Location: Headquarters, Washington, DC.
Department: Landscape Conservation
Supervisor: Senior Federal Lands Policy Analyst
Compensation: Unpaid, but the position can support academic credit based on school requirements. Students are encouraged to seek funding through their academic institution or outside sources.


Defenders of Wildlife, a national, nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the protection of native animals and plants in their natural communities, is recruiting for a Conservation Policy Intern. This position will help conduct policy research and analysis to further our strategic habitat and species conservation goals on public lands. The intern/extern will join our Federal Lands team within the Landscape Conservation department, working to defend, improve and implement federal law, regulation and policy to protect and restore wildlife and ecological integrity on public lands across the country.

The internship is designed to provide a wide range of administrative and programmatic experience with conservation issues of national significance. The intern can expect to work on a variety of public lands related issues, including endangered species conservation, public lands management, and defense against damaging resource extraction and commercial use of wildlife habitats. They will learn how science, law and policy are employed to protect, strengthen and expand public lands conservation.


Research, analyze and summarize conservation information, including administrative initiatives, draft regulation, proposed legislation and federal projects affecting public lands.
Develop briefing papers, reports and technical comments to support public lands management planning, lobbying and litigation.
Draft factsheets, blogs, webpage content and other outreach materials to support public lands advocacy.
Assist with Freedom of Information Act requests and analysis of responsive documents.
Attend hearings, seminars, conferences and coalition meetings to increase working knowledge of conservation policy and advocacy.


Education: Current student pursuing an advanced degree in environmental law or policy
Experience: Background or interest in public lands law and policy, federal land management planning, biodiversity conservation and/or environmental advocacy.


Excellent writing, research, analytical and verbal communication skills.
Coursework in federal lands/wildlife/administrative law, natural resources policy, environmental studies, conservation biology or related fields.
Law or Master’s degree student focusing on federal public lands and wildlife conservation preferred


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use a computer and communicate with others while doing so.


General office working conditions.


Start dates are flexible, but applicants must commit to working 32-40 hours per week as an intern, or 12-20 hours per week as an extern for a minimum of 8-10 weeks.

Interested applicants should send an email to HR@defenders.org and reference Conservation Policy Intern in the subject line. Please include a resume and letter of interest, and note in your email message as to your preference for which session (summer, fall, winter, or spring).