Redbacked salamander
Bring Back Bison

Let's bring bison back to our Zoo!

Internship in Amphibian Health and Conservation

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) is offering a new internship in amphibian health. The intern will assist in an ongoing study of Ranavirus infection in amphibians throughout Virginia, and the information gained from this research will help protect wild amphibian populations in this region

Activities and Learning Opportunities

  • Monitor signs of wood frog (Rana sylvatica) breeding at ponds throughout northern Virginia
  • Learn to identify signs of Ranavirus infection in amphibians
  • Collect and euthanize tadpoles for Ranavirus testing
  • Participate in amphibian-related outreach and education efforts

Required Qualifications

  • A strong desire to help sustain earth’s biodiversity
  • At least two years of completed undergraduate coursework
  • A strong work ethic and willingness to work long days in uncomfortable field conditions
  • Excellent communication skills

helpful Qualifications

  • Knowledge of local amphibians
  • Interest in disease ecology or animal physiology
  • Experience with sterile technique

Term of appointment

This is a 3-month internship starting March 1, 2014 and going through May 31, 2014

Minimum Number of Hours Per Week

Applicants may apply for this position as a full-time (40 hours per week) or part-time (20 hours per week) internship. However, housing is only available for a full-time intern.


This is an unpaid internship. We will give strong support of the applicant’s pursuit of college credit for experience gained during this internship.


Housing at SCBI in Front Royal, Virginia, is available for a full-time intern.


The internship is based at SCBI (Front Royal, VA) with frequent travel to field sites throughout northern Virginia.

Application Deadline

Review of applications will begin February 1, 2014. The application period is open until the internship is filled.

Application materials

  • Cover letter
  • Current resume or CV
  • Unofficial college/university transcripts
  • Contact information for two references

To Apply

  1. Go to: https://solaa.si.edu/solaa/SOLAAHome.html
  2. Select "New to SOLAA? Create Account Here"
  3. When you complete the information to create an account, you will see a screen where you select the type of appointment you are interested in. Select "Internship".
  4. Select the unit you are interested in, "National Zoological Park."
  5. Select the program you are interested in, "National Zoological Park Internship Program." Once you begin completing the application, you will indicate the Project (which is the same as the department) you are interested in, “SCBI – Amphibian Health-Ranavirus."
  6. Your application is considered complete when you hit “Submit” and when your references have been received (your SOLAA submitted application and references must be received by the deadlines as noted above).

Information that will be requested (in SOLAA) includes:

  • Basic personal information
  • Resume
  • College or university and current academic status (unofficial transcripts acceptable)
  • Degrees held or expected
  • An essay stating: Why you are interested in an internship at the National Zoo, including specifically the area selected (Amphibian Health) and any prior animal experience, and what you hope to get out of this internship (learning objectives)
  • Two letters of reference, submitted directly to SOLAA

For Additional Information

Contact supervisor: Kimberly Terrell, Ph.D., Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute