Audubon Species Survival Center Crane Internship

Location: Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center (FMASSC) New Orleans, LA


Department: Husbandry

Dates of Position:
Spring, February- April 
Summer, June- August
Fall, August- October
Winter, November- January

Application due dates:
For Spring 2017 session- December 4th, 2016
For Summer 2017 session- March 31st, 2017
For Fall 2017 session- May 31st, 2017
For Winter 2017 session- August 31st, 2017

Time Commitment: Option 1: 12 weeks (3 months)

Option 2: 24 weeks (6 months)

Works 5 days per week (40 hrs). Including weekends and holidays. 

Job Description:

About the Species Survival Center:
The Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center (FMASSC) is one of the facilities run by the Audubon Nature Institute. It is a unique piece of property that expands approximately 1,000 acres in an area designated as the English Turn in New Orleans, LA (just south of downtown New Orleans). The FMASSC has been known for its state of the art research facility, the “Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species (ACRES),” and also houses the Audubon Aquatics Center, an off-site holding and rehab facility for the Audubon Aquarium. FMASSC has been a long time participant in the whooping crane and Mississippi sandhill crane breeding and release recovery project. Currently, the FMASSC is experiencing an exciting time of growth and transition. A recent partnership with San Diego Zoo Global has resulted in a new initiative, the “Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife,” which will develop the property into a large breeding center for endangered species. The property is s currently under construction for the new program that will start in Spring 2017.

Summary of Position:
Interns will gain valuable hands-on experience working with a collection of about 50 endangered whooping cranes and Mississippi sandhill cranes and other various bird species at this AZA certified facility. Interns will gain experience in husbandry, enrichment, record keeping, diet preparation, monitoring animal behavior, assist in egg processing, costume-rearing of chicks, artificial insemination, pen design and maintenance, and veterinary procedures as they relate to general animal care. This internship is unpaid and free housing is available upon a limited basis.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Daily tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • Diet preparation 
  • Feeding
  • Cleaning enclosures (raking, sweeping, mopping, hosing etc.)
  • Behavioral observations
  • Facility maintenance (fence repair, mowing, weed eating, painting, etc.)
  • Helping maintain and service incubators and the eggs within
  • Wearing heavy denim costumes while walking, feeding, and cleaning around chicks
  • Preparation and administering of enrichment items 
  • Assist staff with veterinary procedures when required


  • A sincere interest in birds.
  • Strong interest in animal care, husbandry and conservation.
  • Comprehensive understanding of avian imprinting and it’s relation to costume rearing
  • Capable of accurately following written and verbal directions, policies and protocols.
  • Good attitude and solid work ethic.
  • Ability to work alone or as part of a team.
  • Ability to work outdoors in physically demanding adverse conditions (heat, humidity, rain, biting insects, poison ivy, and snakes etc.), limited visibility, and lift 50 lbs.
  • Up-to-date tetanus vaccination and proof of negative TB skin test prior to beginning work.
  • Must be able to pass a background check and drug test.

How to Apply:

Send the following to Richard Dunn, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., by the application deadlines listed at the top of the page.

  • Coverletter- please state which internship session you are applying for in your coverletter
  • Resume
  • 3 Reference contacts

In the event their preferred placement has been filled, qualified applicants may be referred to other Audubon departments. By submitting application materials, the candidate agrees to release their information to our internship staff. 

Audubon Nature Institute is proud to offer excellent professional training and experience in a variety of career tracks through our internship program. Placements are seasonally available in administration, animal care, conservation, development, education, volunteer management, and others. Candidates must be at least 18 years old to apply. To learn more about Audubon’s internship program, contact:

Maria Kohls, Volunteer & Intern Manager
Phone: 504-378-2524 | Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About Audubon Internships
Basic internships last approximately 12 weeks, in which interns develop a variety of professional skills through guided instruction and hands-on experience. Some advanced placements, lasting up to 6 months, are available for well-qualified candidates. 

In addition to the core curriculum provided through each professional track, Audubon offers its program participants supplemental opportunities to learn about the operations of an AZA-accredited facility, the care and management of a diverse animal collection, the tools needed to engage and inspire guests, and much more. 

Audubon accepts applications for available positions on a rolling basis. If no deadline is indicated in the position description, please refer to the schedule below for each session’s start window and application deadline.  Be sure to indicate your preferred session on your application.  An intern’s exact start and end date will vary according to the needs of each section. 

2018 Start Windows
In order to fulfill internship program requirements, we encourage candidates to begin their seasonal placements within the start windows below. If you need special assistance with the intern application process, or have any questions about Audubon’s internship program, please contact the Manager for Volunteer & Intern Resources by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone at (504) 378-2524.

Spring 2018
January 7 – February 21

Summer 2018
May 6 – June 20

Fall 2018
Aug 5 – September 19

Winter 2018
November 4 – November 28