Internships

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida offers internships, or Conservation Intern (CI) opportunities to help aspiring environmentalists gain valuable skills and training in specific areas of interest: environmental science, policy, education and wildlife rehabilitation. If you are interested in any of our positions (listed below), complete and return your application, along with a cover letter, resume, two letters of recommendation and unofficial school transcripts to:

Our apologies, intern applicants must be a U.S. or Canadian citizen.

Kelly Rhoades
Conservancy of Southwest Florida
1495 Smith Preserve Way
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 403-4212
internships@conservancy.org
Click here for application.

GENERAL BENEFITS: In addition to gaining experience in environmental education, policy, science, research and wildlife rehabilitation, Conservancy Conservation Interns receive a weekly stipend of $150, accident insurance, and housing including laundry facilities.

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is a Drug and Smoke Free Workplace.

Internship/Conservation Intern Positions:
von Arx Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital
Environmental Education: Nature Center, Dalton Discovery Center and Youth Programs
Environmental Education: Summer Day Camp
Environmental Policy and Advocacy
Environmental Science and Research Projects
Environmental Science - Sea Turtle Research

von Arx Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital

Minimum six-month commitment, nine-month commitment preferred
Five positions available on a rotating basis

A wildlife intern assists in care and treatment of injured, sick and orphaned Florida wildlife. As a wildlife intern, you will clean and maintain the wildlife facilities. The wildlife intern position includes a wide range of rehabilitation activities, including wildlife rescue, emergency first aid, daily feedings, cage cleaning, animal handling, pre-release training, public relations, and special intern projects.

WILDIFE INTERN QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Wildlife intern applicant must be at least a senior in college, with skills and/or experience with wildlife.
  • Preference will be given to those with prior rehabilitation experience.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license and clean driving record.

BENEFITS:
Upon completion of the intern program, you will leave with a varied experience about wildlife rehabilitation that can include animal care, basic medical techniques, education program development, public speaking skills, interpersonal skills, and knowledge of birds, mammals, and reptiles. Become a wildlife intern today!

Environmental Education:
Conservancy Nature Center, Dalton Discovery Center and Youth Programs

Six to nine month positions available on a rotating basis

Care for live exhibits that house over 125 species of local wildlife including marine and freshwater aquaria, reptiles, amphibians and small mammals. Work with protected wildlife such as a loggerhead sea turtle, American alligators and assist the Environmental Education team with animal collection at various coastal locations. Teach ecological programs for audiences of all ages, and students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Provide interpretive tours, assist with lecture series, school programs, special events and field programs.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Applicant must be at least a senior in college or possess a BS or BA in science and/or education.
  • Environmental science/ecology, education or comparable background with a strong interest to work in a nature center and with diverse audiences of all ages.
  • Some teaching experience is preferable but not required.
  • Good communication and public speaking skills.
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds and work outdoors in hot, humid and sometimes buggy conditions. Must possess a valid driver’s license and clean driving record.

BENEFITS: The Conservation Intern will gain experience in several fields such as education, interpretation, husbandry and maintenance of a nature center. The Conservation Intern will gain extensive knowledge of southwest Florida’s unique ecosystems and assist the staff in bringing environmental awareness to thousands of students and visitors.

Environmental Education: Summer Day Camp 

Available mid May - mid August

Help teach a variety of science and ecological programs, both on and off-site during an intensive 8-week environmental summer camp. Assist lead counselors with program trips, before and after care, and program delivery to grades kindergarten through eighth grade. Serve as a responsible counselor and positive role model for campers. Lead games, crafts and field trips to area wildlife locations such as beaches, swamps and parks.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Applicant must be at least a senior in college with an academic background in science, education or comparable discipline.
  • Teaching experience preferred but not required.
  • Strong commitment to environmental education and conservation.
  • Good communication, public speaking and leadership skills.
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds and willing to work outside in hot, humid and sometimes buggy conditions.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license and clean driving record.

BENEFITS:
The Conservation Intern will gain experience in the field of education, both classroom and field work, and environmental science/conservation. The Conservation Intern will gain extensive knowledge of southwest Florida’s unique ecosystems, educational program development and will have numerous opportunities to visit beaches, swamps, barrier islands and other unique habitats.

