Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

Dallas Zoo

Summer 2020 Site Review

Position: Conservation Intern
Student: Sustainability Studies Senior

My internship was a volunteer position with the Dallas Zoo. Originally Conservation Engagement, my title became Conservation Intern due to COVID restriction-induced changes to the program. The Dallas Zoo is a non-profit whose mission is “Engaging People & Saving Wildlife” and has a vision of “Creating a Better World for Animals”. My role as a Conservation Intern encompassed 3 different avenues. First, a research project for one of the Dallas Zoo’s conservation partners was assigned. This involved in-depth research of the organization, its goals and successes, the species of focus, conservation actions to take, the socioeconomics of the organization’s location and the Dallas Zoo’s involvement with them. Each intern wrote a lengthy analysis paper amassing all of their research, developed a newsletter with their findings and created an Ignite-style presentation that was given to all staff over Zoom. Second, professional development meetings each Thursday allowed virtual sessions with zoo and aquarium experts all over the world, speaking on subjects like community conservation, animal healthcare and the history exhibit design to name a few. Third and final, habitat restoration sessions every Wednesday and Friday helped repair and provide new habitats for local wildlife. The work completed involved the creation of 600 pollinator-plant garden on zoo-grounds and collecting and diverting 2,400 pounds of litter from local waterways. In sum, weekly work involved research and project development, professional development meetings, and habitat restoration work. This was not the original design of the internship, but it was a model that allowed us to operate successfully and with impact amidst the pandemic.

I discovered this internship through Google jobs and on the Dallas Zoo website postings. My search included environmental, sustainability and conservation internships, of which the last gave me the Dallas Zoo position I was hired for.

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    University of Texas at Austin
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    2304 Whitis Ave. Stop G6200
    Austin, Texas 78712-1508