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Memphis Zoo

Paid Conservation Research Internship, Summer 2021 - Louisiana Pine Snake

General Description: Memphis Zoo’s Department of Conservation & Research is offering an internship in conservation biology. The position is available for upper-level undergraduate students and 1-2 year post-graduates. This internship offers a unique research experience in a zoo setting working with scientists conducting cutting edge and frontline projects to save wildlife, and will provide valuable training in laboratory techniques, experimental design, and data analysis for many professional careers in general biology, conservation, ecology, and veterinary sciences.

Specific Project & Internship Description: One in five species of reptile is threatened with extinction. Conservation efforts to save species often require active intervention such as ex-situ captive breeding programs. Zoos have led the way in the development of captive breeding programs and the Memphis Zoo houses a large breeding colony of the endangered Louisiana pine snake. The research department at the Memphis Zoo is actively developing reproductive technologies including cryopreservation of sperm and artificial insemination to aid in the recovery of the species.

​Specifically, the Louisiana pine snake research intern will work with Dr. Mark Sandfoss to collect and analyze biological samples (semen, blood, fecal) with the aim of understanding the reproductive physiology of the species and refining reproductive technologies used in the captive breeding program. The intern will learn a variety of laboratory techniques, including sperm assessment, cryopreservation, and hormone analysis. Additionally, the intern will participate in animal husbandry activities and learn methods for the collection and storage of biological samples. There will be some opportunities to interact with other researchers at the zoo working on a variety of conservation related projects.

Support Provided: 1) A stipend of $9.00/hr, and 2) Free housing in the Memphis Zoo’s condominium located near the Zoo. The condominium has two bedrooms and houses up to four people, and interns may be required to share a bedroom with a same-sex roommate.

Duration: This internship is full-time (40 hrs/week), and appointments are for 12 weeks. Start date is flexible for the position but a start date between May 1st and June 1st is preferred, and applicants must be able to stay for the entire 12-week period.

Materials to Submit: The application deadline is March 12th. However, the submission window may be closed earlier if a maximum # of applicants is reached before that date. Visit memphiszoo.org/careers to apply online. Materials required in the online application are a curriculum vita and a cover letter describing research interests, job-related skills and life experiences. Preferred candidates may be contacted in March for an interview via Zoom. Send questions to Mark Sandfoss at msandfoss@memphiszoo.org.

Experience Required

Preferred Qualifications for this Position: Preference will be given to applicants working towards degrees in biology, zoology, animal science, reproductive physiology, or related fields. Applicants with an interest in pursuing attending graduate school or careers in reproductive sciences and conservation are strongly preferred. Other requirements include the ability to work within a diverse and inclusive team of researchers, follow instruction, and exhibit excellent oral and written skills. The intern may need to travel with their research mentor to additional work sites outside the zoo and may work unconventional hours and on weekends. Ideal Candidate for Position: Who should apply? Interns with the following will benefit most from this opportunity: A strong interest in applied conservation biology A particular interest in reptiles Willingness to work long hours in the lab Ability to engage respectfully with a diverse team of collaborators Ability to work independently A general curiosity and interest in asking novel questions Excellent communication skills, attention to detail, and positive attitude Additional research experience is a plus, including: Experience with animal handling and collection of biological samples Experience with snakes Experience with laboratory techniques Experience with data analysis and scientific writing A B.S. or at least three years of college level course work in biology or a related field.

Salary

$9/hour stipend + housing

How to Apply

Apply online at: https://www.paycomonline.net/v4/ats/web.php/jobs/ViewJobDetails?job=32116&clientkey=05CE5959ED803A8D72CA12EF87F1125A

Memphis Zoo
2000 Prentiss Place
Memphis, TN 38112

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