Description and Application
Internships will begin in spring 2023 (April or May) and last into the fall (September or October). This position is not appropriate for a student that has to return to classroom in fall.
Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute (NZCBI; https://nationalzoo.si.edu/conservation) is offering five paid internships in forest ecology from spring to fall 2023. Interns will work on a team conducting the 2023 census of the Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO) plot at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute outside of Front Royal, VA. Interns will be mentored by plot principal investigators Dr. William McShea & Dr. Kristina Anderson-Teixeira. The team will inventory all woody plants within a large (25.6 ha) forest dynamics plot, including species identification and mapping, while helping to pioneer a new system of data collection and management techniques using tablets and a system of automated quality control. Interns will gain skills in forest ecology and data management, and will be invited to coauthor at least one publication arising from the census. These internships are ideal for recent college graduates who wish to gain research experience prior to pursuing graduate studies or other forest-related career opportunities.
Applicants should be planning or exploring a career in forest ecology, botany, conservation biology, or a related field. They should possess or be close to completing an undergraduate degree or be close to completing an undergraduate degree in a relevant ecological field, and will generally be within five years of graduation. Interns should be enthusiastic to learn forest census techniques and to work outdoors in a forest setting. They must be reliable, dedicated, organized, and able to accurately follow specified protocols and reliably record and manage scientific data. Prior experience with forest census and/or knowledge of plant species common to the eastern U.S./mid-Atlantic will be advantageous, but is not required. Applicants should have the ability to hike for long periods of time and in a variety of weather conditions and be comfortable with long periods of outdoor work. Applicants must demonstrate ability to work well as part of a diverse team. Interns must be US citizens/permanent residents or have a visa status that allows them to stay as an intern (i.e., foreign nationals are welcome, but we will not be able to arrange visas). We are committed to diversity in science, and especially welcome applications from women and minoritized groups.