City Nature Challenge Internship at Earthwatch

City Nature Challenge Internship

Earthwatch is an international environmental nonprofit organization that engages people in scientific field research and education. To achieve our mission, we offer research expeditions at exciting locations around the globe. Participants on these expeditions assist top scientists as they investigate important questions about how we can better protect our planet.

This position is no longer recruiting!

Location: Boston, MA, United States

Position Type: Intern (unpaid)

Department: Education and Outreach


The City Nature Challenge Intern at Earthwatch Institute will be responsible for recruiting volunteers to participate in the Boston-area City Nature Challenge(CNC) - part of a citizen science competition across 50+ cities nationwide. The CNC is based on the concept of a bioblitz- in which the goal is for participants to document as many different species in a given area as possible, over an allotted time frame. This year’s Boston CNC will take place April 27-30, 2018. Earthwatch is part of a multi-institution partnership with local universities and non-profits to make the CNC a success. The overall goal of this challenge is to change the way urban residents see the natural world around them by making them more cognizant of the types of species they pass by every day. The primary goal for this position will be to attract a greater number of participants for the 2018 Boston CNC by researching potential partners and conducting outreach to individuals.


The primary goal for this position will be to attract a greater number of participants for the 2018 Boston CNC by researching potential partners and conducting outreach to individuals.  

In 2017, the first year the CNC was nationwide, Boston attained 3,947 observations of 746 species, with the help of 264 participants. The intern will review the successes and opportunities from last year’s CNC to create a structured outreach plan and timeline, with the goal of achieving a higher level of participation in Boston’s 2018 event.  Outreach will focus, in particular, on the recruitment of school groups and Earthwatch volunteers in the greater Boston Area. 

Primary responsibilities include: 

  • Create contact lists, and conduct outreach to Boston area school groups/educators, Earthwatch volunteers, and any organizations that may be interested in participating
  • Research different schools and organizations that might be likely to participate in the CNC  
  • Create fliers and posters to advertise the CNC and its connection to Earthwatch
  • Send out emails/make phone calls to potential participants and interested parties 
  • Use a database to track outreach efforts to individuals and organizations 
  • Use social media to conduct outreach and keep participants engaged online 
  • Find outlets to expand the reach of the CNC (i.e. VolunteerMatch, SciStarter, Facebook event pages)
  • Contribute to the material on the Earthwatch Boston CNC webpage 
  • Attend meetings with the CNC steering committee members throughout Boston- including Zoo New England, the New England Aquarium, the Encyclopedia of Life and local universities (e.g. Harvard University, MIT, Brandeis, UMass)
  • Help manage attendance and outreach for the CNC community events to be held throughout the spring
  • Plan, attend, or host pre-event trainings on how to use iNaturalist 
  • Attend events hosted by Earthwatch and partners during the week of the challenge (April 27-30, 2018) 


  • Strong interest in Citizen Science and connecting people with nature
  • Experience or interest in volunteer recruitment and coordination
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to collaborate with different groups of people to plan and achieve a common goal 
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Ability to envision a plan and follow through on it
  • Ability to multitask while staying organized  
  • Ability to set a long term goal and stay motivated to achieve it 

Time Commitment

A minimum commitment of 120 hours over the course of the internship is required. This is a part-time flexible position. A time commitment of around 15-25 hours per week is preferred, but can be adjusted to accommodate the intern’s schedule.

About the Internship

The City Nature Challenge Internship will build skills in business communication, marketing, outreach, and volunteer coordination. The successful candidate will learn what it is like to work in an office environment at an engaging nonprofit in Boston, all while building a network of contacts with organizations throughout the city. 

As part of Earthwatch’s Intern Program, interns are eligible to earn expedition credits and a travel stipend that can be used towards a qualified Earthwatch Expedition. Interns are also invited to participate in Earthwatch activities from guest lectures to social events. We  encourage use of the internship for academic credit, thesis, or practicum work towards degree or certificate programs.

 Due to the size of our program and limited time and financial resources, we are only able to accept applicants who already have housing in Massachusetts (within commuting distance to the office in Boston). 

Placement will be based on qualifications and availability.

To Apply

Please submit one document in the resume field below containing all of the following items. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

  • A Cover Letter illustrating your qualifications, why you are interested in this internship, and what you are looking to gain from this internship
  • A current resume, detailing relevant office and/or field experience
  • Your availability (days per week, and months of availability)
  • Full contact information for three professional and/or personal references
  • A recent writing sample excerpt (1 page max)


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