Print Logo

Internship Opportunities

Share
Cleaning taxidermy

The Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is celebrating 160 years of connecting people with nature and science.

Originally founded so that scientists and nature aficionados alike could study and share the specimens they collected, we continue to build on our legacy of natural history education at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum through immersive exhibits, critical conservation and research initiatives, public engagement and education programming. Our mission is to create a positive relationship between people and nature through collaborations, education, research and collections, exhibitions, and public forums to grow our region’s urban connection to the world of nature and science.

The Nature Museum typically offers internships in the fall, winter, spring, and summer. Applicants must be at least 18 years old to be considered. Internships vary, so please refer to the position listings themselves for additional requirements and application instructions. All current internship opportunities are listed below.*

*Please note, due to our background check process, a valid US Social Security number is required to be an intern at the Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.


Education Intern, Teen Programs (Summer)
Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Background:

The Nature Museum is seeking Education Interns to assist with the “Teenagers Exploring and Explaining Nature and Science” (TEENS) summer program. TEENS is a 7-week program engaging a group of 30 Chicago public high school students in teen-driven investigations of urban ecosystems and the relationships between humans and nature. Participants collect environmental data, study nature in city parks and neighborhoods, and develop and conduct locally-focused research projects using low-cost and DIY environmental sampling methods. Students use free and open source smartphone apps for mobile data collection, and create web-based maps and other visualizations for media-rich project websites (see bit.ly/CASsites). In conjunction with the two TEENS Program Educators, Education Interns will assist with the development and implementation of field- and lab-based experiences for TEENS participants and mentor youth as they develop field-based research project in urban ecology. This is an 8-week internship that includes 1 week of training, collaborative planning, and preparation prior start of the 7-week TEENS summer program.  

Objectives:

The goal of this internship is to gain experience implementing informal science education in an outdoor setting and mentoring high-school aged youth from diverse backgrounds.

Final Product:

The final product will be a project webpage where youth participants will display project data and findings through photographs, blog posts, and youth-created maps. Interns will play a crucial role in development of the project webpage by mentoring youth throughout the summer as they design research projects, collect and analyze data, and produce digital maps and other visualizations.

Responsibilities:

  • Be available to work June 17 – August 9, 2019, Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 2:30pm (off on July 4, 2019).
  • Assist with the implementation of a teen-driven, inquiry-based curriculum emphasizing environmental science and ecological concepts, mobile data collection, digital mapping, data visualizations and analysis.
  • Assist instructors leading groups of 15 youth during lab and field-based science investigations at the Nature Museum and off-site.
  • Guide youth in developing and carrying out field investigations focused on urban ecology.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with Museum staff to provide a safe and nurturing educational environment for the participants.
  • Exhibit appropriate interpersonal skills and professional behavior to support a positive and successful workplace environment.
  • Assist with other program activities as necessary.

Qualifications:

  • Interest in nature and science required.
  • Eager to work with teenagers from diverse backgrounds.
  • Experience teaching science in formal and/or informal education settings to high-school or middle-school students preferred.
  • Interest in facilitating educational activities both indoors and outdoors in a full range of weather conditions.
  • Experience with field mapping, GPS, GIS, and other digital tools a plus.
  • Experience with Google Drive, and webmaking tools and technologies (including HTML and CSS), or a willingness to learn.
  • Ability to physically lift, transport, and carry program materials off-site and throughout the Museum.
  • Available to work hours and dates described above.

Desired Year in School: Post junior year of college or above

Desired Majors: Environmental Science, Ecology, Conservation, Biology, Geography, Geology, Environmental Education, Science Education, or related field.

Compensation: Paid ($2,500)

How To Apply:

Email resume and cover letter to: teens@naturemuseum.org. Please include “Education Intern, Teen Programs” in the subject line.

No phone calls please. Qualified candidates will be contacted.

The Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Lepidoptera Field Conservation Internship (Part Time)
Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
(Off-grounds: DuPage County, IL)

General Summary:

One field conservation internship is available for a regional lepidopteran inventory project. The intern will assist the Chief Curator of the Chicago Academy of Sciences and the Associate Curator of Entomology with conducting surveys for diurnal butterflies and moths in Will County, IL at three sites: Braidwood Dunes and Kankakee Sands, and Sand Ridge Savanna. Fieldwork for the internships will occur 1 day per week, for up to 10 hours per week (M-F) spanning 20 weeks, week of 13 May into week of 23 September 2019 (allowing some flexibility of start and end dates). During the initial sampling period, the intern must be flexible with hours (workable field days are weather dependent). There are opportunities for lab work during weeks of bad weather after the first few field days have been conducted.

