Finding an Internship

Internships are great opportunities to build your resume, network, and experience the field. You can find internships in a few different ways:

Within WFCB

  • Lloyd W. Swift Fund to support Experiential Learning - See below for more information.
  • Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology - Read their internship webpage and make direct contact to the museum.
  • WFCB faculty and grad students - Scroll down to Summer Research Opportunities.
  • Review your WFCB listserv - Check your inbox regularly for internship opportunities from WFCB advising staff.

On Campus

  • The Internship and Career Center (ICC) - Offers assistance in finding internships. Visit the ICC's website for more information.
  • The Undergraduate Research Center (URC) - Offers guidance and advising in obtaining research opportunities. See URC's website for more information.
  • Department of Animal Science - Check out their internship webpage.
  • UC Davis Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Ecology and the Environmental Sciences - A continuously updated list of undergraduate research opportunities related to ecology and the environmental sciences. Visit this page to learn more.

The EVE Scholars Program is managed by the Evolution and Ecology Department at the University of California, Davis and connects undergraduate students with summer research opportunities in evolution and ecology on the main UC Davis campus (in Davis, CA) and at the Bodega Marine Lab (in Bodega Bay, CA). The EVE Scholars Program receives funding from multiple sources, described here. While each funding source has particular requirements, students apply to the general EVE Scholars Program and will be matched with an appropriate funding source depending on their research interests, faculty mentor, and academic major. Apply by February 5th. 2024

On the Programs & Pathways to Research and Advanced Degrees page we attempt to provide a listing of programs that offers research opportunities relevant to the Wildlife major. We encourage you to take a closer look at this spreadsheet, follow links and learn more about the many available programs. In addition you’ll see a few pipeline to grad school programs listed as well.

The Lloyd W. Swift Endowment Fund

The Swift fund supports experiential learning for WFCB undergraduates and is intended as an enabling opportunity for students who would not otherwise have access to these opportunities. Students can therefore apply to secure funds for (1) research opportunities in a WFCB lab, (2) research opportunities outside WFCB, (3) external internships with wildlife, fish, or conservation organizations, or (4) fees for field courses. The WFCB undergraduate awards committee oversees the fund, makes policy decisions related to implementing the awards, and decides on awards recipients. The committee is composed of 5 members: an academic coordinator and the departmental CAO (both advisory), and 3 faculty (voting members). Pernille Sporon Bøving (WFCB Academic Coordinator) is in charge of coordinating undergraduate awards within WFCB and thus is the point person for the Swift opportunity.

Eligibility, rules, and restrictions:

  • Only WFCB majors may apply (minors are not eligible), and the award will only go to the student.
  • More than 50% of the award period must occur while the student is enrolled. Consistent with university regulations, students may not be paid as undergraduate researchers beyond 1 quarter after they graduate. For example, if you graduate June 15th and the experience is 8 weeks long, then the first 4 weeks of the experience must take place prior to June 15th.
  • For research experiences, the project supervisor can be a graduate student, postdoc, research staff, or faculty; preference will be given to supervisors affiliated with WFCB versus those in other departments on the UC Davis campus. 
  • Students must be in good academic standing to receive an award. 
  • Students who have violated the WFCB Principles of Community ( may be denied awards. 
  • The maximum budget for an award is $7,500. Though students can apply for (and receive) multiple awards, no individual can receive more than $7500 over their career. Previous awardees seeking additional support from the Lloyd Swift Endowment should consider the amount in their previous award when designing budgets for subsequent proposals.
  • No single organization (i.e., WFCB research lab or external organization) can receive no more than 5 awards in a year (i.e., from the Fall deadline to the following Fall deadline). 
  • Awards can occur at any time, including the  summer, the academic year, or span both periods.  
  • Before applying, students must meet with a WFCB professor to discuss their application. If they are applying for a research opportunity within a WFCB lab, then this would be the lab’s PI. If it is an opportunity external to WFCB, then this would be the applicant’s assigned faculty academic advisor. In either case, the student must procure a signed statement from the professor declaring their intent to host the award account and administer the funds should the student receive an award. 
  • Applications should demonstrate that the financial impact of the award will be instrumental in facilitating the learning experience, and not merely replacing existing funds for the same experience. The application should be brief; aside from the basic contact information, it should indicate:
  • The nature and timing of the experiential learning opportunity
  • How that opportunity will advance the student’s educational or career goals
  • The amount of money needed to enable the opportunity, with a budget and justification. Students may request a salary equivalent to half-time (max 20 hrs/week) during the Fall, Winter and Spring quarters, and up to 40 hrs/week during Summer quarter. Salaries and benefits will be paid on the UC scale.
  • As part of the application, the student must submit a letter of support. This letter would come from their proposed supervisor and must (1) discuss the nature of the opportunity, (2) confirm they are willing to host the student, (3) establish that other funds to support the student for the experience are not available, and (4) agree to ensure that a thank you letter is submitted. If the student is entering a WFCB lab, then this statement can be the same as the one declaring their intent to administer the funds. However, if the student is pursuing an external opportunity, then two letters would be required: one from the WFCB professor declaring their intent to administer the funds (please provide this form to your assigned WFCB faculty for their signature, and attach the filled form to your application), and one from their proposed supervisor declaring their intent to host the student and discussing the nature of the opportunity.

