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Reptile Discovery Center Crocodile Behavior Internship

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

The Reptile Discovery Center (RDC) at the Smithsonian's National Zoo is seeking an animal behavior intern for the winter (Dec. through March). The RDC is seeking an intern to help observe, record and analyze crocodilian behavior. This position requires a bachelor’s degree in the biological sciences, good observation and communication skills and a minimum of 15 hours per week. Candidate must be able to work 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., five days a week minimum.

Learning Objectives: 

This is an unpaid internship opportunity wherein the intern will support the Department of Animal Programs -- Reptile Discovery Center.

Through this internship, interns will

  • Learn to observe, record and analyze animal behavior alongside professional animal care staff.

  • Learn informal interpretive educational programs for visitors.

  • Learn and follow all safety protocols and policies of the unit.

  • Learn USDA and AZA guidelines, NZP directives, procedures and protocols, and more.

  • Gain knowledge to pursue publications of their project results at the end of their internship.


Strong preference will be given to graduate students or recent graduates pursuing a career in a related field. Ability to work both independently and in a team environment with staff and volunteers is required. Intern should have strong communication and public speaking skills, as well as flexibility and a good sense of humor. The ability to stand, stoop, climb and lift up to 50 pounds is required. Intern must have a current negative TB test and be available to assist a regular schedule, including weekends and holidays.

This is an unpaid internship. Special consideration will be given to applicants who receive college credit. Intern is responsible for obtaining necessary approvals from their university. Intern will be responsible for all transportation costs and personal health insurance.
Washington DC
The intern will make his or her own housing arrangements in the Washington, D.C., area.
The Smithsonian's National Zoo and the Smithsonian Institution do not provide free parking to interns.
Term of appointment: 

A three-and-a-half month internship is available for the summer -- June 15 through Sept. 15, 2017. Interns should be able to devote 15 hours per week minimum. Reasonable exceptions may be made in order to coordinate with university or work schedules.

Application deadline(s): 
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Internship Category: 
Animal Programs
How to Apply: 

To apply, go to: 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 evaluation.
  • Names of two references
  • 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: “Rock Creek - Reptile Discovery Center Crocodile Behavior 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.