The western snowy plover, the southwestern willow flycatcher, and the yellow-billed cuckoo—these three shorebirds represent just a sliver of the species that you’ll have a chance to research and rehabilitate in a wildlife internship. Interns in wildlife conservation have the opportunity to perform crucial survey work on indigenous flora and fauna—your hours spent wading through muddy basins or bushwhacking through forests are paid off ten-fold with hard data about animal populations, vegetation, water quality, human impact, and correlations between all these factors and more.
Community education goes hand-in-hand with wildlife internships. Just as important as collecting data is disseminating your findings to the public so that current—and future—generations know how to preserve our planet’s delicate ecologies. Wildlife interns, then, act as program developers and community liaisons for the nonprofits; conservation agencies; and municipal, state, and federal governments that employ them.
Oftentimes, wildlife internships call on interns to assist with operations and administration, such as preparing educational materials for the public, updating the website, and running social media efforts. Other times, it requires that students interact with regulatory agencies and prepare reports on environmental impact with their background in biology, geology, chemistry, environmental policy, etc. Whatever your specialization, you are poised to make a deep impact in wildlife conversation in your internship.