Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Communications/Smithsonian Zoogoer Editorial Internship

The Communications Office of Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) invites applicants for editorial internships with Smithsonian Zoogoer magazine, a 40-page, four-color magazine that focuses on natural history and wildlife conservation.

In addition, the office produces various other publications, conducts public relations for FONZ, and manages the Zoo/FONZ website.

The internship provides excellent experience, and previous interns have found their published clips useful in securing permanent jobs.

Duties and Responsibilities

Interns focus on the editorial aspects of Smithsonian Zoogoer magazine, but are expected to participate in all aspects of the office's work, including:

  • Writing magazine departments
  • Conducting text research and verifying accuracy of magazine copy
  • Writing content for the website and maintaining web pages
  • Assisting with public relations, correspondence, and general office tasks as they arise

Desired Qualifications and Abilities

  • Student or recent graduate with major in science writing, journalism, English, biology, or related fields
  • Excellent writing skills and the ability to adapt to Smithsonian Zoogoer's style
  • Strong research skills
  • Willingness to take initiative and motivation to seek new learning opportunities
  • Keen attention to detail when proofreading, copyediting, and fact-checking
  • Flexibility and a good sense of humor
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Desktop publishing, HTML, and related computer skills
  • Public relations experience or abilities
  • Professionalism


National Zoo, Washington, D.C.


This is an unpaid position, and no stipend is offered. FONZ does not pay transportation or housing costs. However, we can work with your school if you are interested in pursuing course credit through this internship.

Dates, Hours, and Deadlines

The intern is required to work 30 to 40 hours per week for about 12 weeks; starting and ending dates are flexible.

  • The summer internship begins in May. The deadline to submit an application is February 15.
  • The fall internship begins in September, and the deadline to submit an application is June 15.
  • The spring internship begins in January. The deadline to submit an application is October 15.

To Apply

Print and send an application form, along with:

  • A cover letter,
  • A resume,
  • Two recent nonfiction writing samples that demonstrate your ability to write for a broad audience,
  • Names and contact details of two references.

For Additional Information

Contact FONZ Internships Coordinator