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Conservation Internship

Gaining experience while making a difference.

The Conservation Internship Program, through the Audubon WINGS program, strives to give interns priceless experiences and an avenue for turning a passion for conservation and the environment into action! Interns participate in an ecologically-sound land management program and assist with on- and off-site hydrologic, vegetation, and wildlife monitoring projects.The monitoring projects and research help drive management decisions. 

Some of the land management activities they will actively participate in include:

1) Herbicidal treatment of exotic, invasive and native, nuisance plant species 

2) Mechanical removal of exotic, invasive and native nuisance plant species 

3) Prescribed fire planning, execution, and post-fire monitoring 

Additionally, the interns will be involved in the Science program. Under the guidance of Dr. Shawn Clem, interns will be collecting data and assisting with multiple monitoring projects both on- and off- site. 

There are some physical requirements. These are: 

  • the ability to work long hours in the field in sub-tropical wetland environments, exposed to harsh South Florida environment (sun, biting insects, sever summer storms), sometimes alone and carrying field gear (up to 40 lbs.) for extended periods 
  • Ability and willingness to work in murky waters and thick vegetation that serve as home to potentially dangerous wildlife such as alligators and venomous snakes

Additionally, there are other criteria being looked for. These include: 

  • Be currently enrolled in or recent graduation of an institue of higher learning, pursuing a degree in natural science or related field. 
  • Possess strong communication and interpersonal skills and a team-focused attitude. 
  • Possess a desire to learn about conservation and have a basic understanding of ecology. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to exercise sound judgment and adaptability to changing work conditions.
  • Possess a valid driver's license (experience with ATVs, 4WD vehicles and the ability to operate a manual transmission is a plus); and 
  • Commit to the full duration of the internship 

This full-time six month internship will has two session: from January through June or September through February; the position will not exceed 40 hours per week, with occasional weekend work, as needed. 

 Housing is required on-site due to the relatively remote location of the Sanctuary and early field hours. Housing is a furnished one-level dormitory-style building on Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary property with 4 private bedrooms. There are two bathrooms, two joined (shared) kitchens, a living room and a screened porch. Wireless internet and utilities are included, except for long-distance phone calls. Housing will be shared with interns and/or visiting researchers at times.

Please check back as internship postings come up every 5-6 months. 

For more information about the Conservation intern program, please email Allyson Webb

LEARN ABOUT OUR CURRENT CORKSCREW INTERNS--

NICHOLAS CHARLES

  • January-June 2017
  • University of Central Florida '16
  • B.S. Environmental Science
I was born at Yokota Air Force base in Fussa, Japan while my father was actively serving in the military. My career goal is to work in a lab as an environmental scientist. Working at Audubon's corkscrew swamp sanctuary in Naples has allowed me to gain a newfound appreciation and scientific understanding of our natural. I feel that the wide variety of job responsibilities will thoroughly prepare me for a future career in the field of environmental science. 

KRISTINA HSU​

  • March-August 2017​
  • American University '16
  • Major: Environmental Science 

I’m a Seattle-area native, I got my start in conservation searching the Capital park system for seeps, vernal pools, and endangered amphipods that inhabit them. Since then, I have kept tabs on invasive quagga mussel veligers in Las Vegas, spent a brief hiatus in water safety consulting, studied salmon and brown bears in Kodiak, and eradicated ants while monitoring seabirds and marine life on Johnston Atoll. In my free time, I like taking weekend trips to new places and daydreaming about my future mini-farm (hint: quails).  I am so happy to have the opportunity to work here at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and have already learned a dozen or two new species. My hope over the course of my internship is to learn where I fit best in refuge management as well. 

SEBASTIAN PALACIO

  • May-August 2017
  • State University of New York at Cobleskill. '17
  • B.S. Wildlife Management

I was very involved in The Wildlife Society and Ducks Unlimited chapters of my school, participating in national meetings and banding ducks. Last summer I had an internship with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Key Deer Refuge, where I worked in the visitor center and helped the biologists with field research. This past winter I went to Panama to witness all the biodiversity they have there and help local biologists with surveys. I enjoy photography and am most passionate about avian and herpetofauna ecology. I have volunteered with NYDEC in migratory hawk counts, eastern screech owl surveys and alewife surveys; and always looking to help with any projects. I am very excited to start my internship in Corkscrew and can’t wait to meet everybody and make great memories. 

COURTNEY KERN*

  • May-August 2017
  • Florida Gulf Coast University '18
  • Major: Environmental Studies 

I love birds and ever since I can remember, I have been mesmerized by wildlife. Some of my favorite birds found in Florida include the crested caracara, red-headed woodpecker, and hooded merganser! I grew up in Venice, Florida, where I was involved with Venice Area Audubon Society and Sarasota Audubon Society. Now living in Fort Myers, I am an active board member of Audubon of Southwest Florida and I take any opportunities I can get to learn more about nature. At FGCU, I am a Student Naturalist for the Colloquium program, where I lead classes on various field trip sites throughout the area and teach about ecology/sustainability. Being a naturalist has been such a rewarding experience for me and I have gotten to be part of some amazing opportunities. I have high hopes for being involved at Corkscrew and am excited to learn!

JOSEPH HUTCHINSON*
  • May-August 2017
  • Florida Gulf Coast University '17
  • Major: Environmental Studies
My passion is ecology/hydrology and I hope to continue my education in pursuit of making the world a better place. My original major was biology but through exploration of the Appalachian mountains in the North near my home of New England it clicked that the environment was the only career option I would ever see myself completely satisfied with. Besides being a huge environmental nerd I play all kinds of sports including hockey, golf, lacrosse and mainly snowboarding when I can find some snow to shred! I hope to travel the world one day with what I have learned and experienced to continue demonstrating my passion.

*Corkscrew volunteers gaining internship credit through their university

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