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Smithsonian Remote Sensing/Spatial Ecology Intern

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Front Royal, Virginia
A monthly stipend is offered (dependent on education level, coursework, and skills).
Closing date
Jun 20, 2024

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Biogeosciences, Global Environmental Change
Career Level
Student / Graduate
Education Level
Desired Certifications
GIS Certification
Job Type
Relocation Cost
No Relocation
Sector Type
Non-Government Organization/Non-Profit

Job Details

Remote Sensing/Spatial Ecology Intern

The Conservation GIS Lab ( at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) is seeking an intern. SCBI's mission is to advance the conservation of biological diversity. In meeting the Smithsonian Institution's mandate, SCBI increases knowledge through investigations of threatened species, habitats, and communities and disseminates knowledge through advanced studies, professional training, and public outreach. The internship will focus on teaching the intern about the applications of remote sensing technologies including unoccupied aerial vehicles (UAVs) and satellite high resolution multispectral imagery for modeling vegetation type and structure. Overall, the intern will gain hands on experience analyzing a wide range of datasets across the Mongolian steppe communicating this research to a variety of audiences.

The learning objectives: 

  • Georeferencing satellite data to UAV imagery
  • Extracting multispectral satellite and UAV metrics from point clouds and imagery using R and Google Earth Engine
  • Building predictive spatial models for vegetation type classification using statistical analysis and machine learning algorithms.

Required Skills & Experience:

  • Must be able to dedicate 40 hours per week.
  • Knowledge of GIS (preferably ArcGIS, QGIS, and/or R) and/or remote sensing analysis is desirable.
  • Strong writing skills
  • Ability to conduct research independently and collegially in a team environment.


This is a paid internship. A monthly stipend is offered (dependent on education level, coursework, and skills). There will be dormitory-style housing and computer access on SCBI campus provided for interns.

Location & terms of appointment: The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute is located at the north entrance of the Shenandoah National Park, about 60 miles west of Washington, D.C., in Front Royal, VA. The intern will be part of a cohort of interns at the Center with regular meetings and additional opportunities to interact with fellow interns and researchers.


How to apply:

  1. Applications are open until the position is filled. Apply via the Smithsonian SOLAA system ( Search for "Internship" under "National Zoological Park". The program name is "Conservation GIS Internship Program". Submit a CV and a cover letter detailing: Statement of Interest Potential start date and the duration of time you are available for the internship. Contact information for three references. Elaborate on your programming experience and skill as much as possible.


  1. Successful candidates may need a background check, which might include fingerprinting at a Smithsonian or police facility. Due to the high volume of applications received, we are unable to contact each applicant individually regarding the application status. The SOLAA application system will provide the most updated status regarding individual applications and the position.


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