Duties & Responsibilities:

​The Field Conservation intern will be trained to conduct wandering transect and bait trapping surveys for day-flying butterfly and moth populations, netting and collection of voucher specimens, assessing host plant and nectar source abundances, and processing and detailed labeling of voucher specimens. The intern will gain valuable skills with field sampling techniques as well as curatorial spreading and preservation of moths and butterflies.

Essential Job Functions:

  • Handling, catching, identifying, lepidopterans via netting, trapping, and visual encounter surveys
  • Assist with setup and takedown of baited traps
  • Traveling between the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and field sampling sites in personal vehicle and decontaminating sampling gear between sites
  • Maintain accurate data sheets and field notes
  • Recording environmental conditions
  • Conducting vegetation surveys
  • Data entry into Microsoft Excel/Dropbox

Additional Responsibilities:

Because of travel distances, applicants with a personal vehicle for travel to and from field sites are preferred. The ideal candidates will be comfortable working independently in the outdoors with little shade, and with abundant biting insects, ticks, and poison ivy. The intern will effectively communicate with the Chief Curator of the Chicago Academy of Sciences, Associate Curator of Entomology, and forest preserve agency personnel regarding project details. Intern must be able to effectively communicate about the field projects with the public, as the field sites are forest preserves with hikers, bicyclists, etc. The intern may participate in other Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum-related activities as necessary, but the internship is primarily field-based. The intern will perform other duties related to the field project as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities:

Must be able to lift and carry at least 35 lbs through habitat by foot; basic knowledge of local fauna or willingness to learn; must be willing to work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions, rain, heat, cold, etc.; must be tolerant of insect bites; proficiency with Microsoft Office Excel and Word; flexibility regarding meetings, and situations as they arise; must be able to work independently or as part of a two-person team; training will be provided for all internship activities.

Education Requirements: B.S. in biology, ecology, or a natural resources related field (with relevant course work)

Preferred Experience: 

Previous experience working with wildlife and/or conducting scientific research. Preference for those that have completed collection based entomological coursework; have conducted or assisted with wildlife ecological studies, including, butterfly monitoring; possess knowledge of Illinois fauna, particularly moths, butterflies, and other insects.

Additional Requirements:

  • Must possess a valid driver’s license
  • Must be comfortable with insects
  • A strong work ethic and a good sense of humor are ideal

How To Apply:

Send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references as a single pdf file to alawrance@naturemuseum.org

No phone calls please. Qualified candidates will be contacted.

The Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Snake Field Conservation Internship (Full Time)
Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
(Off-grounds: Lake County, IL)

General Summary:

One field conservation internship is available for a regional snake conservation project. The intern will conduct surveys for smooth green snakes and their nests in Lake County, IL sites with occasional work in neighboring counties as needed. Some amphibian disease sampling work may also be assigned. Field work for the internships will occur 5 days per week (generally M-F although this may vary during hatching season) 35-40 hours/week spanning 16 weeks from early May into September 2019 (allowing some flexibility of start and end dates).

Duties & Responsibilities:

​The Field Conservation intern will be trained to conduct coverboard surveys for snake populations, monitoring snakes via mark-recapture, assisting with smooth greensnake nest monitoring, ex situ nest incubation, monitoring of snake headstart release sites, and conducting disease surveillance. Field work will take place in multiple grassland preserve sites outside of Chicago. The intern will gain valuable skills with reptile field sampling techniques, mark-recapture studies, disease surveillance, and applied conservation projects that combine in situ conservation efforts with ex situ headstarting approaches. 

Essential Job Functions: 

  • Handling, catching, identifying, measuring and marking small non-venomous snakes via coverboards, drift fences, and visual encounter surveys
  • Handling, capturing, identifying, and swabbing snakes and amphibians for disease surveillance
  • Monitor nests in field sites with accurate notes and assist with some nest incubation
  • Traveling between field sampling sites in personal vehicle and decontaminating sampling gear between sites
  • Maintain accurate data sheets and field notes
  • Recording environmental conditions
  • Conducting vegetation surveys
  • Data entry into Microsoft Excel/Dropbox
  • Deploying data loggers

Additional Responsibilities:

Because these positions are based at multiple field sites, applicants must have a personal vehicle for use for travel to and from field sites. The ideal candidates will be comfortable working in the outdoors with little shade, and with abundant biting insects, ticks, and poison ivy. The ideal candidate will effectively communicate with the Curator of Herpetology and forest preserve agency personnel regarding project details. Intern must be able to effectively communicate about the field projects with the public as the field sites are forest preserves with hikers, bicyclists, etc. The intern may participate in Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum-related activities as necessary, but the internships are primarily field-based. The intern will perform other duties related to the field project as assigned. There may be occasional travel to other counties to assist other field interns with snake survey work. Field housing may be available through the forest preserve district for $250/month. 

