OVERVIEW:

Defenders of Wildlife, a national, nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities, seeks a geographic information system (GIS) Intern to work in its Center for Conservation Innovation (CCI). Launched in 2017, CCI works at the intersection of science, technology, and policy to develop creative, practical solutions to improve wildlife conservation.

The GIS Internship is an opportunity for an advanced college, graduate, or post-graduate student to work with CCI and other Defenders staff at the interface of science, technology, and national conservation policy. In this position, the intern may help collect and analyze large spatial datasets, create published reports, scientific articles, web applications, and maps related to the conservation of threatened and endangered wildlife species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Skill development will vary with the specific project, but the intern will generally have the opportunity to gain a deep understanding of how the ESA is implemented in practice and experience in geographic information systems (GIS), cartography and mapping, statistical analyses, scientific writing, and creating interactive data visualizations.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

Assist the CCI’s GIS staff in developing and implementing mapping projects that demonstrate and/or evaluate wildlife conservation policy and practice by:

  • Collecting and organizing relevant spatial data/databases;
  • Conducting spatial and non-spatial statistical analyses;
  • Creating online maps; and/or
  • Working with staff across Defenders’ departments to achieve project objectives.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Interns must be self-starters driven by the opportunity to help transform wildlife conservation using science and technology while learning new skills. Interns should have a passion for wildlife conservation, strong research and analytical skills, a proven ability to work with people from a variety of backgrounds, and excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience collecting, managing and analyzing research data;
  • Geospatial skills, including work in QGIS or ArcGIS;
  • Familiarity with and strong interest in relevant web mapping platforms (e.g., ArcGIS Online, Google Earth Engine);
  • General understanding of animal and plant biology, particularly North American species;
  • Basic familiarity with the ESA process and associated regulatory documents; and
  • Background in environmental science, wildlife management, natural resources, or a related field.

LOCATION:

Internships are located at Defenders’ Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Remote work is not an option for this internship.

COMPENSATION:

Unpaid. Local transportation costs up to $10 per day will be reimbursed. Students are encouraged to seek funding opportunities through their schools or outside sources.

HOW TO APPLY:

Interested candidates should send an email to HR@defenders.org and reference “CCI GIS Intern” in the email subject line. Please include a cover letter (letter of interest) and resume as a single PDF file. In the cover letter, be sure to address your interest in working with Defenders of Wildlife and the Center for Conservation Innovation specifically, and how your skills fit the goals and responsibilities of the internship position. If you require a decision by a school deadline for credit or funding, please mention the deadline in both the email and cover letter. Inquiries about CCI internships may be emailed to Dr. Jennie Miller at jmiller@defenders.org.

Candidates will be considered for a fall semester, spring semester or summer intern period. Please submit your application by the following deadline to be considered for a specific term: July 1st for fall internships (start on or around September 15th); December 15th for spring internships (start on or around February 1st); and March 1st for summer internships (start on or around June 1st). The start date and duration of the internship are flexible but we encourage candidates to apply by the deadline.

It is the policy of Defenders of Wildlife to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law, in all personnel actions.

Defenders of Wildlife is a national, non-profit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. Our employees work in an environment that is inclusive and honors each of our unique perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the conservation of biological diversity is best advanced by the contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, experiences, beliefs and cultures. We strive toward a collective goal of including all people in the conservation of our Nation’s wildlife and wild places.