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Conservation Planning Intern

Boulder, CO, USA
Title: Conservation planning and decision support internship
State: Colorado or Virginia (other locations can be discussed including applicant’s home university)
City: Boulder, Arlington
Subject Of Internship: Biodiversity conservation and GIS
Minimum Education Level: Current masters or doctoral program, experienced and advanced undergraduate can be
Possibility Of Extension Of Employment: Possible depending on need and funding availability
Internships are generally unpaid but some reimbursement of expenses may be available depending on the specific
internship opportunities
Internship Description: NatureServe offers internship positions in our Department of Conservation Planning to
learn and apply advanced spatial decision support tools and models supporting biodiversity conservation.
The intern will be an important member of NatureServe’s Conservation Planning team. The department
conducts a broad variety of work including conservation assessments, prioritizations, and planning; development of
methods, frameworks, and guidance; and advising and training for a very diverse set of clients including government
agencies at the national, state/provincial, and local levels; conservation NGOs, and industry throughout the Americas
(and occasionally beyond). Much of our work is focused on development and application of NatureServe Vista
(, a free extension to Esri’s ArcGIS platform. Vista helps users perform a wide variety of
conservation assessment and planning functions.
The intern will work closely with and be mentored by highly experienced professionals, including Department Director,
Dr. Patrick Crist. We view this internship as an opportunity to help increase the professional experience and
knowledge of the intern while benefitting from the contemporary knowledge and enthusiasm of the intern.
Responsibilities: This is an open internship offering where specific responsibilities will be established based on
current projects and needs. In general, the intern may expect to do the following:
 Learn the NatureServe Vista decision support system and help identify needs and contribute solutions for
improved documentation, usability, and performance
 Apply the Vista tool to a conservation assessment/planning project and develop a case study of the
application for the Vista website. This may be a project that the intern brings or a pro-bono project for a
poorly resourced organization or area of high interest for NatureServe such as marine conservation.
 Utilize a previous Vista project to develop a tutorial for demonstrations and user download that illustrates the
breadth of Vista functions applicable to a particular sector of interest to the intern
 Investigate new tools and approaches to contribute to the knowledge of additional tools and models for
interoperation with Vista in a conservation toolkit.
 Contribute to a project in addition to Vista through literature review, concepts, methods, and ideas, graphic
presentation material, and report content.
Qualifications: A current masters or doctoral student in a relevant field (e.g., conservation biology/planning, natural
resources management, ecology, regional planning/landscape architecture) although an advanced undergraduate
with appropriate experience can be considered. Must have an existing background in Environmental Studies,
Conservation Biology, or Natural Resources and good GIS skills including raster analysis using Esri ArcGIS. We
especially seek interns with any of the following: good knowledge of climate change adaptation, marine conservation
planning, wildlife connectivity modeling, ecosystem services valuation, socioeconomic aspects of conservation, or
experience with conservation optimization tools such as Marxan or Zonation.
Duration Of Internship: minimum of 8 weeks full time or equivalent part time
Submission Deadline: applications can be considered any time. For summer internships applications are encouraged
by March 1 with selection occurring by mid April; for fall internships applications are encouraged by August 1; for
spring internships, applications are encouraged by Dec 1. Note that we typically only host two interns at any one time
and some internships extend over two semesters.
Full Time Internship: Full or part time can be negotiated to fit qualified applicant’s availability
To apply
Please send a CV to with brief cover explaining the interest in this internship and
specific skills you seek to apply, develop, and specific type of activities of interest.

Apply via email to

4600 N Fairfax Dr., 7th Fl
Arlington, VA, 22203 USA
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