Fall internship with the Center for Conservation Innovation at Defenders of Wildlife

Subject: Fall internship with the Center for Conservation Innovation at Defenders of Wildlife

Defenders of Wildlife welcomes applicants to intern with the Center for Conservation Innovation this fall! Applicants are encouraged to apply by August 15 (extended deadline) for best consideration. The internship is unpaid, but we encourage students to seek funding or course credit opportunities through their schools or outside sources.


The 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 and national conservation policy. In this position, the intern may help collect and analyze large spatial and non-spatial datasets, create published reports, scientific articles, web applications, and maps related to the conservation of species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Skill development will vary with the specific project, but the intern will generally have the opportunity to gain a deep understanding of how the ESA is implemented in practice and experience in programming, conservation data and policy science, statistical analyses, GIS, remote sensing, scientific writing and creating interactive data visualizations.

Two internship tracks are available:

Policy and species conservation status – This track will involve projects that focus on ESA regulations and their effectiveness in recovering threatened and endangered species. The intern will learn to assess and analyze ESA documents (e.g., species listings, species status assessments, species 5-year reviews, biological opinions), evaluate species biological needs and conservation status, conduct statistical analyses and create online tools for visualizing data. Projects will aim to measure policy effectiveness and develop recommendations to improve species conservation.

Geospatial analysis and conservation tool development – This track will involve projects that focus on technical advances to creating, analyzing, and presenting spatial conservation data. The intern will learn and refine their geospatial and programming skills by assisting with the development of new approaches, algorithms and tools to quantify and map the status and distribution of species and their habitats.
Projects aim to measure and evaluate policy effectiveness and compliance in conserving species and their habitat on-the-ground.

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