Many internships are available for enthusiastic students who are interested in pursuing biodiversity research or conservation projects. Washington University students pursuing an internship listed below are eligible to receive credit through General Studies 2991 04. An unpaid internship that is not specifically listed below may also qualify the student; email Professor Jonathan Losos at losos.wustl.edu with interest or questions

Starting in the Fall 2018 semester, WashU students are eligible to earn credit for an unpaid biodiversity internship. Featured internships with positions open this fall are indicated below. If a student has secured an internship position not specifically listed below, they may also be eligible to receive credit starting this fall.


There are currently openings in the following featured internship programs for the 2018 Fall semester:

Animal Behavior Intern, Saint Louis Zoo

Saint Louis Zoo

Positions open for Fall 2018

Interns in the behavior lab will assist with live observations of primates, video observations of antelope and reptiles, and with data reduction, summary, and graphing for several different research projects. Studies of behavior are observational and do not include animal contact. Coursework in animal behavior is strongly recommended but not required, and skill using Excel is helpful.

To Apply: Download the Research Internship Application and send it to Eli Baskir, MS, Behavior Research Associate, at Baskir@stlzoo.org

Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development Intern

Missouri Botanical Garden

Positions open for Fall 2018

The Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development explores and implements new, science-based approaches to understanding the occurrence, distribution, and ecology of plants, in order to conserve them and sustainably use plant diversity. The botanical garden provides undergraduate students with outstanding opportunities to work closely with a Garden scientist on a variety of projects.

For more information, email a two-paragraph statement of interest and your resume to Monica Carlsen (Assistant Scientist – Education Coordinator) at monica.carlsen@mobot.org

Endocrinology Intern, Saint Louis Zoo

Saint Louis Zoo

Positions open for Fall 2018

The Intern will learn about the reproductive endocrinology of many species and how hormone measures are used to help conserve endangered animals, both in zoos and in the wild. He/she will work in the lab assisting with preparation of samples for hormone analysis, assistance with laboratory operations, and some data & inventory management.  Students here will learn some basic laboratory techniques as well as the basics of reproductive endocrinology in wildlife species.

To Apply: Download the Research Internship Application and send it to Corinne Kozlowski, PhD, Endocrinologist, at Kozlowski@stlzoo.org

Insect Keeper Intern, Sophia Sacks Butterfly House

Missouri Botanical Garden

Positions open for Fall 2018

The Insect Keeper internship involves hands-on work with all non-venomous invertebrates and other animals at the Butterfly House. Interns will help maintain the collection and help process shipments. This will include feeding, tank cleaning and, when needed, tank set-up. Weekend and summer interns will be required to spend time in the classroom for hands-on demonstrations with education animals after completing animal handling training. 

This internship is based at the Butterfly House in Chesterfield, Missouri.

To Apply: Email cover letter and resume to Laura Chisholm

Plant Science Intern, Research Department

Missouri Botanical Garden

Positions open for Fall 2018

The Research Department has become a world leader in systematics – the study of plants and their evolution, including discovering new species, exploring untouched regions of the world, cataloguing and preserving millions of herbarium specimens, to elucidating relationships among plant groups. The department provides undergraduate students with outstanding opportunities to work closely with a Garden scientist on a variety of projects.

For more information, email a two-paragraph statement of interest and your resume to Monica Carlsen (Assistant Scientist – Education Coordinator) at monica.carlsen@mobot.org

Project Pollinator Intern, Sophia Sacks Butterfly House

Missouri Botanical Garden

Positions open for Fall 2018

This internship provides practical, hands-on work experience in designing native habitats for pollinators and educating visitors about pollinators and how we can support them in our landscapes. Interns will assist the Education and Horticulture staff in maintaining native gardens both at the Butterfly House and at community sites where the Butterfly House has worked. In addition, there will be many opportunities for interacting with the public in our Native Habitat garden and teaching them about pollinators.

This internship is based at the Butterfly House in Chesterfield, Missouri.

To Apply: Email cover letter and resume to Chris Hartley

William L. Brown Center Intern, Missouri Botanical Garden

Missouri Botanical Garden

Positions open for Fall 2018

The William L. Brown Center is dedicated to the study of useful plants, understanding the relationships between humans, plants, and their environment, the conservation of plant species, and the preservation of traditional knowledge for the benefit of future generations. The Garden provides undergraduate students with outstanding opportunities to work closely with a Garden scientist on a variety of projects. 

For more information, email a two-paragraph statement of interest and your resume to Monica Carlsen (Assistant Scientist – Education Coordinator) at monica.carlsen@mobot.org


Open internship positions in the Saint Louis area are regularly posted on the following organizations’ websites. Some may have openings for Fall 2018:

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Research Experience for Undergraduates Internship (summer)

The Danforth Plant Science Center’s REU summer Internship program is held eleven weeks each summer and exposes students to a rich research environment. The program gives students experience with all aspects of modern scientific research, from design to experimentation to reporting. Faculty mentors and staff provide insight into the personal qualities that make a good researcher, the process and training involved in becoming a scientist, and the broader impact of scientific discovery. The program is made possible through generous support from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Endangered Wolf Center

Animal Keeper Internships (year-round)

contact: Emma Miller, Animal Keeper, emiller@endangeredwolfcenter.org

The Endangered Wolf Center (EWC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving endangered wolves and other canid species from extinction by educating people about their importance in the ecosystem and supporting their reintroduction into their native habitat through a combination of managed breeding and research. Internships provide hands-on experience working directly with the animal care staff. Intern responsibilities include, but are not limited to, diet preparation, monitoring behavior and health of animals, creating and distributing enrichment, observing training sessions, as well as enclosure maintenance.

