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Wildlife Trust is an international organization which specializes in conservation on an ecosystem level. They accept volunteers for many programs, including oil spill clean-up. Contact them for details on specific projects if you want to volunteer. They also offer formal internship programs. The following is copied from a news release, dated May 30, 2010, on their website: http://www.wildlifetrust.org/



WILDLIFE TRUST INTERNSHIPS OFFER MENTORING, NETWORKING, AND STRONG SCIENCEEdit

Ahhh...summer, the time to lie on a beach, drink tumblers of cold beverages while reading something frothy...or, in the case of Wildlife Trust interns, capture Marbled Murrelets and Black Crowned Night Herons, collect blood samples, compile and analyze data, and create text for conservation medicine brochures.

This summer, five interns on break from college worked closely with WT scientists on a portfolio of projects of the New York Bioscape Initiative (NYBI). All of the projects for the interns - Jonathan Ball, Ariana Harari, Vaishali Kamath, Emily Lammers and Veronica Padula - offered a strong focus on conservation medicine, ecology and health.

Two Wildlife Trust scientists acted as mentors, and directed and evaluated the work of the interns. Dr. Susan Elbin, director of the New York Bioscape Initiative at Wildlife Trust, explains, "My philosophy about internships is that you get what you put into it. There's a lot of mentoring, which I find very rewarding. Consequently, I spend considerable time explaining our program and the rationale for our studies, and showing each intern how their work fits into the big picture of the NYBI."

She adds, "The internships also provide a time for important networking in informal settings. For example, Veronica, Jonathan and Emily went out in the field with our guest, Chip Weseloh, of the Canadian Wildlife Service. He's a cormorant expert and head of toxicology for the Ontario region. It was a wonderful opportunity for these interns to be able to take a break from fieldwork and eat peanut butter sandwiches while having a conversation with a world expert on cormorants."

Dr. Scott Newman, conservation medicine scientist with Wildlife Trust, concurs, "I take mentoring very seriously because with this experience, we have the opportunity to engage someone who potentially can make lifelong contributions to the field of conservation.

"It's also important for us to convey to the interns the importance of their work. Quite simply, Wildlife Trust could not accomplish as much good science as we do without the contribution of interns. They come to us with a variety of experiences, but what they all share in common is an interest in conservation and science. These interests help us to develop their skills, and to train and engage them in research projects we're undertaking. It's a tremendous learning opportunity."

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