Virginia Working Landscapes, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Front Royal, VA
Job Category
Stipend: $1200-1600/ month based on experience, housing will be provided
Last Date to Apply
Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute provides the opportunity for an intern to gain experience with the study of wildlife biodiversity and conservation of native species on Virginia’s working landscapes. Virginia Working Landscapes (VWL) is a program of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) that focuses on biodiversity and landscape conservation through ecological research, education, and community engagement. The intern’s primary tasks include assisting with our biodiversity surveys that seek to explore the impact of various landscape management and restoration practices on grassland plant ecology. Examples include conducting vegetation surveys to: 1) Study various grassland restoration methods and native meadow establishment, 2) Study the effects of integrating native wildflowers into actively grazed cattle pastures to provide resources for pollinators, 3) Inventory grassland plants on private lands with community scientist volunteers The intern will survey a variety of species and assist in the management and analyses of relevant data; therefore, they will be playing a significant role in advancing our knowledge of local biodiversity and the impacts of land management and conservation practices on grassland ecology. The internship will be based near Front Royal, Virginia. Start and end dates are flexible, but the internship would begin in late May 2023 and run through September 2023. Housing will be provided. To apply: Please send a cover letter discussing your qualifications, resume, and contact information for three references in a single electronic document to Erin Shibley at The close date is February 20, 2023 and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as they are received. Please indicate “Grassland Plant Internship Position” in the subject line.
Extensive knowledge of grassland plants, including an ability to identify and key out Eastern US species Experience conducting vegetation surveys, organizing and working with large datasets, and using a GPS A strong work ethic and a positive professional attitude. The intern will likely be in a position where they will interact frequently with landowners. Must be able to walk long distances and begin work in early mornings. Daily field conditions include walking through fields in hot, humid weather during the summer with ticks, and occasionally poison ivy. Willingness to comply with the Smithsonian’s COVID-19 guidance, which may include, at minimum, being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and wearing masks in indoor workspaces. Learning Objectives This is a paid internship opportunity through the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute located in Front Royal, Virginia. Through this internship, interns will assist with the following as they gain important experience with conservation science and engagement: • Learn and assist with field work for the 2023 season, including detailed and accurate data collection for plant and pollinator surveys. • Learn data management skills and how to input data from recent surveys and help manage large spreadsheets. • Assist with managing output from an array of projects to be carried out by graduate students, other interns, VWL staff, and community scientists. • Create content for the website and other outreach materials. • Develop communications skills by assisting with outreach events and meetings with stakeholders, key conservation organizations, and partners in the region. • Learn technical skills and provide assistance using programs such as ArcGIS, R Studio, and Excel. Benefits for our interns • Participation in current research on grassland plant biodiversity in Virginia. • Participation in multiple projects that will reinforce their skills in biodiversity monitoring and conservation. • Connections with partnering conservation organizations working in various areas of conservation. • Exchange of ideas with researchers in different science areas at NZCBI. • Participation in seminars, VWL workshops and events, and other educational activities at NZCBI.
Contact Person
Erin Shibley
Contact eMail
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