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Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center Conservation Education Internship

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

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute provides the opportunity for interns to gain experience with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center by assisting with a cross-cultural, conservation education program called Bridging the Americas/Unidos por las Aves.

This program partners elementary school classes in the United States (primarily in the Washington, D.C. area) with classes in Latin America. Students in the partnered classes learn about the migratory birds that connect their communities, the need to protect the far-flung habitats these birds depend on, and about each other’s country and culture. Participating teachers are provided with the tools and support needed to use long-distance migratory birds as an engaging theme for cross-curricular teaching.

Through projects and regular interactions with SMBC science and education staff, interns will learn about the biology, ecology and conservation of long-distance migratory birds, and about both formal and informal education in a cross-cultural context.

Learning Objectives: 

This is an unpaid internship opportunity wherein the intern will support the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. There are multiple projects available for interns to work on, and the particular project(s) an intern assists with will be determined based on the individual’s interests, goals and skill set.

Through this internship, interns will learn to do one or more of the following:

  • Craft, evaluate, translate and/or adapt educational materials, outreach presentations and demonstrations, and web-based tools for teachers and students in the U.S. and Latin America
  • Facilitate communications between partnered classes in the U.S. and Latin America
  • Plan workshops and other professional development opportunities for teachers
  • Plan and/or deliver presentations to participating classes
  • Enter and analyze pre- and post-survey data to evaluate what students are learning
  • Organize outreach and fundraising events
  • Prepare a final report on their activities, including a description of how this internship has influenced their thinking regarding their future career and educational goals

Interns are encouraged to take advantage of scheduled talks and seminars at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute as part of their internship experience.

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite
  • Demonstrated written and oral communication skills (based on required cover letter and essay, as well as phone or in-person interview)
  • Able to pass all of the Smithsonian-based background checks needed for volunteer staff
  • At least three years of relevant undergraduate coursework

Preference will be given to candidates who are able to speak and write well in both Spanish and English, have prior knowledge of birds and relevant conservation issues, and/or have a familiarity with one or more Latin American cultures. Latino candidates are encouraged to apply.

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.
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: 

Interns should be able to devote a minimum of 30 hours per week (between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.) for a period of at least three weeks between January and February 2020.

Application deadline(s): 
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Internship Category: 
Other Offices
How to Apply: 

To apply, go to: Select "New to SOLAA? Create Account Here" and 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.
  • 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: Migratory Bird Center
  • Project: Rock Creek - Bridging the Americas/Unidos por las Aves

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.

For additional information, email Mary Deinlein at