Harbor Academic Data Research Intern

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International Bird Rescue
3601 S. Gaffey Street, Box 3
San Pedro, CA
Application Deadline: Available Year-round
Position: 6 Part-time, Unpaid

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International Bird Rescue is a wildlife rehabilitation organization that specializes in aquatic bird rehabilitation and oiled wildlife response. Our response efforts extend to meet the needs of oiled wildlife locally, regionally, and internationally. We operate two busy wildlife rehabilitation facilities in California; the Los Angeles Wildlife Center in San Pedro, CA and the San Francisco Bay Wildlife Center in Fairfield, CA. Each of our facilities is equipped to support over 2,500 birds per center per year. The range of species admitted at both facilities varies widely over the course of the year.

The purpose of our Academic Internship Program is to engage local young people interested in biology, wildlife or environmental conservation in this special internship opportunity. Interns will choose from an animal care program or a data analysis based research project.

Within the rehabilitation program, interns gain valuable skills and knowledge about aquatic birds not available at universities. Interns will receive one-on-one training, and may be asked to work on an individual or group project under the oversight of the Center Manager, Internship Coordinator and Veterinarian.

Our internship program is rewarding, comprehensive, fast-paced and diverse; it gives each intern the opportunity to learn about the many aspects of wildlife rehabilitation. Additionally, interns become ambassadors for IBR and the animals they care for. Through outreach in their local communities, speaking to schools and other youth, they will help increase environmental awareness about the species cared for at IBR.

*Harbor Community Benefit Foundation (HCBF) is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization formed in 2011. Its mission is to assess, protect, and improve the health, quality of life, aesthetics, and physical environment of the harbor communities of San Pedro and Wilmington, California, which have been impacted by the Port of Los Angeles. HCBF accomplishes this through grantmaking, independent research, and community events.


This internship is only available at our Los Angeles facility and requires interns to complete a minimum of 300 hours.

Animal care introduction:
Learn the basics of rehabilitation - from rescue to release. Interns 18 years of age and older will gain hands-on experience, while helping wildlife patients and learning from staff and highly trained volunteers. Depending on the seasons, interns may assist with the care of baby ducklings, juvenile pelicans, stranded grebes and other aquatic birds. Interns under the age of 18 will shadow clinic staff and have the opportunity to witness animal care in action.

Research project:
Participate in a research project based on clinic cases. Project options include but are not limited to: research on cases of birds oiled from natural seepage off the coast of California, injuries from human related activities (fish hooks), release rates versus diagnosis on intake, etc. Interns will gain experience with science writing and data collection and interpretation.

Wildlife rehabilitation and oil spill response:
Throughout the program, interns will be engaged in a number of different activities where they will learn about oil spill response, environmental issues affecting aquatic birds, local habitat restoration and studies on aquatic bird care. Interns will learn to use critical thinking skills to write essays, research information and gain a better understanding of these topics.

Final community oral or poster presentation:
Completion of the program will consist of an oral or poster presentation or other media incorporating the results of the research project as well as many of the various aspects of aquatic bird rehabilitation, animal care and spill response learned throughout the program. Interns will have the opportunity to share their research results and information about the local aquatic bird species with the local community.


- At the start of the internship, you must be at least 18 years of age to participate in the animal care program or 16 years of age to participate in the research project program.

- Educational or career interest in the fields of wildlife biology, conservation/rescue, non-profit work, oil spill response, ornithology, photography/film, education, etc.

How to apply

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Submit your application and upload the required documents through our online internship application: http://www.bird-rescue.org/get-involved/internships-jobs/academic-internship-program.aspx or email us at internships@bird-rescue.org

Required documents:

Your résumé or cv
Current/most recent transcripts (unofficial transcripts are sufficient)
Cover letter (optional)
Recommendation letters

Note: Two letters of recommendation are required if you will be over the age of 18 at the start of your internship. If you will be under the age of 18 when you plan to start your internship, only 1 recommendation letter is needed. Letter(s) must be signed on official letterhead and submitted by your reference(s) to internships@bird-rescue.org.

How To Apply

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