Internship: Conserve and restore cloud forest on island of Samoa (travel paid!)

For the summer of 2016, Conservation International is offering a summer internship for a student in our Samoa country program.  The internship will be based in CI’s office in Apia with time divided between office and fieldwork in the Savaii Cloud Forest and surrounding villages.

The Savaii Cloud Forest is the only remaining cloud forest on the island of Samoa which still holds a pristine rainforest and now it has come under threat due to increase impacts of climate change and human induced activities encroaching the highest peak or mountain area in the country.

The selected intern will engage directly with CI’s multi-disciplinary team in Samoa, building their knowledge and research skills to assess threats to the Cloud Forest. The intern will not only gain experience in living and working in another culture, but will have the opportunity to obtain hands-on field experience through the research, documentation and comparison of the impacts of human induced activities, climate change and invasive species. The selected intern will have an adventurous spirit, enjoying the challenges of learning a new culture and their way of living, working well within a team, and having a strong drive and commitment to the work that he or she has been tasked to do.

The internship will begin with a one week orientation at Conservation International Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia during the week of June 20th followed by six weeks in Samoa.

Conservation International will cover all travel expenses including, travel to Samoa, accommodations, and food.

Interns must supply their own health insurance and sign a volunteer waiver.

Internship Duties:

  • Conduct literature research and develop methodology for field work
  • Research species biodiversity within the Savaii cloud forest and relation to current or new species that should be considered for the IUCN RED list
  • Conduct field surveys and interviews at the site from Aopo-Sasina and villages surrounding the Savaii cloud forest
  • Collect sample specimens and documentation of evidence of climate change impacts over time
  • Complete formal report, highlighting the importance of this critical site to Samoa and its natural and cultural heritage and for use in reaching future partners for CI in the region to support the recommended findings
  • Other related duties as assigned


  • Current student pursuing a university degree in a related field focused on anthropology, biology, environmental or social sciences
  • Working knowledge or understanding of climate change impact on island and/or island restoration
  • Working knowledge or understanding of the Participatory Rural Appraisal approach
  • Superior research skills
  • Working knowledge of GPS equipment
  • Working knowledge in the use of technology through photography or videography for documenting and filming field work
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Willingness to learn and adapt to a variety of cultural situations, including respect for local and/or indigenous communities traditions
  • Independent and able to thrive in challenging situations
  • Physical ability to work in high elevations and engage in hikes for data collection
  • Must have personal laptop and camera available for use
  • Must have valid driver’s license and comfort in driving to villages and field sites
  • The selected student must have a valid passport, commit to the full internship period from June 20, 2016 to August 5, 2016 and sign a volunteer waiver release.

Photo of Samoan cloud forest by Teinesavaii

See full description & apply.

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