In addition to offering the following list of potential projects, we also encourage students to contact Cary scientists and other staff for internship projects that are developed by the student and performed under the mentorship of a Cary employee.
To solicit an internship, please submit an email with a cover letter to the intended mentor explaining your interest in their work and how your project might fit in with their program.
Cary Institute views credit-bearing internship arrangements as a 3-way partnership in which the student develops professional skills, the college provides credit and Cary Institute acts as mentor for the development of those skills through the completion of an internship project.
Mid-Hudson YES Undergraduate Intern
Deadline: April 15, 2023
Interested in ecology research and looking for a unique teaching experience? Apply to be a “near-peer” mentor to high school students in the Mid-Hudson Young Environmental Scientists program.
MH-YES Program Description:
The Mid-Hudson Young Environmental Scientists (MH-YES) program is a tiered mentorship field research experience for twelve high school students local to Dutchess County, New York. Teams of high school students are mentored by three undergraduate students, one high school teacher, and three scientists from Cary Institute, Vassar College and Marist College. The undergraduate students serve as “near-peer” mentors and fulfill an integral role in cultivating a supportive, positive learning environment while performing field research about watershed ecology. Undergraduate mentors will work closely with our scientist mentors, Drs. Jane Lucas, Deon Knights, and Zion Klos to support the high school students in our program.
Position Duration: Four weeks (35 hours per week)
- 3-week program full-time (15 days): July 10-28, 2023
- Equivalent of 1 week (5 days): 3 days pre-program (during June, dates TBD) and 2 days post-program (between July 31 and August 7)
- Learn field research techniques for watershed ecology data collection.
- Network with and learn from teachers, scientists, educators, and students.
- Develop mentoring skills and confidence in teaching.
- Gain knowledge of the terrestrial and aquatic ecology of the Hudson River watershed.
Help plan and prepare for the program (3 days in June/July, dates TBD):
- Assist the scientist mentors with pre-program preparation of materials and tools, as well as planning field protocols.
- Attend a one-hour MH-YES participant orientation in June.
- Attend a Cary-led mentorship workshop in June with teachers and scientists.
Support high school students in environmental science field research during the program (July: 3 weeks):
- Model field data collection protocols.
- Help maintain a healthy and safe environment for all participants.
- Assist with field work preparation each day, including equipment repair and maintenance as needed.
- Monitor students’ data collection and accurate recording.
- Build positive relationships among students.
- Work collaboratively with students, high school teachers, scientists, and Cary educators.
- Serve as the communication “bridge” between students and the other mentors.
- Advise students in basic data analysis and their final project.
- Encourage and motivate students, as well as create a welcoming and inclusive environment for what may be their very first field experience.
Help complete and evaluate the program (2-3 days):
- Complete documentation and evaluation of the program (surveys).
- Be responsible for organizing data with metadata, and all program products (electronic files).
- Clean program tools and work spaces.
- Currently enrolled in undergraduate courses in environmental science, ecology, or a related field
- Field research experience from college, internships, or jobs
- Excellent writing, computer, and organizational skills
- Desire to mentor and serve as a positive role model for high school students in field environmental science research about watershed ecology
- Willingness to work outdoors the majority of the three-week program
- Living in or near Dutchess County, New York
- Ability to provide own transportation throughout the internship
- Finalist candidates must complete a background check.
- Coursework in education and/or teaching experience
- Previous participant of the MH-YES and/or TIDES (with New York Department of Environmental Conservation) programs
- Interest in terrestrial components of a watershed (e.g., soil microbial ecology, soil chemistry, etc.)
This is a paid internship opportunity. The selected undergraduate will be paid bi-weekly and will receive a total stipend of $2,400. The four weeks consist of the 3-week program, 3 days pre-program, and 2 days post-program.
Questions? Email Rebecca Van Tassell, MH-YES Program Leader at firstname.lastname@example.org.
White-tailed Deer Ecology and Management
Availability: Ongoing, spring and fall semesters
Compensation: Unpaid position with the expectation the intern will receive credits through his/her school
Browsing by overabundant deer can degrade plant communities and cause declines in animal populations that use those habitats. Protection of our forested ecosystems from excessive browsing by deer is one of the priority management goals for the Cary Institute property.
The White-tailed Deer Ecology and Management Intern will assist the Manager of Field Research and Outdoor Programs with aspects of the Institute's deer management program. The intern will gain field experience monitoring deer and other wildlife using trail cameras. Data collection and management experience will be gained by downloading and organizing photos/videos, recording animal incidence and behavior data from photos/videos, and related tasks.
Depending on the time of year, the student may also be involved in other aspects of deer management such as field surveys quantifying deer browsing of trees or oversight of our annual controlled deer hunt.
This internship is most suitable for a student in biology, wildlife biology, conservation/environmental sciences, or a related field who is interested in gaining real-world experience with wildlife ecology and management.
The student must be able to hike to remote parts of the property and work outdoors under adverse conditions such as in inclement weather and around insects and poison ivy. The student should be willing to learn to use a GPS, trail cameras, and computer programs including spreadsheets. The student must have a valid driver's license.
We will work with academic institutions to provide credit for this unpaid internship. The scope of the internship can vary depending on college requirements and the number of credits the intern would like to earn.
Contact: Mike Fargione | email@example.com