Internships and Mentorships

An illustration of three different types of STEM workers - one has a beaker, one has a map, and the other a microscope. Text says "Close the GAPS"

Protecting biodiversity is a big job, and not one that our tiny organization can do alone. We are actively building a diverse community to help us make our vision a reality, and as part of that effort, we try to offer internships and mentorships to people who are interested in doing this work.

What’s the difference between an internship and a mentorship program at Rocky Mountain Wild? 

In short, a mentorship is where one of our professionals shares their knowledge about their career with a mentee, guiding them through the ins and outs of that career and providing resources. If the mentee has a specific task they’re working on and need advice or support, the mentee can provide that! Mentorships are unpaid.

In contrast, an internship is a mentorship where the intern works for a short time within our organization, gaining first-hand, real-world experience working on a project that Rocky Mountain Wild manages. Internships can be paid or unpaid. Please check the specific listing you are interested in for details.

Gender Advancement and Parity in STEM (GAPS) Internship

Colorado Bat Watch Summer 2024 Intern

Time Commitment: 32 hr/week for 13.5 weeks (negotiable)
Compensation: $20/hour with paid time off benefits (vacation, health and wellness)
Classification: Short-term, full-time, hourly employee
Work location: Remote with travel around the Front Range, Routt and Pike-San Isabel National Forests 

About Colorado Bat Watch:

Colorado Bat Watch (CBW) is a community science initiative, developed by Rocky Mountain Wild, in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Colorado Natural Heritage Program and the North American Bat Monitoring Program, to meet multi-agency statewide bat research and monitoring needs. North American bats face unprecedented threats including white-nose syndrome, habitat loss and fragmentation, wind energy development, pesticides, and climate change. Colorado is home to 18 bat species, but little is known about the population status of most of these species. Thus, there is a pressing need to expand bat monitoring in Colorado, in light of the unprecedented threats faced by bats, and especially with the detection of the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in Colorado in 2022. Colorado Bat Watch aims to address this need by using community scientists to collect baseline data on the locations and characteristics of bat roost sites, and monitor bat colonies to improve understanding of the status of local populations. The goals of Colorado Bat Watch are to 1) provide reliable data to multiple agency partners and resource managers to better meet their bat monitoring needs and help inform bat conservation efforts on our public lands and open spaces; and 2) build public support for bat conservation through community outreach and education. 

Rocky Mountain Wild is looking for a full-time, temporary intern to help implement Colorado Bat Watch. This position will work with direction from Rocky Mountain Wild’s conservation biologist and conservation ecologist.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Communication and Outreach – Create tabling materials, table at community events, recruit volunteers and develop new partnerships, especially with underrepresented communities.
  • Events – Plan and advertise bat walks, plan and advertise bat colony counts (at least 2), co-lead bat walks with bat experts, and co-lead bat colony counts with experts.
  • Field Work – Scout bat colonies to determine suitability for colony counts and write bat colony site descriptions.
  • Equipment Management – Create, distribute and maintain equipment kits for volunteers.
  • Research and Writing – Help develop a white paper on feasibility of doing acoustic monitoring through community science.
  • Volunteer Training and Management – Assist in developing a system for volunteer management, communicate with and manage volunteers, advertise events to volunteers, develop training materials for volunteers, create a volunteer survey to get feedback from volunteers on colony count methods, and work with a translator to translate materials into Spanish.

Qualifications:

This internship is intended to provide entry-level experience. We encourage all interested applicants to apply, regardless of prior experience. 

  • Love of bats
  • Interest in learning about Colorado’s 18 bat species
  • Experience or interest engaging the public at community events
  • Willingness to help lead bat walks and colony counts with bat experts
  • Interest in cultivating new partnerships on behalf of Colorado Bat Watch
  • Willingness to conduct informational interviews with bat experts
  • Experience or interest in volunteer management 
  • Good writing, research, and organizational skills
  • Ability to work autonomously with regular check-ins with Rocky Mountain Wild staff
  • Willingness to travel along the Front Range and to the Routt and Pike San Isabel National Forests, potentially including overnight trips  
  • Willingness to hike up to 2 miles to potential roost sites to look for bats at sunrise or sunset
  • Valid driver’s license

Other Information:

This position is a full-time, temporary position. It will run from the date of hire for at least thirteen and a half weeks, depending on hours per week worked. Travel is required and access to a reliable vehicle is ideal (mileage will be covered at the IRS standard mileage rate).  The intern will be paid $20/hour with a week and a half of paid vacation time and up to 15 hours of paid health and wellness leave.  

