Internship in Amphibian Health & Conservation

A new internship in amphibian health is being offered through the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI). The intern will assist in an ongoing study of Ranavirus infection in amphibians throughout Virginia, and the information gained from this research will help protect wild amphibian populations in this region.

Activities and Responsibilities

  • Monitor signs of wood frog (Rana sylvatica) breeding at ponds throughout northern VA
  •  Learn to identify signs of Ranavirus infection in amphibians
  • Collect and euthanize tadpoles for Ranavirus testing
  • Participate in amphibian-related outreach and education efforts


This is an unpaid internship. We will give strong support of the applicant’s pursuit of college credit for experience gained during this internship.


Housing at SCBI (Front Royal, VA) is available for a full-time intern.


The internship is based at SCBI (Front Royal, VA) with frequent travel to field sites throughout northern Virginia.

Term of Appointment

This is a 3-month internship starting March 1, 2014 and ending May 31, 2014.

Minimum number of hours per week

Applicants may apply for this position as a full-time (40 hours/week) or part-time (20 hours/week) internship. However, housing is only available for a full-time intern.

Application deadline

Review of applications will begin Feb 1, 2014. The application period is open until the internship is filled.

Required qualifications

  •   A strong desire to help sustain earth’s biodiversity
  • Completed at least two years of undergraduate coursework
  • A strong work ethic and willingness to work long days in uncomfortable field conditions
  • Excellent communication skills

Helpful qualifications

  • Knowledge of local amphibians
  •  Interest in disease ecology or animal physiology
  • Experience with sterile technique

Application materials

  • Cover letter
  • Current resume or CV
  • Unofficial college/university transcripts
  • Contact information for two references


To apply, go to: select "New to SOLAA? Create Account Here"When you complete the information to create an account, you will see a screen where you select the type of appointment you are interested in. You will select "Internship". Then you will select the unit you are interested in, "National Zoological Park." Then you will select the Program you are interested in, "National Zoological Park Internship Program." Finally, once you begin completing the application, you will indicate the Project (= to department) you are interested in, “SCBI – Amphibian Health-Ranavirus."

Your application is considered complete when you hit “Submit” and when your references have been received (your SOLAA submitted application and references must be received by the deadlines as noted above). Information that will be requested (in SOLAA) includes:

  • Basic personal information
  • Resume
  • College or university and current academic status (unofficial transcripts acceptable)
  • Degrees held or expected
  • An essay stating: Why you are interested in an internship at the National Zoo, including specifically the area selected (Amphibian Health) and any prior animal experience.What you hope to get out of this internship (learning objectives)
  • Two letters of reference, submitted directly to SOLAA



Supervisor/Contact:  Kimberly Terrell, Ph.D., Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute,