SCBI LOCAL CONSERVATION COMMUNICATION INTERNSHIP 2022 @ Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute



Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park provides the opportunity for one intern to gain experience in communications and outreach with two conservation programs of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI). Virginia Working Landscapes (VWL) is a community-based program that focuses on biodiversity and landscape conservation through ecosystem research, education, and community engagement. The Changing Landscapes Initiative (CLI) is a landscape ecology and conservation program bridging the gap between scientists and communities through a stakeholder-driven, scenario planning approach.

The intern will primarily participate in VWL and CLI outreach and education efforts to engage the local community in program activities, and conservation topics in general, through science communication, writing for online (website, email, and social media) and print platforms, The intern will also be able to learn about direct community engagement through virtual stakeholder meetings and other outreach events There may also be opportunities to participate in field site visits as schedules allow. Participants in this internship will be playing a significant role in connecting our audiences and the general public to conservation science. Through engagement and outreach, this intern will help to inspire conservation action and share important information on local biodiversity and the impacts of land management and conservation practices on wildlife.

Learning* Objectives* **

This is a paid internship opportunity through the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Through this internship, interns will assist with the following as they gain important experience with conservation science and engagement:

  • Develop skills in science communication and sharing research and conservation work with the public by:
    • Contributing to a monthly Conservation Science Newsletter, which summarizes relevant research papers and articles from around the world.
    • Creating new, or modifying existing, written web content including blog-style articles to provide updates on local research and conservation programs relevant to VWL and CLI stakeholders.
    • Creating new, or modifying existing, outreach materials to support outreach goals. Potential materials include program reports, handouts, management guidelines, ESRI StoryMaps, posters, brochures, field guides, and more
    • Preparing visual graphics and infographics for use on websites, in social media, in newsletters, event, and fundraising promotion, and in the above outreach materials
    • Supporting the creation of emails to publicize events and other relevant information for each program
    • Attending workshops and composing short summaries for dissemination to attendees and for publication on program websites.
  • Develop skills in social media communications and online outreach campaigns by :
    • Preparing multiple social media posts a week on VWL and CLI accomplishments and news
    • Managing a social media strategic calendar including initiating a Hootsuite account
  • Develop community engagement skills by :
    • Supporting the coordination of meetings (currently virtual) with key stakeholders and collaborators, including flyer design and distribution, organizing speakers and attendees, taking detailed notes, and tracking community engagement metrics.
    • Reviewing and investigating new audiences and opportunities for CLI and VWL products and events
  • Learn data management and organizational skills by :
    • Helping to maintain the organization of multiple databases, including outreach tracking and photo repositories Identifying potential improvements and alternatives to data management structures and platforms

Qualifications* *

  • Candidates with the following experience will gain the most from this internship:
    • Writing original content drawing details from multiple sources which could include scientific reports, policy announcements, and verbal communication with team members and partners
    • Short-form social media content creation
    • Social media campaign planning
    • Summarizing scientific material for lay audiences
    • Graphic design (MS suite preferred, Adobe can be discussed)
    • Layout design (Publisher preferred, InDesign can be discussed)
    • Light photo editing, potentially original photography
    • Event planning and coordination
    • Strong interpersonal skills to engage effectively with internal team members and external stakeholders
    • General computer proficiency, including a working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications

Stipend* *

$1800 per month for 6 months with the possibility of extension

Location* *

Front Royal, VA

Housing* *

Local, low-cost housing may be available dependent on current vacancies.

Application Instructions* *

To apply please email your resume, cover letter, and a short writing sample to with the subject “2022 Communications Internship.”


Research Institute

$1800 per month


Front Royal, VA, USA




2021-12-02 00:00