Employment Pathways in the Watershed Academy !

River Source offers resources for seeking, finding and securing work in water, wildlife, renewable energy, land management and outdoor recreation.  

2024 Job Announcement for five summer Watershed Academy Crews in Las Vegas/Mora, Pecos, Santa Fe, El Rito and Peñasco – click here for more info

The 2024 course work for the Watershed Academy now is being shared here on Learn.Riversource.net (https://learn.riversource.net/courses/watershed-academyjob-pathways-for-water-and-climate-resilience/)

2023 Watershed Academy Learning and Outcomes!

We are grateful to many financial supporters for the 2023 Watershed Academy including Los Alamos National Labs, Triad National Security, the McCune Foundation, the US Forest Service, and all our amazing partners including acequia parciantes, Trampas Forest Council, Forest Stewards Guild, Worcester Polytechnic, Hermits Peak Watershed Alliance, NM Acequia Association, NM Forest and Watershed Restoration Institute and Conservation Science Center at NM Highlands University and Luna Community College just to mention a few.  

Thanks to the New Mexico YCC for their support in particular covering the cost of intern stipends and for other direct costs !


2020 Watershed Academy Interns

Six summer interns graduated as the first class of watershed superheroes in a 2 – week intensive experience.  Check out the video of the graduation ceremony where students present their findings and experiences.


2019 Summer Interns Natasha Sanchez and Gaby Rael

Gaby Rael and Natasha Sanchez created incredible projects while working with us in 2019.  Gaby Rael, from Santa Fe, completed a monumental data migration project moving decades of river ecology data from an older website to a new data management service.  She also created We kept her on as staff for several months until her busy schedule made it difficult to continue working with us.  We are planning in keeping in contact with her as she plans to finish high school at the end of 2020. Read her story about Gaby’s internship experience by clicking here. 

Natasha Sanchez, from Santo Domingo Pueblo, started as a volunteer, got good experience as an intern and left as a staff person to college at New Mexico State University.  She created an incredibly powerful documentary of the 40th anniversary of the uranium spill at Red Rock Water Pond on Dine land, provided valuable help on doing ecological monitoring field work, and helped plant hundreds of trees and supervise about 60 tribal youth doing the same on Cochiti Pueblo along the Santa Fe River.   We see her as a rising star in the wildlife and natural resources field and, like several of our past female interns, will likely find professional work in the field. Read her story about Natasha’s internship experience by clicking here. 

2018 Internship at Cochiti Pueblo and in Questa, New Mexico

In the summer of 2018, we employed three interns: Anthony Herrera, with the Cochiti Pueblo Natural Resources Internship, and Angelica Lovato and Dominic Torres, with the Forest Service Secure Rural Schools Project, working in Questa, New Mexico. These interns spent field days with River Source staff, assessing the health of their land and water using rugged field techniques and cutting-edge technology like drone imagery. Click on each of their names to read – in their own words – all about their summer experiences!

Thanks to the Cochiti Dept. of Natural Resources staff, Santa Fe Community Foundation, McCune Charitable Foundation, and critical funding from foundations to cover staff cost, we worked this summer with our fantastic intern Anthony Hererra. Anthony worked to install instream rock structures,  collecting water quality data at Haashuk Cheena (Santa Fe River), mentoring youth in fishing and water quality testing, and more. With River Source staff, Anthony learned to fly a drone to aerially analyze canopy cover and stream conditions! He worked directly with the Cochiti Pueblo Department of Natural Resources on a number of wildlife tracking and natural resources management projects. Read all about his experiences in his blog post here!

2017 Projects with Interns at Cochiti Pueblo

Thanks to the Cochiti Dept. of Natural Resources staff, US Fish & Wildlife Native Internship program and critical funding from foundations to cover staff cost, we got to work with 8 interns on a variety of job skills by doing the work with the interns.  We guided work in fish habitat improvements with construction of instream rock structures, implemented a stream temperature study, and removed non-native plants in a long-term effort to restore trout habitat on the Santa Fe River.  We also assisted with monitoring non-native plants, assessing drinking water quality and dozens of water sources, and coached interns in public outreach to tribal members — we were really impressed to see the interns step up from their initially shy feelings about speaking in public to make effective presentations to elders.

Please check out the blog writing of two of the interns we worked with, Elena Gonzales from Santa Cruz, NM, and Destiny Montoya of Cochiti and Kewa.  We look forward to seeing these interns continue to learn and grow as they go back to school this year and offering them on-going support with coaching on job and school applications including the possibility of providing personal references.


2015 & 2016 Summer Mentorship with San Felipe Pueblo

We are honored to work with San Felipe Pueblo’s Department of Natural Resources with seven interns on land that was recently returned to the Pueblo in the San Francisco Creek watershed.  The interns provided crucial work doing water quality measurements, estimating the discharge from floods, removing non-native plants, improving trails and doing erosion control.  River Source takes the Pueblo’s requirement of confidentiality very seriously which keeps us from sharing very much information about the experiences from the work

2014 Mentorship with Cochiti Pueblo

We are honored to work with Victoria Atencio and Tyler Quintana doing geomorphological studies of key fluvial features of several flood plains including the lower Santa Fe, Cochiti Canyon and Peralta Canyon and helping with many other important tasks…. great stuff with awesome interns Victoria Atencio and Tyler Quintana.

Click here to read Victoria’s first blog entry

Click here to read Tyler’s first blog.  :)

2013 Mentorship with Cochiti Pueblo

In 2013 we worked closely with Cochiti Pueblo and Kai-t Bluesky of the Department of Natural Resources to help them undertake several projects including a focus on cultural and ecological restoration of the Santa Fe River.  We were honored to work with Arielle Quintana, Cameron Quintana, and Tamarah Padilla-Martinez on pole planting native trees, maintaining a tribal fish hatchery, monitoring water quality, spreading native seed (from Miguel Santistevan), mapping an illegal dump and assessing erosion in Peralta Canyon.  Arielle has since declared her college major as Restoration Ecology due in part to the impact of the internship.  She wrote in her blog entry that the internship, “has opened my eyes to a very vast and complicated field, but it is a field that I know I want to be a part of thanks to this internship.”

 2012 Mentorship with Santa Clara Pueblo

We started a mentorship program in 2012 with 2 youth working in partnership with Santa Clara Pueblo Department of Forestry.  This was an honor to work with Jenyce Baca and Nathaniel Naranjo to build their capacity to make a livelihood in watershed science and ecological restoration.  Nathaniel went on to be a park ranger for Abibuqiu Lake and Jenyce has gone on to college at the University of New Mexico.


Our work included building over 80 1-rock dams to harvest water and reduce extreme flooding in the area impacted by the Las Conchas fire.  We also did  monitoring of riparian areas and benthic macroinvertebrates and mapping and removing noxious weeds.

In the coming year we hope to continue this project if we successfully raise funding.  Our current plan is to work in partnership with Cochiti Pueblo on restoration work on the lower Santa Fe River.  Please come back to this page for more information in the coming months!

Check out the website at Green Jobs NM which has listing of internships and jobs in water, land management, solar industry, and much more.   We also have work directly with students by organizing Green Job fairs, trainings in writing resumes and cover letters to secure a job, mock interviews, making elevator pitches, and coaching in workplace practices and ethics.

updated January 29, 2013