Review procedure:

Your application will be read and evaluated by the WFCB Swift Endowment Committee. The WFCB committee will meet to discuss the applications and make award decisions based on multiple criteria, including a rubric that includes the following four prompts. Each prompt will be scored from 1-5.

  • To what extent would this experience help the student gain new knowledge and/or skills via experiential learning?
  • To what extent would the experience help the student progress towards realizing their career goals?
  • Are the student’s proposed activities and their role within the broader effort clearly defined?
  • Is the budget request reasonable and adequately justified?

In addition, preference will be given to research opportunities in WFCB labs over other research labs on campus. However, externships (i.e., experiences outside UC Davis) will be placed on equal footing to research opportunities in WFCB labs.

How and when to apply: 

  • The Swift Endowment accepts applications four times a year: 
    • February 15th 
    • April 30th
    • July 31st
    • October 31st
  • For summer experiences, we encourage students to apply for the February 15 and April 30th application deadlines.
  • A full preview of an application can be viewed here.
  • To apply, complete this google form and hit the submit button once you have filled all the required entries. 

Administering the award:

  • For students joining a WFCB research lab, the WFCB PI oversees fund administration. Depending on the budget request, the WFCB PI might help (1) hire the student as an undergraduate researcher, (2) approve all subsequent time sheets, (3) help the student procure necessary supplies and sign off on purchases, and (4) help the student submit travel expenses and sign off on travel reports.
  • For students participating in an opportunity external to WFCB, the WFCB Experiential Learning coordinator (Pernille Sporon Bøving) will oversee fund administration. Depending on the budget request, Pernille might help (1) hire the student as an undergraduate researcher, (2) approve all subsequent time sheets, (3) help the student procure necessary supplies, and (4) help the student submit travel expenses. The WFCB PI who hosts the award (i.e., the student’s academic advisor) will approve purchases and travel reports.
  • The student will indicate the award start and end date at the time of the application. Funds must be expended within 60 days of the conclusion of the experience. 
    • If the student would like to request a ‘no-cost-extension,’ then they must submit a written request and justification for their request to the WFCB Experiential Learning coordinator (Pernille Sporon Bøving) before the end date of the award. 
  • Funds must be expended according to the original budget proposed. 
    • If the student would like to request a re-budget during the award, then they must submit a written request and justification to the WFCB Experiential Learning coordinator (Pernille Sporon Bøving) before alterations to the budget are made. 
    • Small changes to the budget (i.e., <10% of the total award value) are automatically approved and do not need to be submitted.
  • At the conclusion of the experience, the awardee, in collaboration with the supervisor, will briefly explain how Swift funds were spent and will write a letter to the Swift family. The letter should summarize the experience and its importance, and thank the family for making that experience possible.

