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INTERNSHIPS

A core power behind ECWR, our interns receive exponentially more hands-on experience due to our non-profit status, small staff, and big mission. Join our team today and gain experience you'd never thought possible. 

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Applications are currently being accepted for candidates 18 years or older interested in a rehabilitation internship at our wildlife refuge in the Florida panhandle.

The internship duration is 5 days (minimum 40 hours) per week for a minimum of 15 weeks (can be longer if desired) and interns will be scheduled to meet the needs of the refuge. The facility's medical center is open 7 days a week from 8 am - 4 pm; staff and interns work until all tasks are finished for the day, which can lead to extended hours during busy seasons.

Our internship program is designed to provide rehabilitation training that focuses on native Florida wildlife. With this training, interns will be able to participate in actual patient care and practice hands-on wildlife rehabilitation skills.

Upon successful completion of the internship, interns will receive a certificate and documentation of the hours of service performed.

The experience gained from the immersion into the world of wildlife rehabilitation and animal husbandry is extremely beneficial to those who are contemplating careers in the fields of veterinary medicine, wildlife management, wildlife rehabilitation, biology, or zoology.

Participation in the ECWR internship program may also meet the requirements
of your college or university and you may be able to receive school credit from your institution for your internship with ECWR.  

ECWR completes this requested paperwork on an individual basis since we provide intern-specific experience and species summaries at the conclusion of the internship.

Participate in at least 6 lectures specially designed by our Wildlife Rehabilitator to advance skills and knowledge levels:

WILDLIFE HANDLING

Learn about basic animal handling techniques, safety equipment, and acceptable protocols and procedures in the industry 

ANIMAL HELPLINE

Improve communication skills to coach citizens or tourists who find wildlife in distress and coordinate rescue efforts

MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY

Learn how to accurately complete patient intake and record keeping forms and terminology used in an animal science setting

WILDLIFE DISEASES

Learn about diseases ECWR has seen in our past rehabilitation patients, those we monitor currently, and those we are prepared to potentially treat in the future

WILDLIFE EXAMS

Learn how to conduct physical exams on wild animals, local and potentially diagnose injuries and what the appropriate treatment for each scenario is

PHARMOCOLOGY

Learn about what medications ECWR uses to treat various diagnoses, how to calculate dosages, and real-life scenarios

Learning opportunities:

While interning at ECWR, you may have the opportunity to do the following under the guidance

and supervision of our trained wildlife rehabilitation staff, veterinarians,

veterinary technicians, or other qualified professionals:

  • Hands-on wildlife experience through proper handling, feeding, and rehabilitation procedures

  • Avian and mammalian neonatal care

  • Animal husbandry experience with a variety of wildlife species for permanent residents as well as rehabilitation patients

  • Exposure to the operations of a non-profit organization and a wildlife center

  • Knowledge of humane coexistence with wildlife

  • Perform initial exams and assessments of injured native wildlife such as raptors, songbirds, shorebirds, raccoons, foxes, squirrels, opossum, deer, and turtles/tortoises

  • Learn to calculate medicine dosages, administer fluids, give injections, bandage techniques, etc. 

  • Observe/assist with marine mammal and sea turtle strandings/necropsies, as needed or possible (this cannot be guaranteed)

Intern Responsibilities:

(under the guidance of our staff)

  • Complete daily exhibit/enclosure cleaning

  • Prepare diets, feed animals, and record appetite

  • Handle and restrain various wildlife species

  • After hours care for avian and mammalian neonates

  • Assist in rescuing injured and orphaned wildlife; assist in releasing animals when ready

  • Provide enrichment and training sessions to resident animals

  • Administer medications and treatments to wildlife patients

  • Monitor animal areas and provide exemplary guest service to visitors

  • Convey potential problems to staff members

  • Train new volunteers on various animal care tasks

  • Assist with general housekeeping and other duties as assigned

Some of our 2022 Interns:

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Karen, Spring

Retired Navy
Medical Personnel

Always an animal lover, she came to ECWR to learn new wildlife rehabilitation skills that were similar to those she learned in human medicine

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Brenna, Summer

A.S. in Natural Resource Conservation 2022
B.S. in Marine Biology University of West Florida

A Navarre native, she saw the connection between what we do and the animals we see, like helping Pelicans she always sees at the pier.

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Dana, Summer

B.S. in Animal Science
University of Florida

An aspiring veterinarian, she noted the specific opportunity ECWR provided in wildlife medicine, where other internships may only focus on animal husbandry. 

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Audrey,
Extended Spring

B.S. Biology
Appalachian State University

An extensive world traveler and native to France, she delved into the Emerald Coast biome and discovered for the first time the importance of wildlife rehabilitation. 

"My ultimate goal is to attain coexistence between humans and animals around the world."

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Kennady, Spring

M.S. Marine Science - Conservation of Marine Mammals
Unity College

M.S. Marine Biology
University of West Florida

With her expertise in marine mammals, our Marine Mammal Stranding program caught her eye. While not the focus of the internship, she excelled in the wildlife rehabilitation portion of our internship and was hired as our Marine Mammal Stranding Technician after her internship was completed. 

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Julia, Fall

B.S. Biology
University of Central Florida

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Pierce, Fall

A.S. in Animal Science
Walters State Community College

B.S. in Animal Science
University of Tennessee Knoxville

"This internship has provided me with the hands-on opportunity to learn more about wildlife and also help me decide on my future career goals."

"I valued being able to be an active cause in conservation of Florida's wildlife".
- Morgan, Fall 2021
University of West Florida Graduate
B.S. Biology

Interested in applying for one of our internships?

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Thank you for applying to our internships!

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