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Safari West

Observational Animal Behavior Internship

The observational animal behavior internship can focus on a variety of species we house at Safari West, as approved by the animal department manager. The goal of this internship is to integrate students into the current and newly proposed research projects taking place at Safari West. Our objective is to have students understand how to independently conduct a research project through searches for relevant peer-reviewed literature, data collection, data entry and simple data analysis. Internships can be done in collaboration with a university and we can offer academic credits as approved by an academic advisor. Students are expected to come up with a research question which allows for behavioral observations. Observations can include time budgets, preference tests and other behavioral measures. Students may enter the internship in teams or groups if applicable to the research question.

Internship Requirements

  • Availability: Completion of 100 hours including a consistent schedule of a minimum of 6 hours per week of observations (preferably 2 hours per day, 3 days per week) with the remainder spent on researching, writing and analysis
  • Fabrication requirement: Formation of research question, ethogram and data observation sheets and final paper
  • Data requirement: data collection, entry and entry-level data analysis
  • Must have personal computer to use with Microsoft excel and word for data analysis and writing final research paper
  • Collaborative requirement: Intern must be able to work as part of a team and take direction well and be able to interact with employees and guests in a professional manner
  • Self-motivated: Interns will be guided through the program but must be internally driven; they will be expected, after some time, to understand their daily responsibilities and be able to start their work without relying directly on orders
  • Completion of behavioral research paper

Final Paper

  • Interns will write a formal project proposal that needs to be approved by the internship coordinator
  • Students will be expected to write a research paper containing an abstract, introduction, methods, results and discussion

Further Comments

Applicants must be 18 years of age. All internships are unpaid. At this time we are unable to offer housing accommodations, therefore housing and transportation are at the cost and responsibility of the intern. The intern must have reliable means to get to Safari West consistently before committing.



How to Apply

Please send a completed application, resume and short cover letter, highlighting relevant experience, to Erika Mittelman at Not all applicants will be offered an internship position due to the high volume of qualified candidates who apply. We strongly encourage applicants who did not receive an internship position to re-apply. All applicants will be notified of our decision by email or phone.

Safari West
3115 Porter Creek Rd
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
Phone: 7075451513

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