Conservation and Sustainable Development Intern

Conservation International (CI)

Arlington, VA, US

Conservation International (CI) has been protecting nature for the benefit of all for over 30 years. Through science, policy, and partnerships, CI is helping build a healthier, more prosperous and more productive planet.  


Biodiversity loss. Climate change. Sustainable development. Challenges for which the world needs solutions. Fast. International agreements like the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Paris Climate Agreement, and the Sustainable Development Goals represent the global community’s ambitions for rising to meet these challenges, but governments, companies, and international organizations need better information to guide their decisions. To meet this need, Conservation International and partners are:1) mapping the natural capital around the world that is most critical for providing the ecosystem services that support human well-being and 2) using computational models to explore scenarios of change, both in terms of alternative management strategies and external trends. By revealing hidden opportunities for conservation, restoration, and improved management, this project enables public and private sector actors to meet their diverse objectives in ways that better support both humanity and the planet. The successful applicant will support this effort by using their technical and subject matter expertise to advance the research and identify/support strategic engagement with key stakeholders, particularly by leveraging existing spatially explicit modeling frameworks to evaluate the outcomes of alternative conservation, restoration, and improved management scenarios in geographic contexts of relevance to key public and private sector partners. 

This position is a 12-week paid summer internship


The intern will work closely with CI’s Associate Scientist for Nature and Sustainability to identify and leverage opportunities to incorporate critical natural capital and ecosystem services into global investment and policy decision-making, particularly within the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goal framework. 

Activities may include:

  • Configuring and using existing geospatial ecosystem service models to design and explore diverse scenarios of land/water management and/or trends in economic patterns, climate change, etc. 
  • Providing support on GIS analysis, policy engagement, and scientific manuscript preparation (literature review, data collection/analysis, drafting recommendations). 
  • Describing decision contexts of diverse types of international actors (investors, agenda-setters), identifying key leverage points, and making recommendations. 
  • Conducting literature review, engaging with internal and external collaborators, and connecting with field programs to explore the concept of criticality as it pertains to ecosystem services and human well-being.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • The internship will be based in CI’s Arlington VA office. Remote work options are possible. No travel is expected. This is a 12-week summer internship.



  • The ideal candidate will be currently enrolled in a master’s degree program (doctoral students preferred). The intern will possess strong technical skills in numerical modeling, GIS, statistics, programming, and/or remote sensing, as well as subject matter expertise in land use/land cover change, human geography, international development, and/or policy/governance/finance.

To apply for this position please submit a resume and cover letter.




IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development