Harbor Academic Seabird Animal Care or Data Research Intern

Bookmark This
International Bird Rescue
3601 S. Gaffey Street, Box 3
San Pedro, CA
Application Deadline: Available Year-round
Position: 12 Part-time, Unpaid

Login or Sign Up to apply.



Introduction to International Bird Rescue

International Bird Rescue is a wildlife rehabilitation organization that specializes in aquatic birds and oiled wildlife response. We respond locally, regionally and internationally to the rehabilitation needs of aquatic wildlife. International Bird Rescue operates 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. These centers are owned by the state of California and are purpose-built for oil spill response. Out of these two facilities, International Bird Rescue operates a broad-scope aquatic bird rehabilitation program that incorporates oil spill response along with our regular rehabilitation program. 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. Both facilities are open year-round and provide a rewarding learning experience for interns in the field of aquatic bird rehabilitation.

Harbor Community Academic Internship Program Overview

International Bird Rescue recently received a grant from the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation* to support students from the San Pedro and Wilmington communities interested in interning at IBR. 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. Mohandas Gandhi once said, “The measure of a society can be how well its people treat its animals”. Not only are soaring pelicans and gulls awe-inspiring coastal icons, they are critical elements of our ecosystem. The San Pedro and Wilmington communities benefit by the protection and conservation of these animals. In a time when the environment faces increasing threats from humanity, it is more important than ever that we ensure the preservation of this precious resource for generations to come. The program's most valuable component is the hands-on training gained at the oiled bird rehabilitation center that we operate in San Pedro, CA. 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 Academic Internship Program Options

Animal Care Internship

Interns learn all aspects of rehabilitation - triage, basic wound management, food/housing needs, contaminant removal, water-proofing, individual and herd health case management, volunteer management, species identification and natural history, husbandry, enrichment, animal handling, avian anatomy, tube feeding, medication administration and lab work. Interns gain hands-on experience, while helping wildlife patients and working with staff and highly trained volunteers. Involves rigorous outdoor work in all types of weather as well as physically demanding tasks such as cleaning, lifting, etc.

Data/Research Project Internship

Interns will participate in a data analysis project based on the clinical cases seen at our centers. A large variety of potential projects are possible, including purely retrospective studies using data extracted from past records or prospective projects using data generated from current cases/necropsies. These projects may be biomedical in nature or purely ornithological. Depending on the nature of the project and interests of the students, these projects may result in publications or form portions of other ongoing studies. As with all science projects involving data, these projects may involve tedious work going through case records and working on a computer. Applicant should have a working knowledge of Microsoft Excel and depending on the project may gain experience with science writing and data interpretation.

Completion requirements

To receive the full stipend and certificate of completion at the end of their internship, interns must:
adequately complete the requirements of the program (will be specific for each internship)
complete a poster, power point presentation or report at the end of their internship
complete the required minimum number of hours.


In addition to the internship specific qualifications, students must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:
-At the start of the internship, you must be at least 18 years of age.
-Community tie to the LA Harbor Area. Applicant must be either
---A current or previous resident of San Pedro or Wilmington (if school is not local)
---Or currently or previously enrolled in a local (LA Harbor Areas of San Pedro and Wilmington) college/university/high school
-You must be able to demonstrate that this internship opportunity will be of benefit to your career interests. For the most part, this would include an interest in wildlife biology or conservation/rescue, anatomy, non-profit work, oil spill response, veterinary medicine, ornithology, wildlife photography/film, education, statistics.
-Ability to commit to 200 hours (preferably two consecutive 8hr/days for ~12 weeks).
-Interns must be able to:
---Work both independently and as a team member
---Work quickly and efficiently while following directions and procedure
---Understand that working with wild animals involves exposure to foul smells, body fluids, droppings, disturbing injuries, dead animals, euthanasia, untreatable animals, and other potentially upsetting situations.


This internship pays a $1000 total stipend, to be paid out in regular increments (TBD based on individual intern work schedule). Housing and transportation are not provided by IBR.

How to apply

To apply for an internship, please submit the following documents to internships@bird-rescue.org with the subject : “Harbor Academic Internship Application - Last name, First name - Session/Available Months”.
1. Your résumé or cv.
2. A letter of interest explaining your qualifications and how you feel this program will benefit your educational and career goals; please also state which program you are interested in and if you have a project idea of your own (we have a list of projects to choose from once accepted, however we may be able to accommodate specific project requests).
3. Three letters of recommendation with full contact info (name, address, phone number, email address, how they know you/relationship).
4. Transcripts (unofficial transcripts are sufficient)


To make sure you, as a student, have time to fit the internship into your educational program, we are offering a moderately flexible schedule. If you do need an alternative session than what is offered below or different hours/days than what is recommended, let us know in your application. Due to the nearing March 1st deadlines, we will accept applications for the summer session one month before your proposed start date.
Summer (~May to August): Applications due March 01, 2014
Fall (~September to December): Applications due June 01, 2014

For more information, questions or comments, please contact: internships@bird-rescue.org

How To Apply

Login or Sign Up to apply.