If you’re looking to gain valuable hands-on experience in conservation, then join us on one of our student internship programmes. Perhaps you’re studying in a conservation-related field at university or have recently graduated and need to build up your experience? Either way, our placements are designed to have you out in the field and actively involved in our conservation projects.
What to Expect:
Our internships are usually connected to specific projects, for example research into the impact of human activity on local shorebirds. This means the activities you take part in and working hours will depend largely on the internship available, though they’re likely to be long and a degree of flexibility will be required. You’ll certainly be helping out with our regular events though such as bird ringing, flower walks, fish surveys and/or holiday programmes. We’ll also give you the opportunity to take ownership of your own mini-project depending on your expertise and interests and we’ll talk you through the options available when you arrive.
You’ll stay in the volunteer/intern house, which is situated in Nature’s Valley about 1km from the office and 1km from the local (and only) shop. It’s a 4 bedroom wooden structure and you’ll most likely be sharing a room with another intern or one of our current volunteers. The house currently has two permanent staff members, Brittany and Mardre, and Chewbaca 'Chewie' the dog, who likes to live up to his name. There are plenty of facilities including an open plan lounge/kitchen where you can cook your meals, a braai out back and washing machine and tumble dryer for you to do your laundry while you’re with us. There is no internet or landline at the house, though you’re welcome to head to the office outside working hours to use the WIFI there.
Why we do it:
Many hands make light work and the input and knowledge of a conservation student is invaluable in supporting what we do. We also recognize that a career in conservation is competitive with many positions requiring lots of experience. We’re eager to pass on our knowledge and expertise and develop the next generation of conservationists. It’s all about offering enthusiasts the opportunity to gain valuable experience so they can move forward with their careers. Many students or recent graduates are unsure just what working for a small conservation NPO is actually like - if that's you why not sign up and come find out!
We are preferably looking for people who have or are studying towards a qualification in a related biological field such as zoology, ecology, ornithology, conservation biology, environmental science, nature conservation, wildlife/natural resource/integrated coastal zone management, environmental education, etc. However this is not absolutely essential! You will need to be highly self-motivated with a flexible approach and the ability to work independently and as part of a team. Trustworthiness, integrity, dedication and a sense of responsibility are essential as is a keen interest in community based conservation. You’ll also need a good level of physical fitness as there’s sure to be plenty of fieldwork for you to get stuck into. Previous experience in conservation is an advantage, but not necessary, as you’re willingness to learn and actively participate is most important!
Interested in joining our Internship Program? Don't take our word for why you should - why not browse through our previous interns and see what they each got up to? Alternatively, check out what our previous interns had to say about their time with us on our blog.
Contact us to find out more and inquire on prices and availability.