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Sea Turtle Intern

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Published Date

Dec 23, 2022

About the job

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About the National Wildlife Federation


Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF or Federation) is America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 52 state/territorial affiliates and more than six million members and supporters, including hunters, anglers, gardeners, birders, hikers, campers, paddlers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes. The Federation's mission is to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world through programming focused on conserving wildlife, restoring habitats and waterways, expanding outdoor opportunities, connecting children with nature, and addressing the causes and consequences of climate change. The Federation is committed to inspiring all people around our shared love of nature and wildlife by creating a welcoming and inclusive community representative of all Americans.


About the Position


The Gulf Program of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) seeks a part time Sea Turtle Intern for a three-month internship to help implement work on sea turtle model lighting ordinances and associated sea turtle conservation activities. Artificial light from sources like homes, businesses, roadways and pools disrupts these natural nesting and emergence cues, which can lead to harmful impacts on both nesting females and hatchlings. Adult females are often deterred from nesting on heavily lit beaches, resulting in fewer nests or the selection of poor sites to lay eggs. For those that do try to nest on these artificially lit beaches, artificial light can cause false crawls (non-nesting emergences) and disorientations (inability to successfully locate the water) of both nesting females and just born sea turtles, which can result in death. This project aims to build awareness about sea turtles, their habitat, how to protect them, and how to improve lighting conditions for nesting sea turtles.


The primary responsibilities of the Sea Turtle Outreach Intern will be to identify stakeholder groups to present existing lighting resources to, review lighting ordinance language, and draft educational materials and reports, to provide audience-specific messaging to three targeted groups along the FL Gulf Coast:


  • Targeted Florida Gulf Coast residents and coastal businesses (via outreach to Neighborhood Associations, Property Managers, Condo Associations, Rental Properties, etc.)
  • Local governments
  • Interested public (via blog creation, op-ed drafting, etc.)


This position will report to the Program Manager based in Florida. The selected candidate must have a permanent address in one of NWF’s working states and be based in Florida ideally on the Gulf side.


Job Duties:


  • Engage targeted stakeholders with educational resources and online tools
  • Join regular partner meetings to discuss Lighting Ordinance changes
  • Attend relevant meetings and conferences
  • Draft content for social media, blogs, op-eds and other venues to promote sea turtle conservation
  • Shadow partners for sea turtle monitoring in May
  • Review lighting ordinances
  • Other duties as assigned


Preferred Qualifications


Individuals applying for this internship should meet the following qualifications:


  • Enrolled in an undergraduate institution and completed at least 2 years of college education, or recent graduate, in a related field of study (biology, marine science, environmental policy, science education, communication, or similar fields)
  • Have general understanding of conservation and the value of wildlife
  • Able to speak clearly and comfortably with diverse audiences (government employees, general public, home owners)
  • Willing to work a minimum of 20-30 hours/week during the fall (school in session)
  • Organized, self-motivated, and able to work with minimal supervision
  • Possess good verbal and written communication skills, and comfortable using standard computer programs, and communication devices
  • Reliable and professional
  • Valid driver’s license, reliable transportation, and willingness to use personal vehicle for travel to sites to conduct outreach with target audience
  • Willingness to use personal computer and/cell phone
  • Following any appropriate COVID safety protocols
  • Florida Resident
  • Ability to attend Florida Marine Turtle Permit Holder Meeting 2/17/23 to 2/18/23


Preferred Experience/Knowledge


It is preferred that individuals applying for this internship position also have experience and knowledge related to:


  • Sea turtle biology
  • Written communications and
  • Coordinating, scheduling, and independent work


NWF Values:


Your actions are expected to reflect the staff values of the National Wildlife Federation: collaboration, mindfulness, empowerment, inclusivity, and mission focus. Your competencies should include:


  • Being motivated by values of equity and responsibility to those most marginalized;
  • Consistently bringing a high level of empathy and social skills to work and interpersonal interactions;
  • Being committed to deepening an environmental justice approach in communications;
  • Actively seeking feedback, direction, and guidance;
  • Being dedicated to NWF’s internal equity transformation and compelling partners and allies to incorporate equity into their work; and
  • Passion for and commitment to NWF's mission


COVID Consideration:


The National Wildlife Federation closely follows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease and has implemented processes that promote the safety of our employees, candidates, and communities. Because the health of our employees and candidates is a top priority, we conduct our hiring process virtually via phone or video until further notice. We are currently starting our positions as remote, and are continuing to explore what our future of work will be moving forward. Proof of vaccination will be required to join the National Wildlife Federation.


Service Term (approximate):


The internship service term starts in February, and lasts 12 weeks, 20-30 hrs. per week for a total of 300 hours


Location and Work Mode:


This position will be based in Florida ideally on the Gulf side. The National Wildlife Federation is committed to a flexible and empowered work environment with an authentic community of care for all staff. In this position, the employee may remotely, to be decided jointly with their supervisor in the final stages of the interview process.




This position pays $17.00 an hour with paid holidays.


This is a paid short-term internship opportunity with the National Wildlife Federation. NWF is happy to work with the applicant to obtain relevant credit(s) through college/university programming, such as directed independent study (DIS), internship credit hours, etc. Applicant should indicate if they intend to pursue this in application letter. The work schedule is flexible to accommodate your class schedule.




Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Candidates must submit a resume and cover letter.


We strive to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) in all elements of our work and with our partners to support the interdependent needs of wildlife and people in a rapidly changing world. We recruit, employ, train compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender individual), age, physical or mental disability, citizenship, genetic information, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Applicants are invited to learn more about National Wildlife Federation’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at


We recognize that people come with a wealth of experience and talent beyond just the technical requirements of a job, therefore our job descriptions are guidelines, not hard and fast rules. Your experience, which may include paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work, helps build the competencies and knowledge that translates to our openings. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of excellence. Therefore, we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply to our positions.


Please let us know if you require accommodations during the application or interview process by reaching us at or 703-438-6244.


If selected for this position, a background check will be conducted.

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