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  • Heather McKee

Find Paid Summer Work in Conservation


So you've finished your first (or second or third!) EPI course and are hungry to get your hands even dirtier in the world of conservation. What do you do next? Use your summer break to your advantage and get paid to further your conservation efforts.


A summer (sometimes called seasonal) job or internship could lead to permanent job opportunities, give insight into your future area of study in college, or allow you to travel to incredible places. It can also help you decide whether a career in conservation is right for you; often the work is intermittent and labor-intensive in any and all weather conditions. But a summer job in conservation or natural resources is also a way to build relationships and contribute to the good in the world.


Many summer jobs and internships are posted in the late winter and early spring seasons. To help with your search to find paid work in conservation, we've pulled together a list of resources.


Ecology Project International

Of course we put this one first!But seriously, we've got a good gig with the Bitterroot Wildlife Internship. It's a partnership between EPI and MPG Ranch, a conservation property in Western Montana that focuses on restoration and ecology research. Interns in this month-long program receive a stipend and get to work with professional scientists to create their own research projects. We typically post the internships every December on our website. MPG Ranch itself offers a host of seasonal positions that would be a good first career step for any future conservationist.


SCA

After checking out what EPI has to offer, the Student Conservation Association is the next place you should go. Not only does the SCA have local, regional, and national paid job opportunities for high schoolers, but it also is an incredible resource and community to get invovled in.


Pacuare Nature Reserve

If you've been lucky enough to participate in an EPI Costa Rica course, you've probably been to the reserve. The reserve is the 4th most important nesting beach in the world for leatherback and green sea turtles and is home to many science research projects.


While the reserve typically hires college students studying biology for their field assistants, those are by no means requirements to apply. Like their website says, "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to work in a team with people from different parts of the world, to live by a remote turtle nesting beach surrounded by diverse flora and fauna, to participate in the conservation of a critically endangered species, to gain leadership experience and to test yourself physically and mentally as never before!"


U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

The National Wildlife Refuge System has a couple of different opportunities for students to get paid and work in conservation. Pathways program and the Internship program are for high school to college students, while the Recent Graduates program is for students with an associate's or bachelor's degree.


Youth Conservation Corps

Have a hand in repairing our national parks, performing trail maintenance, clearing out invasive species, and repairing crumbling infrastructure. And get paid!


National Park Service

The NPS provides many paid conservation opportunities for students from high school through graduate studies.


If none of those suggestions pan out for you, try these other interesting opportunities: American Camp Association: be a camp counselor Backdoor Jobs: short term job adventures Cool Works: jobs in great places


Also, be sure to connect with us on LinkedIn, where we share internship and job opportunities through a private alumni group, so you'll be the first to know!


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