Internship Program

Thank you for your interest!

The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center has hired seasonal interns for many years. Currently, we offer two different internships: the Naturalist Internship and the Animal Care Internship. These intern positions allow for opportunities to learn from and work alongside our full-time education and animal care staff. Interns support our department goals and in turn, interns gain career experience and exploration. Applicants are usually students, new graduates, young professionals, or people looking for a career change, but everyone is encouraged to apply! Past interns have gone on to pursue higher education, work for other conservation organizations, and even become full time staff at AWCC!

The application period for the 2024 Animal Care Internship and Naturalist Internship is now CLOSED. The deadline to submit an application for both internship opportunities was Wednesday, January 31, 2024. Please check back in December of 2024 for Summer 2025 internship opportunities.

Click HERE for current job opportunities at AWCC.

Are you interested in a fellowship at AWCC?

If you are not eligible for an internship, cannot commit the full term length of an internship, or have a sponsored work opportunity from your university consider applying for a fellowship. Learn more about fellowships on our VOLUNTEER PAGE.

AWCC is an equal employment opportunity employer and does not discriminate against employees or job applicants based on race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, mental or physical disability, veteran or family status, genetic information, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other status or condition protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws, except where a bona fide occupational qualification applies. This policy extends to all aspects of the employment relationship, including, but not limited to, recruiting, interviewing, job assignments, training, compensation, benefits, discipline, use of facilities, participation in company-sponsored activities, termination, and all other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.

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Former AWCC Interns

Want to know what it’s like to be an intern? Hear from past interns about their experiences working and living at AWCC!

How has the internship helped you in your career path? This internship helped me discover and define the realm of animal care and wildlife conservation I wanted to pursue. The real, hands-on work experience and the opportunity to learn from professionals in the field helped me expand my knowledge base and build my confidence, preparing me for my next steps more than I could’ve hoped.

Any advice for future interns? I’d tell future interns to soak in the mountain views and the midnight sun as much as possible. Show up flexible, ready to jump in, and excited for an adventure.

Liv – Animal Care Intern 2023

What did you enjoy most about being an intern at AWCC? I fell in love with the AWCC community and made life-long connections while being an intern. Getting to experience an Alaskan summer and develop my animal care career in such a beautiful place was an unforgettable experience, and one that I’ll value forever.

Who is your favorite animal at AWCC? My favorite animal at AWCC is Kuma, one of the three resident black bears. Seeing him perched on his hill, surrounded by fireweed and lupine, remains one of my favorite AWCC memories.

What is the most valuable new skill you gained? One of the most valuable skills I gained over the course of my internship was the ability to learn about and help care for such an extreme variety of species at the one time, from cervids to canids to birds of prey. This requires lots of communication, teamwork, and dedication, skills I’m grateful to have developed while working in the animal care department.

What was a favorite experience you had while at AWCC? My favorite experience at AWCC, though remarkably hard to choose, was likely getting to help care for the six bears who call the conservation center home. The opportunity to talk about bear safety with visitors was very meaningful to me, and made me feel like I was truly making a positive impact for wild predators.

Emma – Naturalist Intern 2021

What did you enjoy most about being an intern at AWCC? The knowledge I gained about Alaskan wildlife from all the hands-on experiences I had! I also loved all the friendships I made (many of which are still strong to this day), and the opportunity to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Who is your favorite animal at AWCC? Jasper and Opal! Baby muskox are so cute, and I got to hang out with these guys all summer the year I was an intern.

What is the most valuable new skill you gained? Communication. There is always a lot going on at the conservation center, and everyone is really spread out. Communication is key to making sure things function efficiently and safely! Another valuable skill I gained was the ability to work outside in any conditions while keeping a (mostly) positive attitude.

What was a favorite experience you had while at AWCC? Getting to feed the porcupines. They are so sweet and full of personality, and it’s really cool being able to get up close with an animal covered in thousands of quills!

How has the internship helped you in your career path? This internship helped me discover what I’m interested in and good at, career-wise. There are lots of different opportunities over the course of the internship, and I realized through different projects over the season that I have a passion and a talent for science communication. This discovery has helped me realize what I want from my career in the future.

Any advice for future interns? Always be prepared for the weather! You’re going to be outside a lot during this job, and it’s always good to have different layers of hats, gloves, bug nets, rain jackets etc. It can honestly make all the difference in your attitude when you’re comfortable or uncomfortable outside. Also, jump at extra opportunities! There are often chances to do little side projects, go into town, help out with animals, and have adventures. There are so many opportunities for amazing experiences in this internship!

Any advice for future interns? Anyone who would consider interning with AWCC would do well to take every opportunity they are presented with while there! Every rabbit hole can lead to something enlightening, exhilarating, and potentially life changing.

Jesse – Naturalist Intern 2021

What did you enjoy most about being an intern at AWCC? While most days had their similarities, every day was somehow different from the last. Some of those similarities, referring particularly to the animal residents, made aspects of every day exciting and worth looking forward to!

Who is your favorite animal at AWCC? The one animal that will forever hold a place in my heart is Thor, the office Ferret.

What is the most valuable new skill you gained? This experience allowed me to work on my communication and interpersonal skills, both of which I had every desire to develop further during my time in Alaska.

What was a favorite experience you had while at AWCC? One of the coolest parts of my internship was the opportunity to help the animal care team feed the different animals at AWCC…particularly the bears!

How has the internship helped you in your career path? Interning with AWCC changed a lot about how I approach life, giving me so many chances to advance my own skills and learn about parts of life I never would have working a normal job. My experience at AWCC leaves me longing to continuously pursue conservation education in some capacity in my daily life.

Lauren – Naturalist Intern 2022

What did you enjoy most about being an intern at AWCC? I enjoyed learning a plethora of information about the animals in our care, the people who care for them, the co-workers who share passions with me towards the natural world, and about the amazing state of Alaska that I had the honor to call home for the summer.

Who is your favorite animal at AWCC? I love each animal, but I have a soft spot for the wood bison and specifically calf number seven of 2022 who was the last born during the calving season before I left at the conclusion of my internship. I witnessed its welcome into the world as the amazing cow bison supported the mother while she was giving birth to her calf.

What is the most valuable new skill you gained? The most valuable skill I gained was that of communication. This internship demands communication within the Education team as a Naturalist, with other AWCC departments like animal care and guest services to name a few, and with a diverse audience of guests who come from all over the world to witness Alaskan wildlife and hear their stories.

What was a favorite experience you had while at AWCC? It is quite difficult to narrow down my list of cherished memories to one single moment, but I will say that assisting in the preparation of transporting two moose calves to Washington was special. Some honorable mentions of experiences included witnessing glorious, endangered Beluga whales from The Point, observing a bald eagle rescue by the animal care team off the Seward Highway, feeding all the bears and watching them eat fruit, bottle feeding baby muskox, listening to the wolves howl every day, experiencing the summer solstice among newfound friends, holding a rufous hummingbird, and never knowing what each special day had in store for me!

How has the internship helped you in your career path? This internship has unquestionably confirmed my absolute passion for jobs concerning wildlife, outdoor spaces, and human connection leading me toward the field of conservation communication. I know that my career path and overall potential have shifted with this unique experience under my belt as I further venture into the environmental field!

Any advice for future interns? Take advantage of each and every opportunity you have while being a Naturalist! Ask questions because there is always something to learn! Oh, and bring a headlamp, some hiking boots, and your favorite camping gear if you enjoy getting outside on your days off!

New tour announcement! We are excited to launch the Naturalist Guided Walking Tour, with 2 departures daily. This tour may also be booked last minute. Learn More HERE, or book HERE.