Credit For Internships:

Students can receive credit for internships via units and/or transcript notation.
92/192: Variable unit internship. Ask the faculty member if you can register for 92/192 units, and then contact the department staff adviser to obtain a Course Registration Number (CRN). The number on units your register for depends on the number of hours you work.  Use ICC guidlines to determine this number. You will need to register for your internship by the 12th day of the quarter. After this time, you will need to be issued a PTA by the department’s staff adviser. Transcript notation can be obtained through the ICC with cooperation from your employer. See the ICC's instructions for more

field-science-fellowship-2024.jpgNow accepting applications for the 2024 Field Science Fellowships, an undergraduate research program sponsored by the University of California Natural Reserve System (NRS).
The NRS Field Science Fellowship provides financial support to UC undergraduate faculty teams conducting scientific research in the field at NRS reserves. These fellowships enable students to focus on gaining valuable hands-on research experience under the guidance of a faculty researcher. Each $6,000 award consists of a $5,000 student stipend and $1,000 to cover project costs. A maximum of $24,000 will be awarded annually.

Projects enabling the student to perform full-time research over the summer are preferred. However, we will also consider proposals that explain why the research must be conducted during another season and how the student will be able to accomplish the research while enrolled in classes during the academic year.

Funding for the Field Science Fellowships is made possible through the Samuelsen Conservation Scholars Initiative.
All applications are welcomed and will be considered. We especially invite applications from students from ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds historically underrepresented in the sciences, including but not limited to African-American, Latinx, Native American, Pacific Islander, and first-generation college students.

Application Information:
Eligibility requirements, evaluation criteria, and complete application information can be found here. The application deadline for Summer 2024 is February 15, 2024.

Summer Research Opportunities:


Sample collectionInternship opportunities with the Putah Creek Nestbox Highway. We are seeking applications for interns to assist in a molecular diet study of nesting songbirds in the Putah Creek Nestbox highway. Students will be trained in and assist with off campus sample collection and on-campus genetics laboratory work, including DNA extraction and preparing samples for high-throughput genetic sequencing and subsequent analysis. Students will learn to execute a range of complex assignments relevant to field and laboratory research and will participate in project implementation, evaluation, and troubleshooting. We will provide training – this is an appropriate first lab/field work experience. The opportunity to develop authorship and honors thesis will also be available.

If interested, contact Melanie Truan ( and Mary Badger ( to collaboratively develop a Swift application. Please include in the email (1) a short cover letter stating why you are interested in this position, an any relevant experience and (2) your CV or resume.

More information about the Putah Creek Nestbox Highway:


squirrel.jpgThe Van Vuren Lab is looking for a field assistant to trap and observe golden-mantled ground squirrels in Colorado.  The study site is at a beautiful location high in the Colorado Rockies.  Timing is from mid-June to late August.  All training is done on-site, and you will become proficient at trapping and handling squirrels, as well as doing behavioral observations using instantaneous scan sampling.  If interested, contact Dirk Van Vuren (


western pond turtle

Opportunities with the Todd Lab. During the Swift Fund application cycle for summer research 2024, we (typically) take on 2 field technicians to work on a Western pond turtle conservation and non-native turtle impact study. Summer positions run from mid June (when classes end) to early September. As a field technician, you will assist graduate student Sidney Woodruff in setting turtle traps weekly in the Arboretum and nearby Putah Creek, handling live turtles to collect size and shape data, marking Western pond turtles, and communicating with the public about the project. You will also gain skills in project management, teaching field skills to volunteers, science communication, and data management. Field technicians will have to remain in Davis (or nearby) for the summer since we will start early in the mornings every weekday. 

Sidney will send out a call for applications in Winter Quarter 2024 over the WFCB student listserv. If chosen, you will collaboratively develop an application with them (Swift deadline mid-February 2024). More information on the project can be found here on the Todd Lab website. At times, we take on a handful of volunteers to assist with field trapping and this can be useful for students who cannot commit to the Swift Fund internship opportunity. A call for volunteers will be sent out along with the call for internship applications. Note: internship and volunteer opportunities are restricted to WFCB students.


rypellab.jpgThe Rypel Lab ( is looking for advanced undergraduates to take part in active research projects. Current opportunities include,

1. Fisheries in USA Reservoirs Internship. During the course of this internship the student will be able to participate and gain recognition for the formation of a legacy database which will lay the foundation for a scientific research manuscript exploring variations in fish species biomass across reservoirs in the USA.

