The Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute offers exciting and unique internships that help participants reach a range of academic and professional goals.
Internships positions are available from a variety of groups at the Zoo including: veterinary medicine, Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ), research, and animal programs. Each internship may have a slightly different application process. Applications may be accepted on an ongoing basis or have a deadline, as noted below.
Friends of the National Zoo
YES! Teen Internship Program
The Youth Engagement through Science (YES!) internship is a program run by the National Museum of Natural History for youth from communities traditionally underrepresented in STEM. YES! is a career immersion and science communication program for youth ages 14-19, who are currently enrolled in high school (grades 9-11) in the Washington D.C. region.
This program gives interns practical experience through a hands-on science internship with Smithsonian science staff. Interns work in pairs on a project led by a Smithsonian science mentor at the National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo or another Smithsonian unit. By participating in the program, teens also have access to behind-the-scenes tours and field trips, workshops, college preparatory classes, and the opportunity to create their own science communication video.
Students partnered with a mentor at the Zoo learn about the many facets of working at a Zoo, from animal care to the conservation of species. During each week of the program, interns typically spend two days shadowing their Zoo mentor and learning a variety of skills, including:
- Exotic animal care and handling
- Animal training and enrichment
- Behavioral observation and data collection
- Exhibit design
- Natural history research on endangered species
- Public speaking about conservation issues
To learn more about the YES! Teen Internship Program and to find out how to apply, visit the National Museum of Natural History’s website.