Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Landscape Architecture Internship

The Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park, Office of Planning and Strategic Initiatives will be selecting interns for post-undergraduate internship opportunities.

The internship provides candidates an opportunity for immersion in the working environment of a planning and design office and will add a unique advantage to the intern's resume and future job search. You will also obtain a dynamic and ever-changing behind-the-scenes look at how the National Zoo operates and plans for its future development.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Research, writing, and design of guidelines and standards for the Zoo's central corridor.
  • Investigation and coordination of strategies to further the integration of green infrastructure into the Zoo's Master Plan.
  • Conducting site investigations and stormwater calculations to identify opportunity sites within the Zoo.
  • Developing concept level designs for new and ongoing projects.
  • Assisting department generally in a variety of master planning and project development efforts.


  • Graduate of accredited landscape architectural program with master’s level degree and/or three years of work experience in landscape architecture, architecture, urban design or planning.
  • Strong ability to work both independently and in a team environment.
  • Strong communication and public speaking skills.
  • Strong writing skills
  • Flexibility and a good sense of humor.
  • Proficiency in AutoCAD, Photoshop, InDesign and/or Illustrator required. Modeling capabilities are an asset but not required.
  • Fluent in reading and writing English.


This is an unpaid internship. College credit is offered if desired; intern is responsible for obtaining necessary approvals from their university. Intern will be responsible for all transportation costs and personal health insurance.


Rock Creek, Washington D.C.


The intern will make his or her own housing arrangements in the Washington, D.C. area.


The National Zoo and the Smithsonian Institution do not provide free parking to interns. There is limited parking at SCBI in Front Royal, Virginia.

Term of Appointment

There are three internship sessions throughout the year: spring, summer, and fall.  Interns will be expected to work a minimum of 20 hours a week for a minimum of 10 weeks.  Final work schedules will be negotiated.

Application Deadline

  • Spring session: January 15 to April 15. Applications must be submitted by November 15.
  • Summer session: May 15 to August 15. Applications must be submitted by March 3.
  • Fall session: September 15 to December 15. Applications must be submitted by July 1.

To Apply

To apply, go to: https://solaa.si.edu/solaa/SOLAAHome.html
Then select "New to SOLAA? Create Account Here"
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. You will select "Internship". Then you will select the unit you are interested in, "National Zoological Park." Then you will select the program you are interested in, "National Zoological Park Internship Program." Finally, once you begin completing the application, you will indicate the project (equivalent to department) you are interested in, “Rock Creek—Landscape Architecture."

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:

Application materials must include:

  • Basic personal information
  • Resume or CV summarizing education (including current academic status) and employment experience
  • A one-page statement of your interest in pursuing this position. The statement should mention relevant experience, career goals, your reasons for wanting this internship, and what you hope to gain from the experience. Your statement is very important during application evaluations.
  • Transcripts from your current and/or previous institutions. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.
  • Two letters of reference, including at least one academic reference
  • Schedule of availability
  • Portfolio work samples (PDF files of 10 MB max) should be emailed to Jennifer Daniels at danielsje@si.edu.

For Additional Information

Contact Internships Coordinator