Giant Panda Internship
Deadline to Apply: February 23rd, 2018
Decision Notification: February 30th, 2018
Timeframe: May 14th, 2017 to August 3rd, 2018 (81 days)
We encourage anyone (all backgrounds, all ages) interested in researching Giant
Pandas to apply. However, the majority of the applicants are usually undergraduate
seniors or recently graduated biology/conservation majors. Your primary
responsibilities will be to conduct research on Giant Panda Stereotypic and
PDXWildlife has two research location- Gengda (Wolong) and Ya’an, Sichuan,
China. Everyone will train together at Ya’an, and then the group will divide
between the two research bases. You will work closely with the China
Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP) to research the
effects of behavior on reproductive success in captive giant pandas. The interns
primary job will be daily tracking of panda locations to track familiarity, score
stereotypic observations, and prepare fecal samples for hormone analysis. Other
duties might include, cataloging fecal samples, downloading videos weekly, and
writing a bi-monthly blog post.
With connections to the San Diego Zoo and CCRCGP this internship provides a
well-rounded and practical experience perfect for building a career in international
biological conservation or zoo biology. PDXWildlife has an excellent track record
for helping past interns with their resumes, writing letters of recommendation, and
This project has the potential to improve captive breeding methods currently
utilized by both zoological and private breeding facilities of endangered species.
Given the predicted results, the San Diego Zoo and CCRCGP can provide a model
system of captive breeding that integrates both genetic and behavioral information
to determine optimal mating pairs. It seems clear that conservation breeding
programs in zoos and breeding centers have much to gain from a more integrated
approach, addressing both the importance of genetic management and natural
Accommodations have with running hot water, electricity, and internet. Heaters are
either by gas or electric and are provided in the housing if you are staying over the
winter months. You will be expected to keep up with daily housekeeping, cooking
and shopping on your own.
Panda interns are expected to work independently, with only minimal supervision,
managing their own time and meeting any assigned deadlines. You will usually be
able to take at least one or two days off each week, depending on current work
On approved days off you can hike, go wildlife watching or take trips to other
cities but this will all be on your own money. There are various cultural events you
may attend with local friends, such as festivals and national holidays, which can
provide a fascinating and very personal insight into local traditions.
Medical facilities are extremely basic; anything beyond a minor medical
emergency would require international evacuation where full medical facilities are
available. All interns are required to have adequate insurance to cover any costs
that ensue, since a full medical evacuation back to Europe could cost up to
100,000GBP. We will need relevant medical history and proof of travel insurance
You will be encouraged to learn some of the Chinese language in order to be
integrated as fully as possible into the community during your stay. This will come
quickly with daily immersion and opportunities to practice with local staff and
students. It is a good idea to bring a dictionary and audio learning materials with
you in order to facilitate your studies.
Interns are required to work for a minimum of ~3 months (refer to dates listed
above) and pay a contribution of $2500 USD for the entire stay. This funding will
contribute to the individual’s accommodation and research- associated costs during
the internship (see below).
All interns are required to cover their own travel to the country and insurance. We
require proof of insurance before starting the internship. You are also required to
cover your own food expenses. Average costs for shopping at the local grocery
store is ~50 USD per week. Interns should budget approximately ~500 USD for
food (grocery store and dining out) while conducting their internship.
All interns are required to get their Chinese Visa on their own (PDXWildlife will
help you with all questions). These can be obtained via sending your passport and
visa application materials to the closest Chinese consulate or through Travisa.com.
Please contact your local consulate or Travisa for further details. Depending on the
visa that you are approved for, you will possibly have to extend your visa in
country at your own cost.
• Willing and able to serve a minimum of a 3 months or the above listed
• Undergraduate, graduate, or degree in Convservation Biology, Biology, Natural
Sciences, Education, Environmental Education or related field of studies, or
an acceptable combination of education, training and experience.
• Passionate and knowledgeable about endangered species and conservation issues
• Outstanding relationship building skills and ability to connect with people
• Exceptional research, written, communication and presentation skills required
• Excellent organizational and time management skills; ability to prioritize projects
and meet deadlines
• Ability to work independently and collaboratively
• Spoken and Written Chinese language ability is a plus... but not required
• References!!! (We need at least two, not related to the applicant)
How to Apply-
Candidates are required to send the following items to PDXWildlife by February
23rd, 2018. Our submission email is email@example.com. Failure to submit any
of the below items will cause your application to be incomplete.
. 1) Resume/CV that includes two references
. 2) Cover letter (see below)
Please state in your cover letter:
– Where you heard about PDXWildlife
– Details of the experience you have either living / working / traveling in
– Your level of English & Chinese
– Your level of qualification as it pertains to research involving captive animals,
animal behavior, wildlife conservation, and laboratory experience.
Applicants may also be interested in reading our blog and joining our Facebook
group for recent news and photos from our programs. We encourage you to email
us with any questions you have.
Your PDXWildlife Panda Team
Nathan Wintle & Meghan Martin-Wintle