Environmental Science and Research Projects

Six to nine month positions available on a rotating basis

Assist the Environmental Science Team in a variety of research projects such as wetland assessments, water quality monitoring, mangrove research, or sea turtle research. Responsible for additional duties, as assigned, such as data entry, sample processing and equipment maintenance.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • BS or BA in one of the biological or environmental sciences.
  • Background in field survey techniques or willingness to learn.
  • Willingness to work indoors and outdoors – often in humid conditions.
  • Willingness to work outside of the usual 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM business hours when necessary. Working knowledge of MS Access and/or MS Excel preferred.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license and clean driving record.

BENEFITS: An experience that will provide the Conservation Intern with an increased understanding and appreciation of environmental field research.

Environmental Policy and Advocacy

Six to nine month positions available on a rotating basis

The Natural Resources Intern will work with the Conservancy’s highly skilled Environmental Policy Team to research environmental issues and advocate for the Conservancy’s positions on a local, state, and/or federal level. As an environmental policy intern, you will assist with the creation of comment letters, presentations, and handouts. You will sit in on and participate in relevant meetings to help protect Southwest Florida’s land, water, and wildlife as well as conduct public outreach on Conservancy programs and positions. Daily administrative duties will include tracking issues in the media and other office tasks as required. This position is office-based, but also entails offsite meetings, events and travel that may even include the state capital. If you thrive in a fast paced, detail oriented environment, we are the team for you!

The Estuaries Report Card Intern will have a similar experience to the Natural Resources Intern but will work primarily on updating the Conservancy’s Estuaries Report Card, a snapshot of the health of our regional estuaries in Southwest Florida. Major responsibilities include conducting literature review and evaluating wildlife habitat, water quality, and other ecosystem health indicators. This is a special opportunity for the intern to have his/her work published and gain comprehensive knowledge of Southwest Florida’s water quality issues.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Strong commitment to the conservation of water, land and wildlife.
  • BS or BA, preferably in environmental policy or the environmental studies.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Working knowledge of spreadsheets and word processing applications.
  • Strong organizational and leadership abilities.
  • Willing to work variable hours and to travel locally as necessary. Must possess a valid driver's license and clean driving record.
  • Ability to work independently under rapidly changing situations and be flexible.
  • Ability to work well with and appreciate your co-workers is a must.
  • GIS experience preferred

BENEFITS: Interns will leave this experience with a better understanding of the government’s legislative and regulatory processes as well as deeper insight into the politics behind policy. Successful interns will become more skilled at the tasks assigned to full-time policy professionals and build lasting professional connections with the Conservancy Team.

Environmental Science - Sea Turtle Research

Three internships available from April-August

One internship April-October each year

Monitor beaches on Keewaydin Island and the City of Naples between Doctor's Pass and Gordon Pass for sea turtle nesting activity. Cage nests and tag nesting turtles on the southern four miles of Keewaydin Island. Patrol on an ATV to look for nesting sea turtles (nights and/or days); cage nests to prevent depredation by raccoons; tag nesting females and accurately record data on carapace dimensions and nest locations; monitor nest-hatching success by excavating nests and counting hatched and un-hatched eggs; safely operate ATV and a motorboat; maintain the ATVs, a generator, and a motorboat by changing the oil on a regularly scheduled basis, fix flat tires, make sure gasoline is on the island to fuel the generator and ATVs, and prepare the equipment for the next evening after each night's field work is completed; keep the field station clean during the course of the summer; enter research information in computer system’s database. Relate to the public in a cheerful, positive manner when asked questions about sea turtles while patrolling the beaches.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Minimum of a college senior in one of the biological or environmental sciences, with BS or BA preferred.
  • Interest in field biology and willingness to work under adverse field conditions at night.
  • Working knowledge of the care and operation of ATVs, motorboats, and small engines an asset.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license and clean driving record.

BENEFITS: An experience that will provide the Conservation Intern with an increased understanding and appreciation of Environmental Field Research.