2. Alpine Zooplankton Communities Internship. This internship will chiefly consist of handing zooplankton sub-samples, morphospecies sorting, and community density assessments to prepare samples for food web stable isotope analysis.

See the full project descriptions at If interested, contact Christine Parisek ( with (1) your interest and relevant experience, (2) CV, (3) short description of your availability/credit requirements. Students interested in applying for the Swift fund should reach out and express interest early.


The Smith Ecology LabThe Smith Ecology Lab page is a great undergraduate research and internship resource.



birdsnest2.jpgKarp Lab (1). Apply by the end of Monday January 29th.
We are seeking applications for a field technician to monitor bird nest boxes and assist in GPS tagging of birds in Napa Valley from mid-June ‘24 (after classes end) to early August ’24. The field technician will assist graduate students Cody Pham and Karen Gallardo-Cruz with handling and banding nestlings to collect growth measurements as well as affixing GPS tags to adults to study avian movement behavior. This project is part of a broader study on the impacts of temperature spikes and climate change on bird movements and nesting success; Field technicians will be given opportunities to earn co-authorship on resulting manuscripts. Housing will be provided in Napa, and students of all levels of experience are encouraged to apply.

If interested, contact Cody Pham ( to collaboratively develop a Swift application. Please include in the email (1) a short cover letter stating why you are interested in the position and any relevant experience and (2) your CV or resume. More information about the Karp Lab.

bird bandingKarp Lab (2).
We are seeking applications for a field technician to assist with bird banding efforts in the Bay Area and Sacramento regions to study avian molt ecology. This position will last from mid-June through mid-September, with opportunities during the winter and spring quarter for training ahead of the field season. The field technician will work with graduate student Julian Tattoni to set up field sites, learn the safe capture and handling of wild birds, and collect standard bird banding data. Field work will occur in both urban and natural sites in San Francisco, Marin, Solano, and Yolo counties. The field assistant should feel comfortable interacting with members of the public at the urban field sites. Transportation will be provided between Davis and the field sites each day. Camping may be required a few nights each month. Field technicians will be given opportunities to earn co-authorship on resulting manuscripts.

If interested, contact Julian Tattoni ( to collaboratively develop a Swift application. Please include in the email (1) a short cover letter stating why you are interested in the position and any relevant experience and (2) your CV or resume. More information about the Karp Lab:


duck.jpgThe Eadie Lab is seeking applications for one field research student to participate in a study of diets of wetland dependent species (using eDNA) at Bird Haven Ranch - a waterfowl and wetland property near Butte City, CA, starting May 1, 2024. Prior to end of classes the applicant should be available to participate on the project 1-2 days per week, and after the spring quarter up to full-time. The undergraduate will work with graduate student, John Veon to learn how to collect, process, and catalog fecal matter from wood ducks, black phoebes, and bats to better understand how wetland management techniques for mosquito control may influence food resource use by wildlife. This study will be a part of a broader analysis, working to understand the diversity and abundance of protein (i.e., insect) and carbohydrate (i.e., moist-soil seeds) food resources available to wetland wildlife, resulting from different mosquito control management strategies in managed wetlands. Applicants will gain experience in conducting field research, learn about wetland ecology and management, and will interact with and learn from farmers, ranchers, hunters, members of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and members of the Mosquito Vector and Control Association of California. The ideal applicant will be interested in wetland ecology and conservation, would be eager to help design and implement methods and research strategies to collect and safely store diet (fecal) samples. Successful applicants will have a positive attitude, an interest in conservation research, and be comfortable with outdoor hot conditions and variable hours (as deemed safe and appropriate by university standards). Depending on the extent of their interest and involvement, the successful applicant may participate in analysis and writing of a scientific paper and be given opportunities for co-authorship on a resulting manuscript.

