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Internship Opportunities

As part of the internship MS program, students complete an internship in an area of their choice within conservation biology and land management. The goal of the internship is to provide relevant training experience and networking opportunities for the student to facilitate securing a position in after the internship is completed. Students may draw on existing opportunities and connections of the Plant Biology and Conservation Program or develop their own internship with other institutions. Internships are designed in a collaborative effort with the student, the internship host, and the Internship Advisory Committee (comprised of three faculty members in the Plant Biology and Conservation Program) during the fall and winter. Internships typically begin in the spring or summer and consist of at least 240 hours of work as well as previously agreed upon deliverables.

Previous student internships

BEISA (Biodiversity and Economically Important Species in the Tropical Andes) – Status and Conservation of Peanut (Arachis L., Fabaceae) Crop Wild Relatives near Iñao National Park, Bolivia, Stephanie Frischie, MS 2014. Current Position: Doctoral Student with the Native Seed Science, Technology and Conservation Marie Curie Multi-partner Initial Training Network at University of Pavia, Italy and Semillas Silvestres, Cordoba, Spain 

Bureau of Land Management – Conservation Land Management internship program Habitat assessment and development of a conservation management plan for Gunnison sage-grouse, Elizzabeth Kaufman, MS 2015

Morton Arboretum – Oak Conservation and ArbNet Intern, with a focus on Red List Assessments of European Oaks, Vildan Gorener, MS 2015

Examples of Some Possible Internship Organizations

This represents only a few examples and organizations will be added. Contact the Program Director for a longer list of organizations and contacts.

Botanic Gardens Conservation International

Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) works to mobilize a global network of more than 3,000 gardens and engage partners in securing plant diversity for the well-being of people and the planet. With offices based at Kew Gardens in the UK, and at Chicago Botanic Garden and Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in the U.S., they work in a wide variety of areas to support implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC), including ex situ and in situ conservation, interpretation and education, and restoration by botanic gardens and related institutions. They also facilitate species assessments for the IUCN Red List, and provide critical data services via BGCI’s PlantSearch and GardenSearch databases – the only global dataset on garden facilities, programs, expertise, and collections of plants, seeds, and tissues.  Interns can work with BGCI staff in one of our offices or remotely, and contribute to critical global and regional conservation efforts.  

Conservation and Land Management Internship

Each year, the Conservation and Land Management (CLM) internship program places 75-100 graduates from colleges and universities across the country in five-month paid internships to assist biologists and other professional staff at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS), U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and other federal agencies. Internships are primarily located in one of the 12 western states, including Alaska. Beginning in 2001, the program has successfully placed over 700 interns, providing them with a rich experience from which to launch their professional careers. Students in the MS internship program can complete a paid internship as part of their MS degree. Visit the CLM webpage for more details.

Plants of Concern PBC Internship

Plants of Concern (POC) engages citizen scientists to monitor the Chicago Wilderness region's rarest plants, assessing trends in their populations and providing important data used to conserve our rapidly declining floral heritage.  Coordinated by the Chicago Botanic Garden in partnership with local, state, federal and nonprofit agencies, POC monitors over 1000 populations of more than 230 rare plant species, more than half of which are considered threatened and endangered in Illinois. Working with POC provides interns with the opportunity to visit high quality natural areas and improve botanical skills. Interns would monitor rare species, collect spatial data, and assist with data management, in addition to working with POC staff to train volunteers and coordinate monitoring efforts across northeastern Illinois, southeastern Wisconsin, and northwest Indiana. Intern projects may focus on a specific species, habitat, or site of concern, or may involve analysis of spatial and non-spatial data on a regional scale. An intern project could also involve working with our website interface or spatial database. Projects will be chosen dependent on skills and interests of the student and will focus on identified needs within POC.

Visit our website for more information about POC:

Contact Rachel Goad with any questions.

Rachel Goad, Manager of POC,

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