Paid Reptile Research Internship — Invasive Python and Tegu Field and Laboratory Research in Greater Everglades Ecosystem, Florida

University of Florida and U.S. Geological Survey
Everglades National Park, Homestead, FL
Job Category
$11-12/hr plus shared housing
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
GENERAL DESCRIPTION We are accepting applications for 1 six-month and 2 twelve-month research interns to participate in scientific studies on invasive reptiles (primarily Burmese pythons & black and white tegus) in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem. These positions chiefly entail laboratory activities (e.g., necropsies, collecting morphometric measurements and tissue samples), development of novel wildlife camera data processing tools (downloading, archiving, and processing images from >70 cameras), and database management, with occasional field or other miscellaneous activities (e.g., replacing bait in tegu traps and lures, maintaining camera trap arrays). These positions are currently based in Everglades National Park (ENP) but may involve some travel and work in Big Cypress National Preserve. Research internships will start approx. mid-May, 2023. Our research internships are excellent opportunities for early career biologists to directly work with professional research scientists while gaining experience in real-world laboratory and field research, collaborative science, and leadership. We seek highly motivated and productive candidates who want to develop skills in day-to-day problem solving, contribute to project protocols, and other CV-building experiences. These positions are a result of a scientific collaboration between the University of Florida, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and the National Park Service. Previous interns have taken advantage of opportunities to participate in peer-reviewed research, presentations, reports, and developed skills for careers in research. SPECIFIC PROJECT AND INTERNSHIP DESCRIPTION Interns will be responsible for: 1) Carefully collecting, entering, cleaning, and ensuring a high standard of scientific data; this is of utmost importance 2) Collecting, managing, and organizing biological samples from invasive reptiles 3) Performing humane euthanasia of invasive reptiles prior to scientific study 4) Necropsying removed invasive reptiles and recording detailed morphological and physiological data 5) Maintaining a camera trap array for the detection of black and white tegus in southern Florida 6) Assisting in the development of artificial intelligence tools to process wildlife camera data 7) Helping to conduct with outreach activities to communicate our science to partners and the public 8) Husbandry for any captive animals 9) Maintaining the cleanliness and order of vehicles, laboratory, field, shared housing, and office spaces 10) Working with collaborators and assisting with various project duties that may arise to accommodate research needs (e.g., assisting with NPS rapid response trapping efforts or preparation of proposals and reports, etc.). 11) Occasionally conducting limited fieldwork using radiotelemetry 12) Research interns will work as part of a collaborative research team for 40 hours per week and should expect an irregular work schedule consisting of days, nights, weekends, and holidays. Workdays may exceed 8 hours and camping may be required throughout the work week. SUPPORT PROVIDED A living stipend ($11-12/hr) and shared housing in Homestead, FL are provided. Relocation funds are not available and pets are not allowed. Interns will also be expected to routinely stay consecutive nights camping (tent, travel trailer, or shared field quarters) that is situated closer to some of our field operations in Everglades National Park or Big Cypress National Preserve. Health insurance benefits may be available at low cost through the University of Florida. DURATION The research internships will last 6 or 12 months and will start ~15 May 2023. Start date may be somewhat flexible for highly qualified candidates. TO APPLY Please send a cover letter (no more than 1 page) and a resume or CV that includes contact information for 3 references to: We also strongly encourage applicants to include an optional written statement (no more than 1 page) about why diversity in the workplace is important to them. Please provide your application as a single PDF with a file name that begins with your last name (e.g., “AndersonInternApplication_2022-01-30.pdf”). Attention to detail in the applications will be considered during the selection process. *NOTE* Applicants who applied to the posting that closed on 01 Feb 2023 do not need to reapply; their materials will be given equal consideration with all others received. All additional applications will be considered on a rolling basis (i.e., first come first serve) until 15 Mar 2023. The University of Florida and USGS value diversity and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We particularly encourage individuals from underrepresented groups in STEM to apply.
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS Preference will be given to applicants with a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, a strong work ethic, and meticulous data-collection skills. Applicants should be very comfortable working in a laboratory and on a computer, willing to learn to handle and euthanize large reptiles, performing occasional fieldwork in hot, buggy conditions, and be able to think/work independently and as part of a team. Interns will encounter and should be comfortable working in the same environment as noxious plants, alligators, venomous snakes, and large mammalian predators. A positive attitude, good sense of humor, strong interpersonal skills, and ability to be flexible and work efficiently in fast-paced environments are essential. Applicants must be authorized to work in the U.S., speak English, and be able to pass a U.S. Department of the Interior background check (candidate must complete the hiring paperwork in a timely manner to avoid delays). A valid U.S. driver's license, a clean driving record, and a personal vehicle (to commute to and from work, ~35 min one way) are required. IDEAL CANDIDATES Candidates with the following will benefit most from this opportunity; however, no candidate is expected to already possess every preferred skill for the job. Ideal candidates will have paid work experience outside university and have knowledge in carefully collecting and managing detailed scientific data, performing humane euthanasia, performing necropsies, and maintaining a camera trap array. Experience operating 4WD vehicles is a plus.
Contact Person
University of Florida Internship Coordinator
Contact Phone
No calls, please.
Contact eMail
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