If interested, please contact John Veon ( to collaboratively develop a Swift application. Please include in the email (1) a short cover letter stating why you are interested in the position and any relevant experience and (2) your CV or resume. More information about the project can be found here:


Non-WFCB Field Courses:

intern1.jpgCalifornia Ecology and Conservation brings together 27 students from across the UC system for seven weeks of intensive learning at NRS reserves. Guided by experienced field instructors, undergraduates transform into scientists by conducting independent research studies. Students learn to notice natural patterns, frame questions into feasible research projects, and practice standard techniques such as surveys of animal and plant populations. At the conclusion of each project, students analyze their data and present their findings to the class in oral presentations, posters, and reports. Students hone their research, public speaking, and scientific writing skills with constant practice and feedback. All the while, students gain a working familiarity with California’s diverse ecosystems while immersed in the NRS’s classrooms without walls. Photo credit: May Roberts.

intern3.jpgThe Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at UCSC exposes early-career college students to the field of environmental conservation through field research, leadership and professional training.
Each year, we select 20 students from around the U.S. and its territories to participate in our two-year conservation leadership program. Our students represent a diverse spectrum of cultures and backgrounds, which helps to cultivate an inclusive and rewarding experience. Photo credit: The Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program.

External Internships:

Cache Creek ConservancyThe Cache Creek Conservancy offers internships to college and university students or recent graduates. Their internship programs usually follow the seasons, Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. 

Ecological and Environmental Interns assist Conservancy staff with habitat restoration for native wildlife and plants within the nature preserve and other sites along the lower Cache Creek watershed.

The internship program has three distinct special project teams. Applicants are encouraged to select a project team in their application. 

These internships are unpaid by Cache Creek; however, credit units may be available with the support of a faculty sponsor from your major department plus as a WFCB major you are eligible to apply for Swift Endowment support for the hours served at Cache Creek.

Marcella Kelly Jaguar.pngWild cat study in Belize
Please note this experience is volunteer and requires a project fee (see below), which covers room, board, and in-country transport. Additionally, participants must provide own transportation to Belize. We have worked with numerous students to find grant funding and to obtain university credit.

We are seeking 5-10 motivated field assistants for our wild cat study in Belize, Central America. This study focuses on jaguars, pumas, and ocelots using non-invasive detection methods and researches long-term demographics of jaguar populations and the impacts of selective/sustainable logging at multiple sites across Belize.

Interns will gain extensive field experience setting up large remote camera grids across tropical broadleaf and/or tropical pine forests, conducting habitat surveys in neotropical forest, orienteering with GPS and map and compass, field vehicle maintenance, organizing and entering data and maintaining a database.

Job includes EXTENSIVE driving and hiking on dirt roads and trails to remote camera stations and collecting vegetation data surrounding camera stations. Field assistants may be required to carry heavy equipment, and will hike long distances through rough terrain, and bushwhack through thick vegetation. Work will also include shared data entry, camp and vehicle maintenance, and other errands and household chores.

Rustic living conditions in a tropical environment (meaning very hot and humid weather, snakes, and biting insects). Field assistants will be living in close living quarters with their co-workers and will be expected to help out with group cooking, cleaning, and other basic field-house chores.

Preference given to students in wildlife biology or related field (biology, forestry, natural resources, etc.). No experience is necessary, but the applicant must have a positive and flexible attitude, be enthusiastic and ready to learn, have a strong work ethic and ability to get along with others in tight, close-knit, living conditions.

Ability to drive a standard (manual) transmission and backpacking skills are not required but are a plus.

This is an internships position where the technician will need to pay for their plane ticket and a project fee of $1850 per month (1 month minimum required). This project fee covers food, accommodations, and all in-country transport, while in Belize (except for days off or vacation days). The experience is a resume builder for wild cat work. It is much less expensive than a typical study abroad experience. A large number of past students have received funding and/or independent study credit from their host institution to participate.

Winter positions available from ~December 15, 2023 to March 15, 2024
Summer positions available from May 2024 through August 2024

Please e-mail a resume/cv, letter of interest, and list of three references with contact info to Darby McPhail at;  David Lugo ( and Marcella Kelly at

Application Deadline: Rolling, will be filled continuously.

Should you successfully land an internship with the Wild Cat project you become eligible to apply for a Lloyd W. Swift endowment to support project fee and airfare.  If you have any questions please reach out to Experiential Learning Coordinator Pernille Sporon Bøving;


intern3.jpgCramer Fish Sciences (CFS) is accepting applications for an Internship based out of their West Sacramento office for fall ‘24 quarter. Make a meaningful impact in restoring aquatic ecosystems through collecting and measuring biomass data, conducting literature review where insufficient specimens are available, and comparing biomass values. This internship is anticipated to be 8-10 hours per week for 8 weeks and begin mid to late Aug. Application deadline is June 30th 2024

HOW TO APPLY: To apply for this external internship, you must be a current undergraduate student in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology Department at UC Davis and in good standing. If you are interested, please contact the Cramer Fish Sciences Hiring Group directly, and include a cover letter and recent resume. Successful applicants will be encouraged to apply for a Lloyd W. Swift award to support their internship.

