San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance offers Undergraduate Summer Student Fellowships in our Conservation Science teams: Recovery Ecology, Population Sustainability, Community Engagement, Conservation Genetics, Plant Conservation, Reproductive Sciences, and Disease Investigations.

Applications for the 2022 Summer Conservation Science Fellowships can be submitted until February 4, 2022. Applicants should specify which team’s fellowship they are applying for; applicants can only apply for one team, not multiple teams.  

IMPORTANT NOTE: Our current plan is to hold the 2022 Summer Fellowships in person, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that plan is subject to change depending on conditions at the time of the fellowships, as mandated by federal, state, and county government. We will update applicants on those conditions as fellowship dates approach.
 
Current undergraduate students must be officially associated with a college or university in order to be eligible for the fellowship program. Undergraduates who are currently enrolled in college meet this criterion, as do graduating seniors who are continuing their education in the fall following graduation. Recent graduates who are not continuing their education in fall of the same year are not eligible to apply. 

Summer 2022 Conservation Science Fellowship dates are:
Monday, May 16 to Friday, August 5
Monday, June 13 to Friday, September 2

Fellowships are 40 hours per week for 12 weeks. Fellows will receive a $7,000 stipend. 
To apply: Submit resume and cover letter to Corinne Sylvestre at csylvestre@sdzwa.org.

  • Community Engagement is driving conservation action through science education and community collaborations. Our community-based conservation group implements and builds capacity for locally managed, sustainable conservation programs using diverse, collaborative approaches, and our in-house group connects students, teachers, and community members with the science of saving species in order to foster a conservation-literate and active public. Fellowships will be at the Beckman Center (Escondido).
  • Conservation Genetics uses innovative genetic and cellular approaches to assess, monitor, and manage endangered species, contribute to their sustainability, and prevent species extinction via genetic rescue. They conduct genome-wide sequencing studies and collaborate with efforts to develop genomic tools for species of conservation concern. They propagate and reprogram tissue culture cells to produce induced pluripotent stem cells and direct their development for genetic rescue efforts for critically endangered species. Fellowships will be at the Beckman Center (Escondido). 
  • Disease Investigations’ mission is to remove disease as a roadblock to wildlife conservation. They identify and solve health problems by carrying out comprehensive disease surveillance programs, disease outbreak investigations, and targeted disease research for all of the animals in our facilities and field conservation programs. Fellowship research projects generally focus on pathology, epidemiology, or molecular biology, based either at the Beckman Center (Escondido) or at the San Diego Zoo (San Diego).
  • Plant Conservation researches the restoration and management of plant populations and communities. In addition to focusing on threatened and endangered species, they concentrate on keystone species, interactions, and processes that benefit not only plants, but also the animals and people that depend on them. Plant Conservation is seeking one fellow to work with our team focused on Torrey pine restoration and monitoring stands of this rare tree threatened by drought and bark beetle outbreaks. For the independent project, the fellow will examine the impact of light on survival of enhancement plantings and/or stress within adult tree stands by analyzing hemispherical canopy photos. The position will require both field and office work (at the Beckman Center in Escondido), with the candidate able to safely traverse steep slopes with loose soil and heavy gear in warm weather, as well as sit for long periods at a computer to analyze photos and data. Plant Conservation is also seeking one fellow to work on potential projects such as seed collections of San Diego County rare plant species, germination and storage trials, and propagation for restoration; restoration site preparation and vegetation surveys; weed management; or population genetics. Projects are developed with mentors to meet program and conservation needs and aligned with the skill sets and interests of the selected applicants. In addition to independent projects, selected fellows will round out their fellowship with work on all facets of Plant Conservation programs. 
  • Population Sustainability uses an interdisciplinary approach, with a focus on innovative technologies and ecology, to assess and address challenges to the persistence of threatened species.  We are looking for a fellow with interest and capabilities in computer programming, embedded systems, machine learning, and/or data visualization. The fellow will work in our Conservation Technology Lab on projects using vision and listening sensor systems, pattern recognition and software for presentation and visualization of results for researchers and the public. We are also looking for a fellow with interest and background in behavioral ecology and conservation translocations. The fellow will work with camera trap imagery to characterize co-occurrence and interactions within and among species that may shape access to resources at translocation release sites. Fellowships will be at the Beckman Center (Escondido). 
  • Recovery Ecology focuses on large-scale conservation programs that assist in the recovery of endangered and threatened populations locally and globally. They apply scientifically acquired behavioral and ecological knowledge to solve conservation problems. Their conservation toolbox includes developing and testing conservation breeding techniques, reintroduction and translocation strategies, and monitoring and management in species recovery programs. They use approaches that integrate behavioral ecology, population ecology, and spatial ecology with other disciplines. Fellowships will be based at the Beckman Center (Escondido) with the possibility of some work in field sites and/or conservation research facilities. 
  • Reproductive Sciences innovates and applies science and technology to solving reproductive challenges and to supporting the conservation of endangered species. The major areas of investigation include assisted reproductive technology, hormone monitoring, environmental toxicology, microbiome analysis, avian physiology and stem cell biology. The fellow will be working as part of the gamete team. Fellowships will be at the Beckman Center (Escondido).