Intern will gain experience learning about chimpanzee behavior and training at the sanctuary. The intern will also complete an independent project that can meet the requirements of the intern’s academic institution (if applicable).
Knowledge of Project Chimps’ mission and values
● Exposure to the operations of a chimpanzee sanctuary
● Learn about and conduct observations related to chimpanzee behavior
● Gain knowledge of operant conditioning and training with chimps; may have opportunity to participate in training
● Learn various aspects on how to care for captive chimpanzees, including: husbandry, enrichment, medical, behavioral research, behavioral training, and socializations
● Attend and participate in various sanctuary committee meetings
● Orientation will be scheduled the first day of the internship and includes the following: history and tour of Project Chimps, description of rules, safety protocols, chimpanzee behavior, and chimpanzee care protocols. Intern should attend the orientation wearing closed, rubber-soled shoes.
● Intern will be given a manual and will be trained on the particular aspects of their role.
● Intern will receive online training via CollaborNation. Once an intern finishes the required courses, they retain access to the full library of online courses.
● Conduct behavioral observations daily using a dedicated app
● Assist in documenting and charting behavior
● Assist during positive reinforcement training sessions; possibility of participating in training
● Create shaping plans and other SOPs needed within the Behavior program
● May occasionally assist in cleaning duties if needed
● Other responsibilities dependent on intern’s interest/experience
Physical difficulty is level 4; Essential physical requirements include: able to stand, walk, run in the face of danger; able to climb stairs; 20/20 binocular vision and peripheral vision with or without corrective lenses; able to hear with or without hearing aids; able to speak with or without assistive devices; able to use arms (upper limbs) with a full range of overhead motion; able to use hands and fingers; able to bend and squat; and able to lift up to 50 lbs. (22.7 kg) without assistance
● Mental difficulty is level 4; requires learning procedures and protocols; independent project work requires critical thinking skills
● Emotional difficulty is level 2; intern will be around chimpanzees that are retired from biomedical research
Some of the work is performed outdoors in all weather conditions which can include extreme heat and cold. (There is access to air conditioning/heat, restrooms, a kitchen, break room, drinking water, coffee, and computers as needed.)
● Must be at least 18 years old
● Able to meet the requirements outlined in the Essential Capabilities document with or without reasonable accommodation
● Must arrive on time for shifts.
● Must wear closed, rubber-soled shoes. Intern shirts will be provided by Project Chimps and a dress code must be followed at all times.
● Must learn and follow all guidelines and policies of Project Chimps and follow directions given by staff.
● Candidates must submit the required paperwork and pass a background check before being assigned. At least two letters of recommendation must be submitted with the application form when applying for an internship. Copies of any academic requirements should also be submitted. International interns are solely responsible for obtaining any required visas.
● Should have access to a computer and ability to login into an online volunteer communication site to receive updates
● Current TB test, Flu shot, Tetanus, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B shots required, unless you are medically exempt.
Our internships are seasonal (see below). We have flexible start dates so we can work with your school schedule (if applicable).
● 12 weeks up to 6 months, up to 40 hours per week
● Interns living off site are required to work a minimum of 24 hours per week.
● Interns living on site are required to work a minimum of 32 hours a week.
Internships are available year-round. Interns will be assigned to shifts that are between 4-8 hours in length between the hours of 8 am and 4:30 pm.