The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) seeks an intern to participate in a study of the effects of tracking devices on large mammals. The successful candidate will observe the behavior of scimitar-horned oryx and Przewalski’s horses in the SCBI collection and analyze the resulting data. Duties will include capturing video logs of animal behavior, annotating the resulting observation videos, analyzing animal time budgets and fecal hormone data, and working with researchers and animal care staff to minimize disturbance to animal subjects and management activities. Additional duties may include basic spatial analysis of animal movement and land cover data.
- Learn and conduct fieldwork in behavioral ecology, including continuous or focal sampling and animal personality assessments.
- Compile and manage a large (>1TB) database of observation videos.
- Collect, store, and perform preparatory processing for fecal samples in field and laboratory settings.
- Learn about behavioral stress, physiological stress, and animal personality.
- Build skills in behavioral observation, data management, programming in R, and preparing data summaries and progress reports.
This internship will start in late April 2018 and continue until August 31, 2018, with the possibility for extension. The intern will work closely with researchers in the Conservation Ecology Center and members of the animal care staff. When possible, the intern will be encouraged to participate in other research projects and fieldwork opportunities.
All SCBI interns have access to regularly scheduled seminars and skills workshops related to conservation, ecology, GIS, and captive animal management.
SCBI plays a leading role in the Smithsonian’s efforts to save wildlife species from extinction and train future generations of conservationists.
The Smithsonian Institution values and seeks a diverse workforce; female and minority candidates are encouraged to apply.
The ideal candidate will...
- Possess an undergraduate degree in ecology, wildlife biology, environmental sciences, or a similar field.
- Have a strong work ethic; be willing and able to spend time outdoors during spring and summer months, including some weekends; have strong attention to detail and organizational skills; and work well both independently and in a small team.
- Have previous experience in fieldwork, animal care, and behavioral ecology (or a related discipline).
- Have experience with Microsoft Excel, R, and software for behavioral analysis of video data.
- Have some experience using R, QGIS or ArcGIS, and/or Google Earth Engine to perform basic spatial analyses.
- Be available for 3-6 months beginning on or around April 30, 2018.
To apply, please send 1) a cover letter describing your interest, qualifications, relevant experience, and long-term career goals; 2) a resume or CV; and 3) contact information for 2-3 references to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your earliest possible start date and the total time for which you are available.