Grassroots Jobsource

Conservation Internship Posted Jan 31
Highstead , Redding, CT
The Conservation Intern acts as a research assistant in Highstead’s regional conservation program for a 12-week period from May 29, 2017 to August 11, 2017.

Highstead's conservation program is engaged in building the capacity of partners to develop and achieve large landscape conservation strategies in New England in support of the Wildlands & Woodlands (W&W) Initiative. Highstead works with more than eighty organizations in the Northeast to advance the pace and practice of large landscape conservation, and foster collaboration across political, geographical, and professional boundaries. Highstead coordinates the rapidly growing Wildlands & Woodlands Initiative in conjunction with Harvard University’s Harvard Forest.

Interns will work with Highstead’s Senior Conservationist for Conservation Finance to implement research, outreach, and policy projects that will inform our partners on where and how new conservation finance opportunities may emerge. Highstead is a regional leader for advancing conservation through its roles with the Wildlands & Woodlands vision, the New England Forest Policy Group (NEFPG), the Regional Conservation Partnership (RCP) Network, Academics for Land Protection in New England (ALPINE), and the Conservation Finance Network (CFN).

Summer 2017 Conservation Program Initiatives

Interns will advance conservation in New England by bringing energy and enthusiasm as well as writing, researching, and/or GIS skills to one or more of the following initiatives, depending on interests and skills:

• Conduct Carbon Offset Feasibility Study: Use new smartphone technology to conduct a pilot carbon inventory on two forested properties in CT and MA. In collaboration with a service provider and Highstead staff, the intern will implement a detailed inventory of carbon growing stocks in multiple forest types across two privately owned properties. Project will require extensive field time, GIS skills, database management, and some forest inventory analysis.

• Survey Private Funding for Conservation: Build on recent research on trends in public funding for conservation in New England by quantifying public grant requirements for matching funds and overall public-private funding leverage. Identify foundation and other private entities who have granted or invested in land protection in New England through internet research, reviewing annual reports, interviews, etc. The goal of this project is to estimate the amount of private funding that supports land conservation in the region.

• Investigate Watershed-scale Land Protection Opportunities: Work with Highstead staff and partners to understand land and conservation finance dynamics in large watersheds. Intern will use GIS skills and understanding of conservation strategies to estimate the cost of conservation across priority parcels for protecting clean water. Research will bring together land economics, conservation finance, and spatial analysis.

• Conduct Policy Analysis: Review existing state and local conservation funding policies. Work with Highstead staff and other collaborators to investigate the feasibility of adopting specific new public funding programs identified through a forthcoming conservation finance roundtable.

• Support Conservation Trends Research: Assist with a geospatial analysis of the success of recent land protection to advance the dual mission of conservation biodiversity and ecosystem services across New England. This project involves linking spatial and non-spatial conservation databases, Advanced GIS, and remote sensing. Spatial analysis experience required.
Interns will be expected to prepare and present a 15-minute presentation of their work at the conclusion of the internship and submit a brief retrospective of the research experience.


We seek a recent graduate of a Bachelors or Masters-level program with a demonstrated interest and enthusiasm for the development and implementation of real-world strategies for the following areas: conservation finance, landscape ecology, land conservation, and forest policy. Candidates must have good writing, research, and organizational skills. Priority will be given to candidates with strong GIS, survey design, database development, and quantitative skills. They must be comfortable working in a group setting and also taking individual initiative, as they will have considerable responsibility for advancing one or more projects. Candidates must have access to a car for travel within, and in some cases outside of, Connecticut.


Intern compensation includes the following:
• Stipend of $5,000 for the 12-week session
• Free furnished housing
• Travel reimbursement

To Apply

Submit résumé and 1-page letter of interest with “Conservation Internship” in the subject. Review of applications will begin February 15 and continue until position is filled.