STEP Coastal Conservation Intern

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Nassawadox, Virginia, USA



The mission of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is to conserve the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we develop innovative, on-the-ground solutions to the world’s toughest environmental challenges so that people and nature can thrive. Our work is guided by our values, which include a commitment to diversity and respect for people, communities, and cultures. From a rewarding mission to career development and flexible schedules, there are many reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want to know more? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube to hear stories from staff or visit Glassdoor.

One of TNC’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees around the globe have a sense of belonging and feel that their unique contributions are valued. We know we’ll only achieve our mission by hiring and engaging a diverse staff that reflects the communities in which we work. Recognizing that people bring talent and skills that have been developed outside the scope of a job, we take a holistic approach to recruitment that considers life experience in addition to the professional requirements listed in our postings. Please apply – we’d love to hear from you. To quote a popular saying at TNC, “you’ll join for the mission, and you’ll stay for the people.”


Join TNC Virginia as a STEP (Short-Term Experience Program) Intern!
The goal of STEP is to create pathways for people seeking to gain experience with a conservation focused organization. We offer seasonal and short-term positions and internships in a range of disciplines across our Virginia Teams. With a focus on recruiting and developing a diverse staff, we strive to create an environment where people of all backgrounds, experiences, and identities feel welcomed to participate in conservation.
All STEP interns will attend an orientation, professional development webinars, and one group field trip. Along the way, interns will have the opportunity to broaden their experiences through interactions with Nature Conservancy staff and partners. STEP internships are designed for those early in their careers or with limited prior related experience.


The Coastal Conservation Intern will assist the Volgenau Virginia Coast Reserve team with efforts around marine habitat restoration, stewardship for migratory birds, preserve management, and education and public outreach on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. This intern will work closely with science and conservation staff. The position requires frequent boat rides and may work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances. Interns will dedicate 5% of their time to professional development activities through STEP.
Primary responsibilities include assisting with:
  • Land and water based Marine habitat restoration activities including maintaining an eelgrass seed curing facility, oyster reef construction and restoration efforts and fish and scallop surveys
  • Stewardship of beach nesting birds, including patrolling beach nesting bird habitat, maintaining signage, and counting and identifying bird species
  • Public visitor outreach and surveys at boat ramps
  • Preserve management and maintenance (trail maintenance, general facility upkeep)
  • Education and outreach events (nature camps/workshops and public events)


  • High school diploma, or equivalent, and 6 months of related experience
  • Experience working in remote, outdoor settings in variable and sometimes physically challenging conditions
  • Comfortable working on a boat, under supervision
  • Comfortable independently interacting with the public and representing TNC to the public
  • Must meet all TNC Youth Qualification requirements and background check


  • Snorkelling experience or comfort with snorkelling in shallow water
  • Knowledge of Eastern Shore communities or history
  • Ability to work both independently and in a team environment
  • Student interested in pursuing a career in conservation


We’re proud to offer a work-environment that is supportive of the health, wellbeing, and flexibility needs of the people we employ!
STEP Interns are eligible for limited benefits including: Housing assistance, 401(k) employer match, paid time off (sick and personal), paid holidays, workers comp disability coverage, employee assistance program, employee discounts, and other life and work wellbeing benefits. Learn more about our benefits at in the Culture Tab on


Shared housing is available for all interns and seasonal staff at our Eastern Shore location.
Schedule: 35 hours/week (Tuesday through Saturday) for 10 weeks from May 30 – August 9, 2024
Hiring Timeline: Positions will close on February 25 (unless otherwise noted), Zoom interviews will occur in early March, Final hiring decisions made by April 5.
Pay: $17/hour, plus additional housing assistance
Location: Nassawadox, VA.


This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with TNC’s Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered "high risk drivers." To learn more about the Auto Safety Program, visit under the FAQ section.

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee's motor vehicle record.


To apply for job ID 54666, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at by 11:59 PM EST on February 25. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of The Nature Conservancy's background screening process.

Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings!

TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

An attractive salary and benefits package is part of TNC’s value proposition to our employees. TNC strives to provide competitive pay and bases salaries on the geographic location of the role committing to being equitable across groups and providing hiring salary ranges when possible.

Since we support flexible and remote work for our employees, many positions have a flexible location within countries where we’re registered as a Non-government Organization and established as an employer. This may mean we’re unable to provide a hiring salary range in the posting for some of our positions. However, candidates invited to be part of our interview process will be provided their location specific range upon request.