Internship: Population Biology Intern at Lincoln Park Zoo

Application Deadline: Rolling admissions

Location: Chicago, Illinois

The Conservation and Science Department at Lincoln Park Zoo is seeking a population biology intern for summer 2017. The intern position is a full-time 12 week paid position which would involve entering individual animal and population data and conducting preliminary analyses in support of Population Management Center (PMC) and Alexander Center work. This position provides a great opportunity to learn about the science of population biology and the management of zoo and aquarium populations from nationally recognized experts.

The PMC is the only center of its kind providing scientific advice and logistical assistance to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) cooperatively managed animal populations.  The goal of the PMC is to help maintain healthy zoo populations, which is accomplished by: 1) assisting zoo professionals in validating and standardizing their “studbooks” (databases which record the histories and pedigrees of individual animals of a particular species) 2) conducting analyses to assess the demographic and genetic status of populations and 3) collaborating to produce breeding and transfer recommendations for every animal held at each zoo or aquarium participating in the managed population.

The Alexander Center for Applied Population Biology was created to focus the zoo’s research in small population biology.  The goal of the center is to understand what puts animal populations at risk of extinction or decline, as well as how management actions can impact that risk.  This research targets captive and wild populations and integrates demography, population genetics, ecology, and evolution.

*       Data extraction from zoo population databases & management plan reports;
*       Data entry;
*       Analyses of data from zoo populations;
*       Attend Lincoln Park Zoo, Population Management Center, and Alexander Center-
related activities as necessary;
*       Other research and administrative duties as assigned by PMC/AC staff.

*       Working knowledge of PCs, using word processing, spread sheet and database
*       Highly motivated, good problem solver, and detailed-oriented
*       Ability to clearly communicate verbally and in writing
*       Ability to read and understand written and oral instructions
*       Ability to organize tasks to ensure timely completion of all project
*       Ability to learn new software packages relatively quickly
*       Ability to work at computer for 6-7 hours per day
*       Database and records are confidential; discretion and ability to maintain confidences
are essential
*       Ability to represent the Lincoln Park Zoo in a professional manner at all times
*       Ability to interact courteously and respectfully with supervisors, fellow employees,
volunteers, zoo visitors and general public

*       B.S. or B.A. (in progress or completed) in biological sciences or related discipline.
Candidates with a background in statistics, mathematics, or computer programming will also be considered
*       Interest in population biology, genetics, demography, & conservation
*       Experience with Microsoft Excel and Word required
*       Experience in a research setting, as a research or project assistant is desirable
*       Familiarity with zoo population management or specialized population management
software such as PopLink, SPARKS, PM2000, PMx, ZooRisk, VORTEX, or PMCTrack is desirable but not essential

*       Gain knowledge of the foundational concepts in population biology and genetics, and
how they can be applied to the management of zoo and aquarium populations and other intensively managed populations
*       Learn about and assist with the process of producing breeding and transfer plans
*       Gain knowledge of and experience with demographic and genetic analyses and the
relevant software used for population management

Please submit a resume, brief cover letter highlighting your relevant experience, interests and career goals, and college transcripts (unofficial are fine) to Human Resources Department Lincoln Park Zoo, P.O. Box 14903 Chicago, IL 60614 or submit as attachments by email to