CDIP Visitor Services and Community Engagement Intern – PHILADELPHIA AREA CANDIDATES ONLY (PO-00734860)

Career Discovery Internship Program

Founded in 2008, the Career Discovery Internship Program provides paid summer internships for college students interested in wildlife careers through a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Positions are available in a variety of fields, including visitor services, education, natural resource management and more.

Interns will first attend a week-long orientation held in May and then serve in summer internships tailored to various U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service career tracks for 12 weeks at various sites across the country.

The Student Conservation Association, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer.

The John Heinz NWR Visitor Services CDIP Intern will assist with public facing outreach activities in an effort to connect local community members to engage with the resource in meaningful ways. The work will provide the candidate with valuable experience working with diverse audiences from children to adults to cultivate a safe place for learning and recreation based on audience needs. Activities included but are not limited to: planning and presenting environmental education programs for a variety of audiences, leading guided walks for various age groups,  assisting and leading summer camps, developing or revising lesson plans, designing flyers, developing social media content, and operation and staffing of a visitor center. The candidate will be provided training and work as a team member leading various outdoor skills such including fishing, archery, and kayaking. These experiential learning opportunities will be hands-on, engaging, and culturally relevant and will utilize resources in the local community and environment. The duties of this position will support Refuge goals presenting community focused programs, fostering partnerships, co-teaching and leading. 

Through this work the applicant will learn, develop, and present curriculum based environmental education programs with focused attention on nearby nature & wildlife and the connections that exist between people and their environment. A majority of audiences over the summer will be 4th grade students and youth summer camp activities. Through this work candidates will engage directly with audiences of all ages and backgrounds and work alongside a diverse team of staff and dedicated volunteers. Candidates should expect to work closely with identified communities in Southwest Philadelphia that environmental organizations have historically failed to providing equitable access to in a continued effort to build trust with community members and leaders.

Refuge staff will provide ample training and development opportunities both internally and externally. Local candidates are strongly encouraged to apply, though all applications will be considered. Selected applicants should have strong communication skills, work well in a collaborative team setting, and have the ability to accept feedback gracefully and integrate it. This position is full time, requires work on occasional evenings for special events, and a work schedule to include weekends. 

Candidates should be adaptable to all field conditions and motivated to learn a wide range of best practices for environmental education and community engagement. Work is performed in urban, marsh, riparian, and upland communities, where you may encounter adverse weather conditions (typically hot and humid), uneven, rocky, and/or wet slippery footing, and biting insects. Working from a boat may be required. Applicants must be in good physical condition, possess a valid driver’s license, have good communication and organizational skills, possess at least basic working knowledge of spreadsheets, the ability to work well with others and on their own, and be an enthusiastic field worker. 


  • US Citizens or Permanent Residents
  • Incoming Sophomore or Junior in college. 
  • Available to serve in the Northeast, Midwest, or Southwest: May 22nd- Aug 20th

Benefits: ​

  • Housing provided
  • Weekly Living Allowance $600.00 per week
  • Week-long orientation, expenses paid
  • Assigned U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Mentor
  • Travel allowance to and from internship site $1000.00
  • Hands-on experience

For SCA’s COVID guidance, please refer to

Position ID: PO-00734860

Expected Dates: May 22, 2023 - August 20, 2023

8601 Lindbergh Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19153

Training Provided: A week-long orientation with other USFWS Career Discovery Interns as well as onsite training with conservation professionals.

Educational/Recreational Opportunities: Keep your binoculars handy to look for the endangered red-bellied turtle and southern leopard frogs that keep safe in the heavily vegetated wetlands. Walk the boardwalk and stop at the observation blinds to spot some of the 300 species birds found here.

Handicap Accessible?: Yes

Main Area of Focus: Education and Interpretation

Further Details

AmeriCorps Eligible: Not Eligible

Driving Logistics: Recommended

Reliable transportation to the refuge is required. Public transportation is possible but a personal vehicle is recommended.

Housing or Stipend Provided?
A. Partner will provide suitable housing for the member

A room in the Refuge bunkhouse will be provided. The bunkhouse is within walking distance to the Refuge office. 

Indoor/Outdoor: Combination

US Citizenship: Yes

Student Conservation Association