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    Center for Conservation Innovation


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    • Employer: Defenders of Wildlife
      Location: Washington, DC
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    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 Conservation Science 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.

    Each Internship Track is designed as an opportunity for an advanced college, graduate, or post-graduate student to work with CCI and other Defenders staff on various projects which intersect with science, technology and policy.

    LOCATION:

    Internships are located at Defenders’ Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Remote work may be considered for exceptional candidates.

    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.

    TIME FRAME:

    The internship term is flexible but candidates will generally 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 30th 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.

     

    The Center for Conservation Innovation has several internship tracks.

     

    Conservation Science Track

    Three months, Early April – Late June The Conservation Science Intern will directly contribute to one of CCI’s core objectives of providing science support to staff across Defenders’ departments, including Field Conservation, Landscape Conservation, Conservation Law, Government Relations and External Affairs, Communications, and Marketing.

    RESPONSIBILITIES:

    ·         Assist Defenders’ Center for Conservation Innovation staff in developing and implementing various projects to evaluate conservation policy and practice by:

    ·         Identifying best available information on species of concern;

    ·         Conducting scientific literature reviews;

    ·         Critically assessing scientific studies;

    ·         Collecting, organizing, and analyzing datasets, large and small;

    ·         Writing reports and scientific articles;

    ·         Contributing to the content and design of data-based web applications and tools;

    ·         Attending science talks, and meetings; and/or

    ·         Carrying out other science-related tasks as needed.

    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.

    o   Experience collecting, managing, and analyzing research data;

    o   Basic familiarity with the ESA process and associated regulatory documents;

    o   Basic knowledge of R and/or another statistical analysis program for data management, statistical analysis, and visualization;

    o   General understanding of animal and plant biology, particularly for North American species; and

    o   Background in environmental science, wildlife management, natural resources, or a related field.

     

    Range Mapping Track

    In this position, the intern will help with the CCI’s Refined Range Mapping Project, which aims to more precisely and accurately map the ranges of ESA-listed threatened and endangered species. The specific task includes reviewing the literature and relevant databases to delineate the ranges of narrow-ranging species.

    RESPONSIBILITIES:

    ·         Assist the CCI’s geographic information system (GIS) staff with the Refined Range Mapping Project by:

    ·         Reviewing literature and searching relevant occurrence and taxonomic databases;

    ·         Delineating the ranges of ESA threatened and endangered species;

    ·         Working in the Google Earth Engine environment.

    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.

    ·         Experience reviewing ESA documents and peer-reviewed scientific literature;

    ·         Experience collecting, managing, and analyzing research data;

    ·         Familiarity with and strong interest in relevant web mapping platforms (e.g., Google Earth Engine);

    ·         General understanding of animal and plant biology, particularly for North American species;

    ·         Basic familiarity with ESA process and associated regulatory documents; and

    ·         Background in environmental science, wildlife management, natural resources, or a related field.

     

    Geoinformatics and Data Science Track

    In this position, the intern may help collect and analyze large spatial datasets, create published reports, scientific articles, web applications, and maps related to wildlife conservation, especially 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 develop programming and analytical skills, experience in remote sensing, programming, statistical analyses, scientific writing, and creating interactive data visualizations. Further, the intern will gain an understanding of how wildlife laws such as the ESA are implemented.

    ·         Based on current projects, the Geoinformatics & Data Science Intern may work in one or both of the following domains:

    ·         Data Science and Conservation Tool Development – Projects will focus on collecting, analyzing, and presenting data related to conservation law and policy. The intern will become familiar with the implementation of environmental laws such as the Endangered Species Act, and will conduct statistical analyses and create online tools for visualizing data. Projects aim to quantify policy effectiveness, present recommendations to improve species conservation, and generate tools to make data accessible to the public.

    ·         Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing – Projects will focus on technical advances in the use, application, and presentation of remote sensing data for conservation. The intern will learn and refine their geospatial and programming skills by assisting with the development of algorithms and tools, such as automated change detection, image classification, and computer vision. Projects aim to advance conservationists’ abilities to assess the status of species habitats and monitor for on-the-ground compliance with environmental laws.

    RESPONSIBILITIES:

    ·         Assist Defenders’ Center for Conservation Innovation staff in developing and implementing various projects evaluating and improving conservation policy and practice by:

    ·         Designing research questions;

    ·         Performing standardized data collection protocols;

    ·         Collecting and organizing relevant data/databases;

    ·         Conducting spatial and non-spatial statistical analyses;

    ·         Creating interactive web applications and/or online maps;

    ·         Developing tools;

    ·         Writing peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed manuscripts.

    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.

    ·         Demonstrated experience using R, Python, and/or JavaScript for data management, analysis, and visualization;

    ·         Geospatial skills, including work in QGIS, ArcGIS, and/or Google Earth Engine;

    ·         Experience with and strong interest in remote sensing data;

    ·         Familiarity and interest in deep learning and artificial intelligence;

    ·         Background in environmental science, wildlife management, natural resources, or a related field.

     

    User-Centered Design (UX/UI) Track

    The User-centered Design Internship is an opportunity to help improve the usability of CCI’s web applications for conservation. This may include working on the CCI’s main landing pages (https://cci.defenders.org), its data-driven web apps (e.g., https://cci-dev.org/shiny/open/section7_explorer/), or other forms of communications. Brainstorming, testing, sketching and wireframing, and feedback will all be part of the day-to-day work and learning in the position. There will likely be opportunities to work with Defenders’ Marketing team during the internship.

    RESPONSIBILITIES:

    ·         Assist CCI’s app development team in creating and refining web content to impact conservation policy and practice by:

    ·         Helping improve the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) of existing CCI apps;

    ·         Shaping UI/UX of new projects;

    ·         Maximizing consistency with design from defenders.org; and

    ·         Testing designs with a variety of audiences, including technical specialists, policymakers, and the public.

    QUALIFICATIONS:

    Candidates must be driven self-starters with a desire to learn, and must have training and experience in user-centered design, preferably at the Master’s level or higher. Skill with wire framing tools and testing frameworks is highly beneficial. Experience working with specialists in other domains, especially programmers, is ideal. An interest in wildlife conservation is preferred, though deep experience is not necessary. Preferred qualifications include a proven ability to work with people from a variety of backgrounds, and excellent written and verbal communication skills.

     

     

    VALUES AND DIVERSITY

    ·         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.

    ·         Visit Our Values and Diversity page to learn more about who we are and how we operate.

    HOW TO APPLY:

    Interested applicants should send an email to HR@defenders.org and reference Center for Conservation Innovation Intern in the subject line. Please include a resume and letter of interest as a single PDF document. If you need a decision by a school deadline for credit or funding, please mention the deadline in your letter of interest.

     

    Priority will be given to applications received by July 30th 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, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, or any other characteristic protected by law, in all personnel actions.

     

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