Career Discovery Internship Program

SCA CDIP Interns - CDIP is a partnership between SCA and the Fish and Wildlife Service

US Fish & Wildlife Service
Career Discovery Internship Program (CDIP)

Founded in 2008, the Career Discovery Internship Program (CDIP) was created in partnership with the  US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to prepare the next generation of wildlife professionals by introducing college freshman and sophomores to conservation careers.

Interns attend a week-long orientation held in May and serve in summer internships tailored to various FWS career tracks. Summer internships are available in a variety of fields, including visitor services, education, resource management – and many more!

“We must strive to become nation’s premier employer, one that better reflects the mosaic of people that we serve.” Rowan Gould, FWS Deputy Director (retired).

“The CDIP program was invaluable to me by introducing me to an agency that I am sure I want to work for. Now I know there exists an agency that matches me in both my love of conservation and my need for an engaging workday. I love the USFWS and I love my job!”

— Jessica Jia

“The SCA opened up the door to natural resource management for me as I originally was thinking the law track for school. The networking and experience through the SCA and the CDIP program came in handy and gave me a foot in the door, and my references at Okefenokee (whom I still keep in contact with) were more than willing to give me good reviews. If it weren’t for the CDIP program I wouldn’t have been awarded this job.”

— Brooke Burrows

“SCA impacted my career by uncovering potential I didn’t know I had! Being plucked out of the city and place out in the middle of a marsh everyday was a pretty shocking, but I learned a lot about myself and what I can do if I put my mind to it. It also introduced me to a career with the Service that I did not even know existed! I have had the opportunity to travel, network, and learn more than I ever would have thought was possible in just a few short years. SCA definitely opened the door for me!”

— Brianna Patrick

Benefits include:

  • Weekly Living Allowance
  • Travel Allowance
  • Housing or Housing Allowance
  • Assigned FWS mentor
  • Hands-On Experience
  • Week-long orientation in May
  • Eligible for AmeriCorps Education Award
  • Application fee waived upon request

The ideal candidate pool includes:

  • Students who self-identify as being from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds
  • Current college freshmen and sophomores

The ideal candidate is:

  • Available for a 12-13 week summer internship beginning in May
  • Open-minded and has an adventurous spirit
  • Not necessarily experienced in conservation
  • Eager to act as an ambassador for SCA and the FWS
  • A licensed driver
  • Able to provide references with an application

Download the CDIP Flyer (PDF) for more information or to spread the word.

How to Apply:

1. Complete an Internship/Corps Application online at
2. Add the promo code PO-00732521 to your application.
3. Contact Jamila Jackson at [email protected] or 703.952.1684 with any questions.


  • Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
  • Application review will begin in February and continue until all positions are filled.

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is a supportive, inclusive community of young adults leading the way to a more sustainable world.

In partnership with the National Park Service, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and other federal agencies, SCA empowers young Americans from all backgrounds by offering formative conservation internships and proven professional pathways. We also ensure that people of all cultures and identities see themselves in our shared natural heritage by helping federal resource management agencies achieve greater workforce diversity.