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Conservation Science Intern - Center for Conservation Innovation

Conservation Science Intern – Spring 2021

Defenders of Wildlife, a national, nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities, seeks a Conservation Science Intern to work in its Center for Conservation Innovation (CCI). Launched in 2017, CCI works at the intersection of science, technology, and policy to develop creative, practical solutions to improve wildlife conservation. The Conservation Science Intern will directly contribute to one of CCI’s core objectives of providing science support to staff across Defenders’ departments, including Field Conservation, Landscape Conservation, Conservation Law, Government Relations and External Affairs, Communications, and Marketing.

The Conservation Science Internship is an opportunity for an advanced college, graduate, or post-graduate student to work with CCI and other Defenders staff at the interface of science, technology, and national conservation policy. The Conservation Science Intern will assist CCI staff with scientific tasks and projects, such as those related to the management and recovery of threatened and endangered wildlife species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Skill development will vary with the specific projects underway at the time of the internship, but the intern will generally acquire a deep understanding of how the ESA and wildlife management and conservation more broadly is implemented in practice, along with refining skills in scientific design, statistical analysis, scientific writing and communication, and data visualization. Example topics include management methods for reducing human-wildlife conflict, wildlife-friendly renewable energy such as wind and solar, species critical habitat features, species sensitivity to climate change, and the threats and status of ESA-listed species.

This internship position is for the spring of 2021, from February 1 through May (end date flexible). Applications are due by Sunday, November 29 at 11:59 PM EST. We generally accept new applications for the Conservation Science Intern position for the fall (deadline in early July; start in early September), spring (deadline in early December; start in early February) and summer (deadline in early March; start in early June) terms, with each term lasting 3-4 months.
Assist Defenders’ Center for Conservation Innovation staff in developing and implementing various projects to evaluate conservation policy and practice by:
  • Identifying best available information on species of concern;
  • Conducting scientific literature reviews;
  • Critically assessing scientific studies;
  • Collecting, organizing, and analyzing datasets, large and small;
  • Writing reports and scientific articles;
  • Contributing to the content and design of data-based web applications and tools;
  • Attending science talks, and meetings; and/or
  • Carrying out other science-related tasks as needed.

Interns must be self-starters driven by the opportunity to help transform wildlife conservation using science and technology while learning new skills. Interns should have a passion for wildlife conservation, strong research and analytical skills, a proven ability to work with people from a variety of backgrounds, and excellent written and verbal communication skills.
Preferred qualifications:
·        Experience reading, synthesizing and/or writing scientific papers;
·        Experience conducting scientific literature reviews and using a PDF organization software like Mendeley;
·        Experience collecting, managing, and analyzing research data;
·        Basic familiarity with the ESA process and associated regulatory documents;
·        Basic knowledge of R for data management, statistical analysis, and visualization;
·        General understanding of animal and plant biology, particularly for North American species; and
·        Background in environmental science, wildlife management, natural resources, or a related field.

We welcome candidates who would work either remotely (during the business hours of a USA time zone) or be based at Defenders’ Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Unpaid. If the candidate is based at our Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and commuting to the office, local transportation costs up to $10 per day will be reimbursed. Students are encouraged to seek funding opportunities through their schools or outside sources.

Please submit as a single PDF a cover letter (letter of interest), resume, and a list of contact information (email, phone) for up to 3 professional references. In the cover letter, be sure to address:
-         your interest in working with Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Conservation Innovation specifically;
-         how your skills fit the goals and responsibilities of the internship position;
-         how the internship will assist with your career goals;
-         the date of your deadline if you require a decision by a deadline for school credit or funding
-         whether you are available part-time or full-time (either may be possible depending on the specific internship project); and
-         whether you would work remotely or are available to work in our Washington, D.C. office.
If you apply to more than one intern position at Defenders of Wildlife, please be sure to tailor your applications to each position. Inquiries about the Conservation Science Intern position may be emailed to the hiring manager, Dr. Jennie Miller, at Applications should be submitted through Defenders’ online portal.

It is the policy of Defenders of Wildlife to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law, in all personnel actions.
Defenders of Wildlife is a national, non-profit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. Our employees work in an environment that is inclusive and honors each of our unique perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the conservation of biological diversity is best advanced by the contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, experiences, beliefs and cultures. We strive toward a collective goal of including all people in the conservation of our Nation’s wildlife and wild places.