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, 2009

“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
  • US Citizens and Permanent Residents
  • 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.

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Related Posts & Program Information

Community (n):
1. A group of people who live in the same area (such as a city, town, or neighborhood) 1
2. A group of people who have the same interests, religion, race, etc. 1
3. A group of nations1
4. A group of actually or potentially interacting species living in the same place, …bound together by the network of influences that species have on one another

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Today, Elizabeth Braatz checks in from St. Croix Wetland Management District in Wisconsin. She’s part of the Career Discovery Internship Program, a collaboration between SCA and USFWS that’s strengthening the next generation of conservation leaders by connecting culturally and ethnically diverse college students to wildlife-focused career opportunities.

Early on in my SCA internship at St. Croix Wetland Management District, I learned three interesting facts about monarch butterflies.

1. Monarchs journey up to 3,000 miles between Mexico and the northern United States and Canada. each year, and this annual epic journey is actually undertaken by four generations of butterflies.

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ABOVE: 2015 Career Discovery Internship Program participants preparing to kayak at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.

Each year, through the Career Discovery Internship Program (CDIP), we work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to connect young conservationists of diverse background to hands-on service experiences at wildlife refuges across the country.

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Isaac Coleman served as a CDIP (Career Discovery Internship Program) Intern at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama. This video is his capstone project.

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Shevika Mitchell served as a CDIP (Career Discovery Internship Program) intern at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. This video is her capstone project.

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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.