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American Institute of Rhinoceros Science (AIRS) Internship

The Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden and The Wilds jointly seek to fill a full-time internship position made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 
What is AIRS?
American Institute of Rhinoceros Science - a model for saving species with science ex situ
AIRS is a new, big initiative, taking rhino science and collaboration to a new level while helping to save rhinos from extinction. AIRS is led by a coalition of expert rhino scientists and is founded on the partnership between CREW (with its renowned Signature Rhino Conservation Project), and The Wilds (one of the most successful rhino breeding and management facilities). This large coalition will employ a multidisciplinary strategy to overcome the four greatest scientific challenges to sustaining rhino populations within our nation’s zoos. The team recognizes that the scientific challenges are inter-related and studying one of them in isolation will fall short of what could be achieved by tackling all of them together. In short, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. AIRS will consist of a diverse, inclusive team with individuals in all stages of their training/careers. The project will produce science-based, affordable and feasible management recommendations for monitoring and controlling physical condition, iron overload, and reproduction, while ensuring optimal rhino wellbeing. This program will set a precedent for saving species with science in zoos, a model with value for all species at risk in the wild.
Position summary: The goal of this position is to provide intern training in animal husbandry (particularly rhinos), operant conditioning training, and research. The individual’s training program may be tailored based on the selected candidate’s skillset and aptitude, as well as current needs of scientists, animal care staff and veterinarians. The intern will work at The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio as an integral part of the AIRS team of scientists, veterinarians, animal management staff and graduate students and will be supervised by the AIRS Project Site Operations Manager and The Wilds’ animal husbandry staff. He/she/they will assist animal staff in day-to-day operations, including food prep/feeding, cleaning, and routine animal care procedures with the rhinos and, to a lesser extent, with other diverse species at The Wilds as needed. The intern’s help will free up time for all staff, including the intern, to participate in necessary AIRS’ activities which could include (but are not limited to): fecal/urine/saliva sample collections, assisting scientists with reproductive/physiological/behavioral research, equipment, observations and data collection, assisting with rhino operant conditioning training for procedures such as blood collection, rectal ultrasound examinations, hand injections, and attachment of monitoring devices. The chosen individual needs to be prepared for a fascinating learning experience and a very physical job. 
Qualifications: This internship is open to undergraduates or graduates. The intern must have a strong interest in animal management, zoology, biological sciences, animal, veterinary and/or environmental sciences or similar fields. The AIRS team is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion.
Desirable traits:

  • Eager to learn with an outstanding work ethic;
  • Positive, can-do attitude;
  • Detail-oriented and organized;
  • Comfortable working with all forms of biological samples;
  • Competent with basic computer software programs;
  • Prompt and reliable in the areas of attendance and performance;
  • Able to work well with diverse personalities;
  • Previous experience working with large hoofstock (horses, cows, other exotics) preferred;
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Works well independently
  • Excellent communicator
  • Listens and takes directions well 
Location: The Wilds, Cumberland, OH, United States
Working Conditions: While performing the duties of the job, the incumbent is regularly required to stand, walk, lift, handle shovels, pitchforks, brooms, hoses, and other barn equipment. The intern should be physically capable of regularly lifting 50 lb bags of grain and/or bales of hay and must be prepared to perform tasks under varied environmental conditions (heat, cold, rain, high pollen count, etc.,). The incumbent may also be required to spend hours observing animals, entering data or working on a computer. 
Compensation & Benefits: This is a full-time (40 hr/wk), 6-month, un-benefited, training position. Housing at The Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio will be provided and will be paid for by the grant. A small stipend of $200/month will also be provided. There will be six consecutive internships spanning the three years of the AIRS grant.  This posting is for the third position and the desired starting date is January 2023
To apply for this position: Cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references should be included in your online application. Applications will reviewed as they are received, but the position will remain posted until a well-qualified applicant is chosen, accepts the position, and passes the preemployment screening. 
Pre-hiring: Hiring is contingent on the chosen candidate passing drug and nicotine screen and background check within 30 days of the start date. You must also provide proof of full vaccination status as defined by the CDC, and of a valid driver’s license.
We strive to be an organization that is diverse and reflects the fullness of society. With a strongly held value for an organizational culture characterized by inclusion and belonging, we are committed to equity in all we do. We are especially interested in candidates who can contribute to our organization’s diversity and who want to walk alongside us in our commitment to inclusion and equity. We are a Queen City Certified/Ellequate Leader in Workplace Equity. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.