Internship Environmental Education Internship in the Bahamas
International Field Studies, Inc. is a non-profit organization promoting science education and research since 1970. IFS provides students with the unique opportunity for hands-on, outdoor, environmental education. Offering trips that range in length from one week to one semester, subjects such as marine biology, botany, ornithology, geology, oceanography, or ichthyology can be covered individually as areas of specialization or comprehensively in a broad overview of subtropical ecology. There are many topics to be explored in the social sciences as there is a rich culture and interesting history embodied in the people of the island.
IFS believes an interdisciplinary approach to learning is especially well suited to the field studies environment. IFS functions as a facilitator for educational groups (ranging from middle school to graduate level college students) seeking expertise and logistical support. IFS also facilitates research by assisting researchers with their logistical needs on Andros.
Andros is the largest island in the Bahamas but is sparsely populated with little development. Located off the east coast of the island is the third largest barrier reef in the world and the Tongue of the Ocean. Home to different plant communities and a wide variety of endemic plants and animals. Geologists are attracted to many features in the Bahamas, including the thick limestone foundation of the islands dramatically cut by deep channels. Andros is known for its 178 inland and 50 oceanic blue holes.
Interns will be involved in a variety of duties such as:
Environmental Education: IFS interns supplement the group leader’s knowledge with local site information and topical lectures. The level of assistance with educational programming will vary according to the group leader’s expertise and experience. Interns should be prepared to act as a naturalist with a general knowledge of all of the terrestrial and marine ecosystems of Andros.
Trip Facilitation: IFS interns members are expected to stay in close contact with the group leader, transport the group to their desired sites, and monitor the group’s safety while doing so.
Field Station Operations: There are daily, weekly, and monthly tasks to be completed to maintain full operation of the field station. Each intern will be involved to varying degrees with the daily tasks, such as interacting with the guests, manning the lodge, running errands, unloading shipments, communicating with the office in Columbus, Ohio, and other duties as necessary.
Maintenance: All interns participate in maintenance and repair of the vehicles, boats, buildings, other equipment, landscaping and other facilities tasks as needed.
- Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Education, Marine Biology, Ecology, Fisheries, Botany, Geology, Environmental Biology, or similar science or education major
- Experience with diving, spearfishing, snorkeling, kayaking, lifeguarding, and/or driving boats
- Experience with facilitation and leading trips
- Experience creating and presenting educational programming (middle school to adult audiences a plus)
- Key personality traits include: ability to live and work in a small group environment with limited personal space in rustic and rural conditions, flexible and adaptable, responsible and safety conscious, relatable and personable with students/group leaders/visitors/locals, a team player with a good work ethic
- Must have a valid Driver’s License and be comfortable driving large vans on unpaved, rural roads
- Must consent to and pass a Background Check
- Physical requirements: Must be able to and desire to spend time diving, snorkeling, or drive boats for up to 8 hours a day, must be able to climb up and down ladders, must be able to lift 50 lbs, and must be able to drive a van for up to 1.5 hours at a time
The internship runs for 12 months. Training will include but not limited to: trip leading and planning, basic education on local flora and fauna, and station management. Days are long with 1-2 days off per week. In November and February, SCUBA certifications will be offered to all interns. Other training opportunities may include: Wilderness First Aid, Leave No Trace, and ACA Sea Kayaking certifications. Interns may stay on for more than one year if it is mutually agreed upon by the intern and the Station Director as a Senior Intern with a pay increase.
The monthly stipend for interns will be $500 per month with room and board provided. IFS will cover up to $100 on actual medical expenses per month. Interns are allowed to have two free guests (each with a week-long stay) during their year-long internship. Interns are entitled to two weeks paid vacation during their year-long internship. Interns are required to pay for their flights to and from the island. Interns who complete their internship will have their first flight to the field station and their return flight reimbursed.