Ecological Designer

Hiring Organization: Natural Community Services, LLC
Employment type: Internship
Job Location: West Bloomfield, MI
Application Deadline: April 30, 2020

Ecological Designer

The position leads ecological and green infrastructure site assessment, design and installation as NCS lead designer, and working under principal ecologist.  NCS typically designs 30-40 projects in a typical season, with additional field implementation – so the candidate must also be capable of physical oversight of their designs.  Intensive client and staff communication responsibilities, and ability to self-schedule and update stakeholders with meeting times and deliverables is critical.

Job Duties & Responsibilities 

Duties for the Design Intern shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Bioswale, butterfly garden, wildlife habitat & other native landscape design
  • Physical and biological assessment for habitat restoration and landscape survey
  • Geospatial survey using GPS/GIS, laser level and transit
  • Construction document development
  • Green infrastructure (GI) & ecosystem construction leadership
  • Site visits and assessments, surveying
  • Assistance with project quality control and photo-documentation
  • Community/participatory design strategies
  • Provide excellent customer service to volunteers and community partners.
  • Water budgeting on GI and wetland project sites
  • Take soil borings and conduct analysis of soil at GI project sites.
  • Assist with participant survey administration, compiling and entering data
  • Provide ecological and biological survey of plant and animal communities
  • Lead and oversight of native landscape implementation and ecological restoration


Knowledge of plants native to southeast Michigan. Understanding of the hydrologic cycle. Ability to take soil borings and conduct a soil analysis using the Unified Soil Classification System (USCS) and perform stormwater and watershed surveys. Confidence with GIS; ability to measure site features quantitatively, and biological survey experience preferred.  Requires:

  • Graduate of landscape architecture or related design or ecological restoration program, or similar studies at the master’s level.
  • Confident, able user of Sketchup, AutoCAD, Google Earth Pro, Microsoft Office suite, Adobe, Google Docs
  • Prior experience designing and/or installing rain gardens, or strong enthusiasm and capacity to learn quickly
  • Prior experience surveying sites with laser level, GPS


Office work will include extended periods of time sitting while using a desktop computer. Some physical lifting as part of field survey, oversight, and project leadership may be required (up to 50 lbs.). Outdoor work may involve walking on slopes, debris-laden uneven ground, in wetlands and along lakes and rivers.  Must be willing to work a flexible schedule including some evenings and weekends; suggested  dates are noted in the box above. Must be a proactive team player with excellent communication skills, able to multi-task, prioritize and maintain attention to detail. This position requires excellent organizational and customer service skills. Ability to make mathematical calculations and draw  for site estimation.  Must have reliable transportation.

Position Stats:

  • Employment is part or full-time and 30-40 hours/ week
  • Pay is $21-25/hr., commensurate w/ experience
  • Start date and application is rolling - can be part-time in winter 2019-20 or 2020 full/part-time May 1

To Apply:

All interested parties are invited to submit 1) a resume, 2) three references, and 3) a statement indicating why you are interested in this internship. E-mail to:

For more information please click here

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