Youth Opportunities
Student Internships and Career Learning
Alicia Thomas, 2017-18 Wilderness Fellow

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offers numerous career learning opportunities to students. These include internships through the Pathways Program. Paid student internships on national wildlife refuges are also available through the Student Conservation Association, the Corps Network and Youth Engaged 4 Change.

Internships also exist through the Youth Conservation CorpsAmerican Conservation ExperienceGreening Youth FoundationHispanic Access Foundation and Career Discovery Internship Program

Some wildlife refuges recruit their own interns with funding from nonprofit Friends groups or educational institutions. Refuge internships are usually unpaid but often include housing and a food stipend. 

Refuges that in recent years have hosted interns include Alligator RiverChincoteagueJ.N. “Ding” DarlingRachel CarsonSeney and Neal Smith Refuges. Some summer placements are arranged through the Youth Conservation Corps. For more information, contact your local refuge.

Louie Ocaranza, 2014 participant in the Directorate Resource Assistant Fellows Program


The Directorate Resource Assistant Fellows Program funds summer posts in biology, natural resources and other conservation-related fields for undergraduate students who have completed their junior year. The program is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Student Conservation Association.

Fellows may be eligible for permanent Service jobs after successfully completing their fellowship and/or degree requirements.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a great way for students and young people to learn firsthand about conservation and explore possible careers. Opportunities are posted at To find opportunities aimed at young people, enter “student” or “teen” in the site’s search field.

Another idea: Ask your school counselor or local youth group, Scout group or service organization about opportunities for teens and students on national wildlife refuges. Wildlife refuges are favorite sites for these groups to earn badges and complete community service projects. 

2012 mountain goat research crew at Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska

Every Kid Outdoors Pass

With this pass, fourth graders and their families can visit public lands and see natural wonders and historic sites free for a year.

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By Zip Code, by State or by Refuge Name

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Environmental education

Recreational Activities