about the careers we have at FWS and others within the Department of the Interior by clicking here.

  • January 18, 2021 8:57 AM | Anonymous

    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Career Announcement Header Image

    Career & Internship Vacancies
    To view and apply for FWS positions, please click here: FWS Vacancy Announcements. If you have a question about a specific position vacancy, please contact the Human Resources point of contact listed at the bottom of the announcement.

    For more information about FWS careers and available internship opportunities, please visit our FWS Recruitment Opportunities page. You can also explore and learn more about the careers we have at FWS and others within the Department of the Interior by clicking here.

    Wage Grade Positions

    Maintenance Mechanics (series: 4749), Engineering Equipment Operators (series: 5716), Tractor Operators (series: 5705), Laborers (series: 3502), and Small Craft Operators (series: 5786) make up a significant portion of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service workforce. These positions are Federal blue collar employees who are paid by the hour, although can still be permanent, full-time employees and are classified under the Federal Wage System or Wage Grade. These positions are not classified on the General Schedule (GS) scale on USAJobs, but instead on the Wage Grade (WG) scale. Under this uniform pay system, your pay will be the same as the pay of other Federal jobs like yours in your wage area, and your pay will be in line with pay for private sector jobs like yours in your wage area.  

    In the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, these positions work at National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries and generally have a diversity of duties like the ones below. 

    • Extensive maintenance and alterations for facilities, vehicles, equipment, and infrastructure. You will be conducting manipulations on a variety of habitat types, using agriculture and construction equipment. 
    • Perform a variety of automotive, pump, chiller/heater, generator and equipment maintenance and repairs. Determine the nature and extent of repairs required, cleans, replaces, or makes adjustment to such parts as fuel, electrical, brakes, steering, regulators, water/fuel pumps, carburetors, cooling systems and attachments to equipment. Perform minor tune-ups; replace mufflers, gaskets, shocks, bearings, and oil seals, etc. 
    • Use farm-type tractors and towed or attached equipment as appropriate to maintain grounds, road medians and trails 
    • Install, maintain, troubleshoot, or repair sewage or drainage systems 
    • Operate powered (walking type) lawn mowers, digs fence posts holes with hand or powered post hole diggers; clear trees and brush from fence construction areas using an axe, brush hook, hatchet, handsaw, or similar hand tool; washes and waxes cars and trucks by hand or using power buffer. 

    To view wage schedules for Wage Grade employees, visit this site.

  • January 13, 2021 7:37 AM | Anonymous

    Thinking Spring Yet? AFWA has some Responsible Recreation signs available

    Thinking Spring Yet? AFWA has some Responsible Recreation signs available for state fish and wildlife agency partners to promote responsible recreation as hunters, target shooters and other outdoor recreationists head outdoors for spring activities. 

  • January 13, 2021 7:36 AM | Anonymous

    RBFF is soliciting State agency proposals by Friday, 1/15 for the 2021 State R3 Program Grants to help fund state programs that are sustainable and replicable and have a focus on retaining anglers and boaters and foster long-term participation.

    A reminder that RBFF is requesting proposals from state agencies that implement angler and/or boater customer engagement strategies to help retain current, new and returning anglers and boaters from 2020 to increase participation. Please note the RFP includes opportunities for alternative later program timeframes. Please review the 2021 State R3 Program Grants RFP and Application for full details. (

    Proposals are due to Stephanie Hussey, State R3 Program Director, at by January 15, 2021. Please email or call Stephanie at 703-778-5152 with any questions.

  • December 02, 2020 9:51 AM | Anonymous
    U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Special! Career Announcement Header graphic

    Directorate Fellows Program (DFP)

    The application period for the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) 2021 Directorate Fellows Program (DFP) announcement is now open! Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. The application period may close before the January 15, 2021 deadline if a sufficient number of eligible applications are received. Applicants are highly encouraged to apply early to ensure consideration.

    What is the Directorate Fellows Program (DFP)?

    DFP is a Direct Hire Authority program that includes an 11-week fellowship project for current students at the rising senior undergraduate or graduate school level.  The 11-week fellowships begin in mid-May or mid-June 2021 and end in August/September 2021.  Upon successful completion of the Fellowship program, including degree conferral, participants may be directly appointed without competition to full time, permanent positions.  Most projects are a good fit for students with majors in biological sciences and natural resources. There are a limited number of projects that could be a good fit for other degree majors.

