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SCBI Avian Animal Keeper Aide Internship in Front Royal

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

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute provides the opportunity for interns to gain experience in the zookeeping field by participating in daily animal keeper activities, including animal husbandry, nutrition, enrichment and behavioral observation. SCBI's bird team, which cares for a variety of species, is seeking an applicant for consideration to serve as an intern for the 2018 summer session May - August. This is an unpaid internship opportunity with on-site government housing 

Learning Objectives: 
  • Assist animal keepers with feeding animals, cleaning enclosures, cleaning and caring for live feeder colonies (mice and insects), enclosure preparation and renovation, plant care, nest checks, chick care, health assessments, medical care and treatment, fecal collections, semen collection/assessment, egg incubation, record keeping and observation.
  • Learn how to develop and implement animal enrichment programs.
  • Learn and follow animal/keeper safety guidelines, operations and polices.
  • Assist keeper staff with behavioral observations of avian species to monitor breeding behavior and social interactions.
  • Learn USDA and Association of Zoos and Aquarium guidelines; Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute directives, procedures and protocols; and other related literature.
  • Present a short summary of the experience to SCBI Department of Animal Programs staff.
  • Preference will be given to undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a career in a related field
  • Must enjoy performing assigned duties outdoors in all weather conditions and be able to lift at least 50 pounds
  • Must be willing and able to report to internship outside of normal business hours, including weekends and holidays
  • Ability to be an effective team member, oftentimes with minimal supervision
  • Ability to follow written and verbal instructions
  • Ability to remain calm and think rationally under pressure
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Intern must have appropriate footwear. Appropriate outerwear is required for all the weather conditions: rain, snow, wind, hail, etc.
  • Previous experience within the animal care field
  • Interest in learning about avian management with aspirations to advance in the wildlife or zoo field
  • Experience with exotic or domestic avian species
  • A negative tuberculosis test prior to start date is required
This is a non-paid internship opportunity with on-site government housing
Front Royal
This is a non-paid internship opportunity with on-site government housing
Parking is available at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.
Term of appointment: 

This is a three month internship.

Application deadline(s): 
Thursday, March 15, 2018
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 evaluations.
  • Transcripts from your current and/or previous institutions. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.
  • Degrees held or expected
  • Contact information for two references

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: "SCBI – SCBI Avian Animal Keeper Aide Internship in Front Royal"

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