Environment Missouri

Internship (spring or fall semester)

If you want to spend the semester learning how to make a real impact on the decisions that affect the energy we use, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the places we love, apply for an internship with Environment Missouri. Each semester, we train students like you to analyze environmental problems, advocate for smart solutions, and build public support. And you’ll work one-on-one with one of our advocates or organizers, providing a unique, mentored experience.

Missouri Botanical Garden

Internship (spring, summer and fall)

The Garden offers unpaid internships designed for you to obtain academic credit or credentials to fulfill requirements of an apprenticeship or to experience professional development, perhaps in an area new to your career. They offer unpaid internships in a variety of areas: Administration, Communications, Customer Service/Hospitality, Education, Horticulture, Human Resources, Information Technology, Retail Services, Science and Conservation.

Missouri Coalition for the Environment

Internship (summer)

We strive to provide a multidisciplinary experience that gives you the chance to see the many sides of an environmental issue. We will plan field trips and other outings to make sure you get out of the office to see the communities we serve and understand first-hand the impacts of the issues we address. MCE’s main office is located in the heart of the South Grand neighborhood overlooking Tower Grove Park. We have a rooftop deck with a great view of the City where we’ll host social and educational events throughout the year. We hope you will consider joining us! Internships are located in our St. Louis headquarters at 3115 S. Grand Blvd., Ste. 650, St. Louis, MO 63118 and are unpaid, unless otherwise specified.

Missouri Department of Conservation

Internship (spring, summer and fall)

contact: Bryson King, Bryson.King@mdc.mo.gov

We offer undergraduate and graduate positions that typically run concurrent with college semesters or summer break. The program follows a traditional approach to engage students during studies for career exploration and to gain practical experience beyond the classroom. At the undergraduate level the emphasis is on recruitment, career exploration, and introduction of top performing students to MDC. . Internship positions vary from year to year. Internships students have won in the past include Aquatic Education Specialist, Cave Biologist, Fisheries Management, Urban Forester Assistant, and Wetland Resources.

Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Internship (summer)

contact: Tiffani Martin, tiffani.martin@dnr.mo.gov

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Summer Professional Development Program is designed to provide college students or recent graduates with real-life experience working alongside the department’s engineers, scientists, natural resource managers and other professionals. There are paid and unpaid opportunities.Opportunities with the Summer Professional Development Program exist statewide. Candidates can apply to any or all of the following programs with opportunities: Division of Environmental Quality, Missouri State Parks and Missouri Geological Survey.

Saint Louis Zoo

Internships and Externships (summer, limited positions in fall and spring)

contact: Katie Emerick, Director of volunteer services, volunteerservices@stlzoo.org

The Saint Louis Zoo provides college/university students, recent graduates and individuals with prior college coursework in the area of biology, zoology, education, animal science or related fields an opportunity to learn about the Zoo’s zoological operations while obtaining valuable, hands-on work experience in animal care or education and an understanding of the Saint Louis Zoo’s role in research and conservation. A college/university student or recent graduate in the areas of biology, zoology, education, animal science, human resources, marketing, development or related field, receiving credit through their college/university under the direction of a faculty advisor, while obtaining practical hands-on work experience.

Sierra Club, Eastern Missouri Chapter

Internship (summer)

The Sierra Club Missouri Chapter is part of the National Sierra Club.Our purpose is “to explore, enjoy and protect the wild places of the Earth; to practice and promote the responsible use of the Earth’s ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.”

The Open Space Council for the St. Louis Region

Internship (summer)

Founded in 1965, the Open Space Council works independently and collaboratively to conserve and sustain land, water and other natural resources throughout the St. Louis region.

Tyson Research Center

Undergraduate Research Fellowship (summer)

In this 11-week summer program, undergraduate students work elbow-to-elbow with faculty, post-doctoral scientist, staff scientist, and graduate student mentors on field-based research projects at Tyson Research Center. First-time fellows typically have interest in ecological research but may not yet have the experience needed to conduct independent research projects. Advanced or returning undergraduate fellows often design and execute their own field-based ecological research under the guidance of a mentor.

World Bird Sanctuary

Internship (spring, summer and fall)

Interns will experience all aspects of the World Bird Sanctuary by assisting staff with: Captive management of resident birds and other animals, daily husbandry duties, maintenance of facilities, rehabilitiation of injured birds, public education programs through the Office of Wildlife Learning, interacting with the public at the Visitor’s Center, and field identification of birds & documentation of behaviors