Conservation Biology & Community Science Internships

Megan Mueller
Megan Mueller
Paige Singer
Paige Singer

Internship with Paige Singer (she/her) and Megan Mueller (she/her). See above, under GAPS Internship.

Individuals who are interested in wildlife research or community science are welcome to contact Megan or Paige for internship opportunities when there is a current opening. Examples of potential projects that interns might work on include the Colorado Pika Project, Colorado Corridors Project, Colorado Bat Watch, Central Colorado Bighorn Sheep Survey, research on the effectiveness of trail closures in critical habitat for big game, and research on conservation opportunities for Gunnison sage-grouse. Internship opportunities will be focused on these current Rocky Mountain Wild projects, but can be tailored to your interests.  

Within each project there are a variety of options to contribute to the project while learning skills that can include research design, data management and analysis, field work, GIS, and community science project management. We can also tailor the internship to match your current skill level, so we accept beginners and interns with advanced skills.  

Most internships are conducted virtually through video conferences and email. Some internships require travel to field sites. We will work with you to provide resources that you need to successfully complete the internship (e.g. transportation, field equipment, etc.).  

Depending on current funding, these internships can be paid or unpaid. If you are a student, we can work with you to set up internships for credit. We can help you develop a project and apply for any funds available (e.g. student research grants from schools, other grants).  

Typically, we offer a summer internship to at least one intern during the field season (mid-summer through fall). We are holding off on this internship in 2021 while we recover from reduced funding associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay tuned for updates on the 2022 field season.

Conservation GIS Internship

Alison Gallensky
Alison Gallensky

Internship with Alison Gallensky (she/her). No current openings.

We offer an internship program once a year, typically corresponding to an academic term. We will work with the participant to define a conservation mapping and analysis project that is relevant to our work and corresponds with their interests and career goals. The internship program is primarily virtual. Our Conservation GIS Internship program at this time is unpaid.

More information about this program will be shared when there is a current opening.

Legal Internship, Externship, or Fellowship

Matt Sandler bundled up near a rock overhang
Matt Sandler

Internship with Matt Sandler (he/him). No current openings.

This postion is open to those obtaining a law degree. Applicants will gain experience through participating in Federal administrative processes and litigating final agency actions that will detrimentally impact wildlife and wild lands. This position can be conducted remotely, but may require some in-person meetings or court appearances.

This position is unpaid, but we will be happy to work with your school if they offer a stipend program.

Diversifying Communications Mentorship

Picture of Chris Talbot-Heindl against a pink, blue, and purple gradient background. Chris is wearing a long sleeve tee that says "Call Me They"
Chris Talbot-Heindl

Mentorship with Chris Talbot-Heindl (they/them). No current openings.

Too often, while in conferences with other environmental nonprofit communications professionals, Chris is the only out queer, trans, and person of color in the room. Chris would like to help diversify the communications field by offering this mentorship to people from marginalized identities. This position, when available, is open to Black, Indigenous and/or People of Color (BIPOC), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, Asexual, Aromantic, Two Spirit, plus (LGBTIQA2+) individuals, and/or disabled individuals who are interested in communications. It will be self-directed and can include orientations to social media management, sensitivity reading, graphics creation, project roll-out development, and/or Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) principles in communications. Specific projects can be developed to add to your skills, or we can just be in community with each other and talk. This opportunity will be conducted virtually through video conferences and email. No travel required.

When open for applications, please send an email Chris at chris@rockymountainwild.org with your specific interests and concerns about communications. If you are not selected for the mentorship(s), Chris will do their best to direct you to a resource to address your interests and concerns.