    DFP teaching studentsBenefits:

    • Living allowance– paid bi-weekly
    • Relocation allowance
    • Hands-on experience
    • Housing provided in select locations
    • 1-week orientation at the FWS National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, WV
    • Fellows may be eligible for a permanent position in the FWS after successfully completing their fellowship and degree


    DFP Eligibility Requirements:

    • Student must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a rising senior or senior in undergraduate program or a graduate degree program, and will not complete their degree requirements prior to the completion of the 2021 DFP 11-week fellowship ending in August/September 2021
    • Cumulative GPA must be 3.0 or higher
    • US citizen or permanent resident
    • Demonstrated interest, education, and/or experience in conservation
    • Must be available for 12 weeks (1-week orientation plus 11-week fellowship)
    • Must be able to pass a criminal background check
    • DFP preparing for fish surveyMust be 17 years of age or older
    • Males born after December 31, 1959, and are at least 18 years of age, must register with the Selective Service System, unless they meet certain exemptions

    DFP Spotlight

    Assisting with Easement Compliance: Madison Fladeland

    DFP Madison Fladeland in the fieldMy project involved creating a monitoring tool for law enforcement and managers to use out in the field, which enables them to digitally track non-compliant easements. This tool can be used on land or in the air, and you can map the violation out in the field and fill out all the necessary information and then sync the data. You can then access this information on your tablet, computer or phone. This allows officers to view the violations currently going on in the state and see if the case is open/closed in real time.

    What I really enjoyed about being a DFP was having the chance to explore many of the different career paths available in the FWS.  Everyone in the Madison Wetland Management District made me feel welcome and allowed me to participate in activities outside my project that I had an interest in. 


    How to Apply:

    FWS is collaborating with the American Conservation Experience (ACE), the Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF), and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) nonprofit organizations this year to assist with the recruitment and administration of over 117 Fellowship opportunities nationwide.  Each partner organization is administering a specific number of projects based on geographic location. Applying with multiple partners ensures you will have access to view and apply for all projects of interest to you when they are released.

    There is a 2-step application process: 

    Step 1.  Students shall apply to qualify for the program requirements via our partner sites below. At minimum, you must have at least a 3.0 GPA, be a current undergraduate rising senior, senior, or graduate student and complete your degree's graduation requirements after the 11-week fellowship (i.e. after September 22, 2021).  

    • CLICK HERE to apply for DFP and for future access to projects administered by American Conservation Experience (ACE)
    • CLICK HERE to apply for DFP and for future access to projects administered by Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF).  
    • CLICK HERE to apply for DFP and for future access to projects administered by Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF). Applying with TMCF is only available to students who attend a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). 

    NOTE:   Students are strongly encouraged to apply at both HAF and ACE; and TMCF (if attending an HBCU).  Applying with multiple partners will ensure you are be able to view all project opportunities when they become available.  

    Step 2.   After a student qualifies for the Program with each partner, when the specific project descriptions are posted, eligible candidates will be notified to log back into their application and select the specific projects and locations for which they wish to be considered. Project descriptions will be posted by the end of December. 

    TIP:  When projects are posted, students are encouraged to apply for as many projects in which they are interested.  We encourage a minimum of five (5) to improve your opportunity for consideration and selection for one of these highly competitive fellowships.

    Students should contact the DFP point of contact listed at each partner's webpage to address questions about the DFP program and the application process. .

    For general questions, contact

  • December 02, 2020 5:13 AM | Anonymous

    Steve is retiring from Florida Fish and Wildlife at the end of December. Join us in wishing Steve a happy, healthy, life-rich retirement!

  • November 15, 2020 6:49 AM | Anonymous

    Co-Owner of Puerto Rican Online Aquarium Business Pleads Guilty to Two Lacey Act Felonies and Export Smuggling for Illicit Trafficking of Protected Reef Creatures

    11/09/2020 12:00 AM EST

    A resident of San Sebastian, Puerto Rico, pleaded guilty today to export smuggling and two felony violations of the Lacey Act for collecting, purchasing, falsely labeling, and shipping protected marine invertebrate species as part of an effort to subvert Puerto Rican law designed to protect corals and other reef species, the Department of Justice announced.
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Our organization leads the discussions for aquatic leaders. AREA is organized for educational purposes. AREA members include representatives of State, Federal, industry, fisheries and educational professionals involved in aquatic resource education programs. The nationwide non-profit Association is created to foster, promote and encourage aquatic education.

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Look at the Regional listing for your AREA Regional Representative.

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For member assistance, contact Member Support,  Carol Paterick, Phone: 301-805-0784,

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