The macroinvertebrate community is an important component of aquatic ecosystems and macroinvertebrate sampling is a common monitoring method employed by Cramer Fish Sciences (CFS) to assess functionality and success of our riverine habitat restoration projects. Macroinvertebrates are sensitive to environmental change and have been used by many studies to assess ecosystem health and restoration success. Invertebrate communities can provide an indication of habitat productivity. Additionally, juvenile salmonids primarily feed on a variety of drift macroinvertebrates and sampling this community can demonstrate resource availability for our most common focal species.

Biomass is one of the most common metrics assessed for invertebrate samples. Our current protocols call for technicians to enumerate organisms by taxon, life stage, and size class with a sample and this information is used to estimate total sample biomass using standard biomass values for organisms. However, in many cases, biomasses are not available for a specific combination of taxon, life stage, and size class and we are required to substitute values from comparable taxa. Additionally, it would be helpful to measure expected accuracy of sample biomass estimates compared to direct sample weighing, which is more accurate but destructive.

To contribute to a more complete and accurate table of biomass values and investigate accuracy of biomass estimates.

Collect data on missing biomass values – collect and weigh representative specimens of missing taxa.
Literature review – where insufficient specimens are available, review peer-reviewed literature for biomass estimates.
Compare estimated and actual biomass values – collect dry biomass values for whole samples and compare to values calculated through existing estimation protocol to contribute to a growing dataset on accuracy and precision of biomass estimation.

ABOUT CRAMER FISH SCIENCES: We are a fisheries research consulting firm serving throughout the Pacific States and Idaho. We are a growing, employee-owned company whose mission is to rigorously apply the scientific method to afford our clients innovative, scientifically robust solutions to address a variety of fisheries and environmental challenges. Our team achieves this through effective and unbiased data collection, insightful analysis and interpretation, and clear communications and publication of results in scientific journals.


Internship Location- Auburn, CA Start-End Date- Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and admitted based on preset orientation dates. However, the best time to intern with us is during our busy baby season. Anytime from March through October we.jpgWildlife Intake Center (WIC) Internship. The Wildlife Intake Center (WIC) Internship provides hands-on experience in the Gold Country Wildlife Rescue (GCWR) clinic working with injured and orphaned wildlife. Interns learn basic animal caretaking procedures, medical protocols, and in-depth species identification and natural histories.

Interns will work alongside staff and other volunteers/interns to complete all tasks associated with animal rehabilitation. Interns will primarily work in the WIC helping with cage cleaning, animal feeding, medication distribution and other daily tasks. Some duties, however, may include animal pick-ups from vets, or special projects as needs arise.

Gold Country Wildlife Rescue is a non-profit organization, dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of injured and orphaned wildlife. We are permitted through the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, and the US Fish & Wildlife Service. We have been serving the local community since 1991 and do so at no charge.

Internship Location: 11251 B Ave., Auburn, CA 95603. Start/End Date: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and admitted based on preset orientation dates. However, the best time to intern with us is during our busy baby season. Anytime from March through October we received our largest amount of animal intakes. During these months interns get to see and work with the largest variety of species.

Orientations are typically held February, April, June, and August. Additional orientations are held as needed. Dates can be flexible depending on intern availability and seasonal needs.

If interested in a specific timeframe, please contact for additional information.

Minimum Age Requirement: 18+ years. Minimum Time Commitment: At least 16 hours per week, for a minimum total of 200+ hours over the course of the internship session. Housing/Transportation: No housing or transportation is provided to interns by GCWR. All housing and transportation arrangements are the responsibility of the intern. Salary: This an unpaid internship, but should you successfully land an internship with GCWR you become eligible to apply for a Lloyd W. Swift endowment as a WFCB major.

For more information and to apply visit: