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Forest Ecology Internship

This internship has closed. To see open and upcoming opportunities, visit the internships page.

The Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is offering internship opportunities with forest and wildlife ecology projects based at the Smithsonian's Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia. Learning experiences will include: monitoring tree growth within the Forest Geo at SCBI; planting and maintenance of 10,000 tree seedlings to examine role of species richness in forest dynamics; and large mammal wildlife surveys using trip-cameras. In addition, the intern would assist staff in outreach and education events that convey conservation science to the general public. The intern will support staff activities associated with these ecology projects and play a significant role for the advancement of conservation science at SCBI.

Learning Objectives: 

Through this internship, interns will

  • Learn to apply methods for vegetation survey and mapping protocols.
  • Learn tree nursery techniques that support survival of Biodiversitree seedlings
  • Learn to identify plants and gain specific knowledge on woody plant species of the eastern U.S.
  • Learn to compile ecology data in standard formats.
  • Learn to review collected field data (data quality control)
  • Learn to coordinate with field team to execute assigned tasks
  • Learn to delegate tasks within field team, therefore reinforcing their leadership skills
  • Learn to discuss SCBI ecology projects and be able to present it to different audiences
  • Learn techniques of operating new equipment and procedures related to the projects
  • Learn to organize, in conjunction with supervisor, weekly activities to achieve primary goals.
  • Preference will be given to undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a career in a related field
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to engage within a team environment with staff and other interns and volunteers
  • Must enjoy being outdoors in all weather conditions
This is an unpaid internship. Special consideration will be given to applicants who receive college credit for internship. Intern is responsible for obtaining necessary approvals from their university. Intern will be responsible for all transportation costs and personal health insurance.
Front Royal
The intern will make his or her own housing arrangements in the Washington, D.C., area.
The Smithsonian's National Zoo does not provide free parking to interns.
Term of appointment: 

February 15 to July 1, but shorter appointments during this period will be considered depending upon number of qualified applicants. Interns must be available 40 hours a week.

Internship Category: 
How to Apply: 

To apply, go to: https://solaa.si.edu. Select "Don't have an Account? Create An Account." Complete the information to create an account.

Information that will be requested (in SOLAA) includes:

  • Basic personal information
  • Professional resume or CV
  • 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 (one must be from a current or a former supervisor)
  • Schedule of availability.

Once you create your account and provide the information above, you will see a screen where you select the type of appointment you are interested in. You will select:

  • Type of appointment: “Internship”
  • Unit of interest: “National Zoological Park”
  • Program: “National Zoological Park Internship Program”
  • Project: “Forest Ecology Internship”

IMPORTANT: Your application is considered complete when you hit “Submit.” Your SOLAA-submitted application with references must be received by the deadlines as noted above.