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Black Bear Summer Internship

The American Bear Association is looking for qualified, energetic interns for the Summer 2020 season at the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary in the North Woods of Minnesota. The Sanctuary offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity for the public to view and learn about wild black bears.
American Bear Association Intern Requirements
The primary requirement is a sincere desire to help promote the welfare of bears and other natural resources through a personal contribution of long hours and hard work. Preference will be given to candidates who are enrolled in or have recently completed post-secondary education in programs such as wildlife management, wildlife biology, environmental education, natural resources, and business administration. However, other applicants with a sincere desire to intern with us will be given serious consideration as well. All interns must read the ABA Volunteer Handbook and be willing to complete a liability waiver form. An applicant must be conscientious, have a good work ethic, and be a team player and self-starter. In addition he or she must be able to follow directions and have good social skills in dealing with the public. We are looking for applicants who are:
  • Flexible regarding changes in schedule and work tasks
  • Comfortable being in close proximity to large wild animals such as bears
  • Able to work closely and cooperatively with other interns, staff, and volunteers
  • Able to work outside in temperatures ranging from the 30s to the 90s and in all weather conditions
  • Willing to endure the many biting insects that inhabit Northern Minnesota during the summer
  • Comfortable talking with the public about the untraditional nature of the VSWS. As a supplemental feeding site, with a 50-year history of feeding wild black bears, we often are controversial

**Start date is flexible.

Intern Duties at the Bear Sanctuary

Morning/afternoon jobs
  • Picking up and/or unloading supplies, including 50-pound bags of seed and 35-pound bags of fruit and nuts. Heavy lifting is often a part of the job and is therefore required.
  • Daily cleanup of feeding areas and scat removal
  • Cooking meals for staff and volunteers, and kitchen cleanup
  • Maintaining the property, including carpentry projects
  • Planting, mulching, weed-eating and other landscape improvement projects
  • Preparing bear food mixtures
  • Splitting firewood, road maintenance and other miscellaneous tasks
  • Maintain records on bear activity
  • There may also be opportunities to work with the MN DNR on special projects
  • Research projects are sometimes available upon request. If it is a requirement for your internship, an advisor must oversee the research project
Jobs during evening/visitors’ hours include:
  • Assisting with admission and parking cars
  • Greeting visitors on their arrival
  • Talking with the public and answering their questions
  • Educating the public about black bears, ecology, behavior, practical environmental conservation and land stewardship
  • Preparing formal deck talks that interpret bear behavior
  • Sale of souvenirs and educational materials in the gift shop
  • Promoting membership to the American Bear Association