Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Science Writing Internship

The National Zoo seeks a science writing intern to assist the Office of Communications with the strategic communications plans for a variety of science programs and initiatives.

The Office of Communications handles all media requests for the Zoo, as well as proactive media outreach about the Zoo’s collection, exhibits and scientific research.

Interns will assist with:

  • Writing press releases, press kits, and photo releases about the Zoo’s science programs and initiatives, including disciplines such as biology, veterinary science, ecology, reproductive physiology, genetics, endocrinology, and general conservation biology, among others
  • Maintaining and expanding an up-to-date science media database for use by staff by initiating media contacts via mail, phone, email, or fax
  • Helping to coordinate (and write) blog posts for a number of major partner-based science initiatives and contribute to the use of the individual program’s social networking tools
  • Contributing feature stories to the Zoo’s Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute newsletter and science story ideas to Smithsonian Zoogoer magazine
  • Attending some science meetings to listen for potential science news and story ideas to pitch to science media
  • Reading upcoming and recently published scientific papers by Zoo staff to determine their news value
  • Helping to ensure the science sections on the website are up-to-date
  • Creating fact sheets, brochures, etc, as needed for the science projects and initiatives
  • Other administrative duties as needed

Desired Qualifications and Abilities

  • Major in public relations, journalism, communication, English, biology, or related field
  • Strong interest in science and conservation
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Strong organizational 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
  • Good research ability and command of the Internet
  • Public relations experience or abilities
  • Professionalism


This is an internship for credit only.

Term of Appointment

Days and times are flexible but a minimum of 24 hours per week is required.

To Submit Your Application

Interested students should send a resume and cover letter to the Office of Public Affairs.

Applicants will have to pass a Smithsonian background check before beginning work.