Alexander Dickey Conservation Internship, Vermont Center for Ecostudies

Hartford, VT

Organization: Vermont Center for Ecostudies

Duties: The position will involve immersion in many aspects of VCE’s diverse wildlife research and monitoring projects, including (but not limited to) the Vermont Loon Conservation Project, Mountain Birdwatch, long-term bird banding on the Mt. Mansfield ridgeline, and studies of vernal pool amphibian ecology. The opportunity to present a nature program and/or lead a nature walk at a therapeutic community will help develop public speaking skills. Responsibilities will vary from day to day and week to week, but will include extensive field work and office-based tasks such as error-checking and digitization of data.

Desired qualifications: Qualifications include some formal education in wildlife biology, ecology, or a closely related field. Also required is a willingness to work unpredictable hours in demanding field conditions, to physically exert oneself, to work both independently and in a close-knit team of two, to be flexible in scheduling activities, and to show an abundance of good-natured humor. Applicants should be prepared to travel independently around Vermont and occasionally to surrounding states, to conduct loon surveys via kayak (training will be provided), and to conduct hiking-based surveys of mountain birds. Ability to work in variable weather conditions, traverse uneven terrain, carry upwards of 20 pounds in a backpack, to life a canoe or kayak off of and onto a vehicle, and otherwise maintain good physical condition are essential. Ability to navigate roads with a roadmap (not relying upon a GPS) is critical. Willingness to camp in remote areas and ability to use a GPS for navigating hiking trails in the dark to survey locations are also important. Prior experience conducting biological field work, particularly involving identification of birds by sight and sound, is preferred, but not required. Valid driver’s license and a reliable vehicle are necessary.

Start and end dates: VCE seeks applicants for a 12-week, field-based conservation science internship for the period 21 May to 10 August 2018.

Salary/pay: $500/week

Link to more information: View the full description.

How to apply: To apply, please submit a brief cover letter with CV and at least two references to the attention of Melissa MacKenzie (, along with a 500-word (maximum) essay describing why this internship offers a meaningful opportunity to advance your personal and professional growth, and how Alexander Dickey’s described experience resonates with your own. In addition to promising aspirations as a conservation biologist, we are looking for someone inspired by nature, moved to preserve it, and someone who has either suffered from, has empathy for, is aware of, and/or curious about the type of struggle Alex experienced and that is not uncommon in our society. At the internship’s conclusion, we will request a 1000-word retrospective essay about the experience’s impact on you, how it has affected your professional aspirations, and how you feel it has honored Alexander’s memory. This essay will be published in VCE’s fall newsletter, Field Notes.

Application deadline: March 9, 2018.