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Wood Turtle Ecology Internship

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

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute provides the opportunity for one intern to gain experience with the study of ecology and conservation of a threatened, native Virginia turtle species. Interns will assist with ongoing research that aims to study wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) movement across the landscape. This research is investigating how often wood turtles make large-scale movements across the landscape, the approximate distances of such movements and the types of corridors such movements are inclined to follow. To this end, SCBI scientists are collecting novel data through the use of GPS telemetry units, which provide a level of accuracy and precision not possible before the use of this technology. By conducting this research, they hope to refocus wood turtle conservation and management efforts at a larger, landscape-level scale. Interns will primarily assist with wood turtle radio-telemetry and aquatic visual encounter surveys for turtles.

Learning Objectives: 

This is a paid internship opportunity wherein the intern will support the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.  Through this internship, interns will:

  • Learn technical field skills by assisting with wood turtle radio-telemetry
  • Assist with field work, including detailed and accurate data collection for riparian surveys and wood turtle population surveys
  • Learn data management skills and how to input data from recent surveys and manage large spreadsheets
  • Develop technical skills and provide assistance using programs such as ArcGIS and Excel
  • Create a required, brief report at the conclusion of their tenure

Knowledge and field experience with ecology and conservation issues is required, as well as the ability to devote long hours in cold and wet conditions in remote field settings. Applicants with radio-telemetry experience are especially encouraged to apply.  Intern should take directions easily and work well with others, yet have the ability to work independently. An eagerness and ability to manage and implement large amounts of data through ArcGIS and Excel is required.  Applicants should have plans for continued education or a career in ecology or conservation.

This internship has a stipend of $700 to $1,000 per month (dependent on education level, coursework and skills).
Front Royal
Housing is provided at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.
Parking is available at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.
Term of appointment: 

This internship is closed.

Internship Category: 
Animal Programs
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.
  • 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: “Wood Turtle Ecology”

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.