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities:

Must be able to lift and carry at least 35 lbs. (wooden  or rubber cover objects) through habitat by foot; basic knowledge of local fauna or willingness to learn; must be willing to work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions, rain, heat, cold, etc.; must be tolerant of insect bites (because of its toxicity, DEET-based repellents cannot be used when working with reptiles and amphibians);  proficiency with Microsoft Office Excel and Word; flexibility regarding meetings, and situations as they arise; must be willing to work independently or as part of a two-person team; training will be provided for all internship activities.

Education Requirements: B.S. in biology, ecology, or a natural resources related field (with relevant course work)

Preferred Experience: 

Previous experience working with wildlife and/or conducting scientific research; preference for those that have field-based wildlife handling experience; have conducted or assisted with wildlife ecological studies, including, snake monitoring or amphibian sampling; possess knowledge of Illinois fauna, particularly reptiles and amphibians

Additional Requirements:

  • Must possess a valid driver’s license
  • Must be comfortable with snakes
  • A strong work ethic and a good sense of humor are ideal

How To Apply: 

Send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references as a single pdf file to asacerdote-velat@naturemuseum.org

No phone calls please. Qualified candidates will be contacted.

The Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Snake Field Conservation Internship (Part Time)
Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

(Off-grounds: DuPage County, IL)

General Summary:

One field conservation internship is available for a regional snake conservation project. The intern will conduct surveys for smooth green snakes and their nests in DuPage County, IL sites with occasional work in neighboring counties as needed. Field work for the internships will occur 5 days per week, for up to 20 hours per week (generally M-F although this may vary during hatching season) spanning 15 weeks from early May into late August 2019 (allowing some flexibility of start and end dates). During the hatching window in late July-early August, intern must be flexible with hours (willing to do occasional incubator and nest checks on weekends as needed).

Duties & Responsibilities:

​The Field Conservation intern will be trained to conduct coverboard surveys for snake populations, monitoring snakes via mark-recapture, assisting with smooth greensnake nest monitoring, ex situ nest incubation, monitoring of snake headstart release sites, and conducting disease surveillance. Field work will take place in multiple grassland preserve sites outside of Chicago. The intern will gain valuable skills with reptile field sampling techniques, mark-recapture studies, disease surveillance, and applied conservation projects that combine in situ conservation efforts with ex situ headstarting approaches. 

Essential Job Functions:

  • Handling, catching, identifying, measuring and marking small non-venomous snakes via coverboards, drift fences, and visual encounter surveys
  • Handling, capturing, identifying, and swabbing snakes and amphibians for disease surveillance
  • Monitor nests in field sites with accurate notes and assist with some nest incubation
  • Traveling between field sampling sites in personal vehicle and decontaminating sampling gear between sites
  • Maintain accurate data sheets and field notes
  • Recording environmental conditions
  • Conducting vegetation surveys
  • Data entry into Microsoft Excel/Dropbox
  • Deploying data loggers

Additional Responsibilities:

Because these positions are based at multiple field sites, applicants must have a personal vehicle for use for travel to and from field sites. The ideal candidates will be comfortable working independently in the outdoors with little shade, and with abundant biting insects, ticks, and poison ivy. The ideal candidate will effectively communicate with the Curator of Herpetology and forest preserve agency personnel regarding project details. Intern must be able to effectively communicate about the field projects with the public as the field sites are forest preserves with hikers, bicyclists, etc. The intern may participate in Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum-related activities as necessary, but the internships are primarily field-based. The intern will perform other duties related to the field project as assigned. There may be occasional travel to other counties to assist other field interns with snake survey work.

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities:

Must be able to lift and carry at least 35 lbs. (wooden  or rubber cover objects) through habitat by foot; basic knowledge of local fauna or willingness to learn; must be willing to work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions, rain, heat, cold, etc.; must be tolerant of insect bites (because of its toxicity, DEET-based repellents cannot be used when working with reptiles and amphibians);  proficiency with Microsoft Office Excel and Word; flexibility regarding meetings, and situations as they arise; must be willing to work independently or as part of a two-person team; training will be provided for all internship activities.

Education Requirements: B.S. in biology, ecology, or a natural resources related field (with relevant course work)

Preferred Experience: 

Previous experience working with wildlife and/or conducting scientific research; preference for those that have field-based wildlife handling experience; have conducted or assisted with wildlife ecological studies, including, snake monitoring or amphibian sampling; possess knowledge of Illinois fauna, particularly reptiles and amphibians

Additional Requirements:

  • Must possess a valid driver’s license
  • Must be comfortable with snakes
  • A strong work ethic and a good sense of humor are ideal

How To Apply:

Send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references as a single pdf file to asacerdote-velat@naturemuseum.org

No phone calls please. Qualified candidates will be contacted.

The Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

 
Close
Mobile navigation