Intern Opportunities

Interpretive Naturalist Internship

The International Crane Foundation (ICF) is seeking to fill four Interpretive Naturalist Internship positions in 2015.

Background: ICF is a leader in the conservation of the world's 15 crane species and is dedicated to providing experience, knowledge, and inspiration to involve people in resolving threats to cranes and the ecosystems vital to their long-term survival. ICF's world headquarters is located in Baraboo, WI one hour north of Madison, WI. ICF is open to the public every day from April 15 to October 31, and all of the world’s 15 crane species are on live-display at our facility. These cranes, our interpretive tours, interactive exhibits, multimedia theater, and nature trails attract more than 25,000 visitors each season. In order to achieve our mission, the Communications and Education Department disseminates ICF’s message as widely as possible, both on-site and through outreach work, using the latest technologies available and by selling annual memberships to support ICF’s conservation initiatives.  For more information, please visit our website at

Description: Interpretive Naturalist Interns will gain valuable hands-on experience working with the ICF Communications and Education Department and will:

  • Develop and lead daily interpretive tours at ICF for visiting schools, community organizations, private groups, families, and the general public.
  • Interact and assist the general public with the sale of admission tickets, gift shop merchandise, annual memberships, and overall ICF site orientation on a daily basis.
  • Conduct duties associated with opening/closing the visitor center, exhibits, and gift shop on a daily basis.
  • Achieve experience planning, designing, and evaluating interpretive programs and written materials.
  • Learn about ICF project initiatives related to crane ecology, behavior, and husbandry; field conservation and ecology; and ecosystem restoration techniques and processes.
  • Have the opportunity to volunteer with other departments and participate in job shadow experiences at ICF.
  • Gain exposure to wildlife conservation methods and endangered species management.
  • Meet and work with a variety of international colleagues and professional staff at ICF.
  • Educate and inspire people of all ages and walks of life about the world’s 15 crane species and the ecosystems on which they depend.
  • Assist in the completion of one or several projects related to the goals, work plan, and objectives of the ICF Communications and Education Department (e.g. help design and develop self-guided written or audio media; write, film and edit short films about ICF’s work; create, test, and evaluate interpretive programs; design interpretive wayside panels; organize and implement on-site events; or research policy related projects and initiatives, etc.)


Crane Research Internship

Description: The Field Ecology Department at the International Crane Foundation is currently involved in long-term studies of Greater Sandhill Cranes and monitoring of the re-introduced population of Whooping Cranes in the upper Midwest. Interns will assist in studying the foraging ecology, tracking movements on the landscape, and social behavior of these breeding and non-breeding cranes throughout central Wisconsin. Current Sandhill Crane projects include capturing and banding adult and juvenile cranes within the study-area, nest surveys, scat sample collection, ongoing behavioral observations of colored banded cranes, and studying the relationship between cranes and the agricultural landscape of Wisconsin.  Whooping Crane work focuses on monitoring juveniles and adults, as well as the capture of adults for transmitter replacement. Radio tracking of free ranging Whooping Cranes will be required mainly in the central/southeastern part of the state; however, travel into others states may also be necessary. Other responsibilities include developing and presenting an independent project, data entry, and assisting with ecosystem restoration work (prescribed burns, seed collection, and invasive species control) on ICF’s site. Opportunities may also be available for volunteering for the conservation education and crane conservation departments.

Duration and Salary: March 1 – November 30, 2015, $550/month plus housing in our International Guest House.

Qualifications: B.S. or B.A. in biology or related field. Previous fieldwork and radio telemetry (from ground and/or small aircraft) experience is preferred but not required. Tolerance is needed for working in difficult conditions and long field days (before sunrise to after sunset), often spent in vehicles. Individuals seeking graduate training are encouraged to apply. A valid driver’s license (USA or International) and an acceptable driving record are required. Written English and oral communication skills are necessary. All applicants must be eligible to work in the United States at the time they apply. Candidates without a work visa must obtain one before they will be considered for an internship.

To Apply: Send cover letter, resume, and three letters of recommendation to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Sandhill Crane Project Manager, or by mail: Andrew Gossens, Field Ecology Department, International Crane Foundation, P.O. Box 447, Baraboo, WI 53913-0447. Phone: 608-356-9462 ext. 131, fax: 608-356-9465.

To be assured consideration for this internship, all application materials must be received by December 5, 2014.


Veterinary Student Preceptorship in Avian and Conservation Medicine

A four to six-week preceptorship in Avian and Conservation Medicine is being offered to interested veterinary students by the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin.  Preceptors will train with the Veterinary Services Department in all phases of the clinical practice, but have opportunities for interaction with the Crane Conservation Department to learn captive propagation, husbandry and management of this unique family of birds. Preceptors can expect to gain practical experience in crane capture, transport, anesthesia, preventive medicine, disease surveillance and the contribution of veterinary medicine to crane conservation including field project support and professional consultations.  Preceptors are encouraged to complete and report on a research or laboratory project during their stay.  Opportunities for visiting the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine and the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, WI will be made available to interested preceptors. 

No stipend is available for this position; however, on-site housing in the ICF Guesthouse will be provided depending on availability at the time the preceptorship is scheduled.  Applicants should send a cover letter, curriculum vitae or resume and one letter of recommendation from a faculty member of their home institution to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Director of Veterinary Services, International Crane Foundation, E-11376 Shady Lane Road, Baraboo, WI 53913.