Restoration Ecology Internship at The Wilds

The Wilds is one of the largest and most innovative conservation centers in the world, offering diverse training programs for early career professionals. The Wilds has nearly 10,000 acres of reclaimed mineland and remnant forest patches which present opportunities for ecological restoration and research. Six month apprenticeships are available starting February, May, and September 2018. Three month positions are available starting May 2018. The three month positions are aimed at college students on summer break.

Apprentices gain hands-on experience, participate vegetation and wildlife studies and receive field training on a variety of ecological studies in wetland, forest, stream & grassland habitats. Apprentices will have the opportunity to develop their own independent research project involving field, lab, and/or computer modeling components.

Typical tasks include:

  • Implementing habitat improvements and monitoring ecosystem recovery through invasive plant management, vegetation and wildlife surveys, environmental monitoring, photo point collection, data analysis and report writing. Apprentices will receive training in field methods (species identification, survey protocols, research methodology), GPS & GIS applications/map making, biological monitoring and application of land management and restoration techniques.
  • Apprentices will conduct an independent scientific research project with a topic of their choice, with a final presentation to Columbus Zoo and Wilds employees at the end of their term.
  • The position requires hiking and some physically demanding tasks, including outdoor work throughout the seasons. This may include hot, buggy, cold or otherwise challenging conditions. Participants should be prepared with appropriate field gear / foot wear.
  • Candidates should be eager for learning opportunities and willing to practice new skills independently. Apprentices must be responsible, flexible, self-motivated and able to work effectively with limited supervision, as well as in a team setting.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and be able to lift at least 45 lbs.

For more information, including potential projects, expectations, and how to apply, please visit our website.

No monetary compensation is offered; however, the position is ideal for acquiring practical career experience in conservation, natural resource management, land stewardship or ecological studies, and is particularly well suited to prepare participants for graduate school or work in a conservation organization. On site housing is available for $250/month. Remember that you can apply for an internship funding award through the Career Center starting in February 2018.

To apply, please send your resume and a cover letter to Dr. Rebecca Swab. Outline what you would hope to gain from the position and how your past experience makes you an ideal candidate, what start date you would like, and what duration of apprenticeship. Please send application materials to Dr. Rebecca Swab at


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