Top 10 Unbelievably Cool Internships for Spring/Summer 2013


Of the thousand plus Conservation Internships that we have posted right now, these are, in our expert opinion, the 10 most unbelievably cool. Have a look at the list and decide for yourself. Best decide fast, though. Internships this awesome won’t stay open for long.

Complete an application and apply for as many as you like today.

10. The wildlife you’ll “manage” as the Wildlife Management Intern at White River National Forest include owls, goshawks, black swifts, lynxses, bats, bighorn sheep, and river otters. “Management” techniques include guiding yourself, with map and compass, off-trail through mountainous backcountry to conduct nest searches, habitat evaluations, and wildlife surveys. Bring your best hiking boots; you could hike up to 15 miles on a typical workday. Only the toughest trailblazers need apply.

9. Data recorders, laser range finders, GPS devices, and digital cameras are just some of the instruments you’ll learn to use with the awesomely acronymed Aquatic and Riparian Effectiveness Monitoring Program (AREMP). Using cutting edge technology and the latest science, AREMP Biology Interns collect in-channel stream data on physical habitat, water chemistry, biological components, and channel morphology throughout Siuslaw National Forest, all while housed comfortably in Corvallis, Oregon, right by Oregon State University. Perfect for the gadget-loving earthsaver who prefers four walls to a tent.

8. The SCA New Hampshire Corps offers several internships perfect for those who feel just as at home in the city as they do out in the woods. Evenly divided between delivering environmental education programming at diverse schools in Manchester, New Hampshire, and engaging in hands-on service to the land in New Hampshire state parks, SCA NH Corps is conservation service at its best and most basic. It’s a great showcase for the talents of any aspiring conservation leader, as it demonstrably requires a range of valuable skills.

7. Were you the kid who always answered “firefighter” to “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Excellent. The SCA/Nature Conservancy Prescribed Burn Crew Internship is just what you need to keep that dream alive. Burn crew interns travel to key Nature Conservancy preserves throughout Georgia and Alabama to assist with every stage of prescribed burns, from ignition to post-burn monitoring. Bonus: In addition to being able to truthfully claim that they fight fire with fire, burn crew members will have frequent opportunities to participate in the ecological management-focused educational field trips that regularly take place on Nature Conservancy lands. 

6. As the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Fellow for SCA and NPS you’ll get the inside scoop on how government agencies and nonprofit organizations work together to carry out all sorts of conservation initiatives in a major metropolis and its surrounding areas. Based at SCA’s regional office in Chicago, the RTCA Fellowship will have you working side-by-side with the NPS Outdoor Recreation Planner to help deliver a full range of technical assistance for river, trail, and greenway creation and protection projects.

mysterious depths

5. The Grand Canyon Endangered Species Recovery Internship will take you to the edge of that 60,000-year-old rut to serve sentry against something that lasts even longer than that: EXTINCTION. To protect the endangered sentry milkvetch from dropping off the face of the earth, you’ll help seed and raise the plant from the solar greenhouse to the reintroduction site. As if that’s not cool enough, on weekends and holidays during this 52 week position, the mysterious depths of the canyon will be yours to explore.

4. The Bike-Pittsburgh Green Cities Sustainability Fellowship is the Cadillac of car-free internships. Not only will you get to live free from the tyranny of automobile dependency, you’ll also get to spend your entire workday promoting the car-free lifestyle! During this eight-month position, the Bike-PGH Fellow coordinates the Car Free Fridays program, rallies for participation in the National Bike Challenge, and convinces local employers to create cycle-friendly workplaces. There is no better opportunity for someone looking to start a career in transportation sustainability and bicycle advocacy. This just one of over a dozen Green Cities positions available in Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas. They’re all incredible opportunities; check them out.

3. For those who wanna get away – way, way far away – there’s the Haleakala National Park Wildlife Management Internship, located 2387 miles from the mainland, and 20 miles from the nearest store, in the sparsely populated Upper Kola district of Maui, Hawaii. Requiring daily solo hikes over rugged volcanic terrain, duties for the internship include recording the nesting activities of endangered indigenous birds, and monitoring trap lines for nasty, non-native predators like rats, mongooses, and feral cats. It’s a hard life, but it’s in paradise. NOTE: This position’s already been snatched up, but there are still two Visitors Service Internships available in the very same park.

2. As the Education Intern at the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward, Alaska, your “officemates” could include sea otters, walruses, whales, harbor seals, and glaucous-winged gulls. Working on a tightly-knit team of ocean-loving educators, you’ll teach interactive marine science program to student groups from ages 6 to 18. Programs range from interpretive tours of Alaska’s only public aquarium to presentations on Sealife Center research. Provided housing is located right across the street from the Center, so it’s also in Alaska. Did we mention that this all takes place in Alaska? Yeah, that’s right, Alaska.

wee turtle

1. Can you imagine a more satisfyingly good deed than shepherding an adorable (and endangered) baby sea turtle along its short, perilous journey from nest to sea? Neither can we. That’s why we’re topping our list with the Cumberland Island National Seashore Wildlife Management Internship. Accessible only by boat, Cumberland Island is home to over 18 miles of beach, several species of threatened and endangered sea turtle, and the raccoons, ghost crabs, armadillos, and feral hogs that will play the villains to your hero. When you’re not saving hatchlings from becoming hog chow, you’ll be helping free stranded marine mammals and adult sea turtles. Yep. Awesome.

Inspired yet? These 10 positions are gonna fill fast, but they’re just the tip of the proverbial, probably melting, iceberg. Click here to browse over a thousand SCA internships, and here to fill out your application. A single application lets you apply for as many positions as you like, so go nuts!