Opportunities for Youth
Northeast Region
Career Discovery Internship Program

Founded in 2008, the Career Discovery Internship Program (CDIP) was created in partnership with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to help prepare the next generation of wildlife professionals and managers by:

  1. Introducing culturally and ethnically diverse college freshman and sophomores to conservation careers in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service);
  2. Giving field staff the experience of working with culturally and ethnically diverse employee; and
  3. Increasing the diversity of the applicant pool for conservation based jobs.

These internships provide a diverse group of youth with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the field. Interns are paid a living wage and, in some cases, are also provided with room and board for the duration of their service.

CDIP interns are assigned to Service field stations for a summer of hard work and experiential education. Before beginning their assignment, interns attend a week-long training and orientation program. During this time, interns receive a variety of training units including an introduction to the Service and SCA, cultural and intergenerational awareness training, mentor/mentee training to name a few. The interns also engage in simulations and Service challenges designed and facilitated by Service and SCA staff. Interns also meet their designated mentor for the summer, who is a Service employee. Service challenges are usually management issues common to daily life on a Service field station, with topics considering public relations, invasive species, and resource conservation. The interns close their week with a presentation on their solutions to these challenges.

To learn more about the Career Discovery Internship Program contact Lamar Gore, refuge manager at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, at Lamar_Gore@fws.gov.

Last updated: April 3, 2017