The Minnesota Zoo’s Conservation Department implements a variety of field conservation initiatives both in Minnesota and internationally, on species ranging from prairie butterflies and native freshwater mussels to black rhinos. The summer intern will work primarily with the Zoo’s freshwater turtle conservation initiative, which focuses on improving our understanding of the threats facing Minnesota’s turtles and what strategies may be effective in mitigating these threats. The project has three main components: a road mortality study including regular surveys of greater metro roadways to document roadkill; a spatial ecology project with radio- and GPS tracking of threatened turtles to learn about their habitat use and requirements; and a nest protection initiative to improve hatching success. The intern will assist in all aspects of this program and should be prepared to handle long days in the field in a variety of weather conditions.

All interns must complete an individual project developed in collaboration with the Conservation staff.

Conservation Internship Working Conditions:

  • Schedule:
    • 8-10 hour days
    • 24-32 hours/week, 10-12 weeks
    • Schedule TBD
  • Location:
    • Outdoors, on-site (away from the MN Zoo), supporting field conservation biologist investigation of threats to MN turtles
    • Data management assignments performed in an office environment (located on Zoo property but not in the main building)
  • Activity Level:
    • Medium to high levels of physical activity required, including extensive walking outdoors over wet and/or uneven terrain on-site along MN roadways.
  • Animal Husbandry-Collection Interpretation work task distribution:
    • Interns in this work area should expect to encounter wild animals killed by vehicle traffic on MN roads
    • Interns in this work area will not work with animals in the Zoo’s collections