"This program provides our interns with a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between academics and the real-world conservation work that contributes to the health and sustainability of our landscapes. A good number of LFOLA interns have gone on to find jobs in the horticultural industry."  -Susan Wright, Director

  Sponsor an Intern!

An exceptional opportunity for college and post-graduate students seeking hands-on experience within the field of restoration ecology.

The summer internship is an eight-week committment to restoring degraded wildlife habitat, preserving high-quality parcels of prairie, maintaining trails for public access, as well as creating an environmental program for our Eco-Camps.

Interns can expect to use a variety of restoration techniques to remove invasive plants such as hand pulling and mowing. They will also help increase the diversity of native plants through planting, harvesting seeds and watering during dry spells.

We make it a priority to do everything we can to ensure a safe and friendly experience for those visiting our preserves. Interns do their part with trail work which could include wood chipping, hedging and storm damage removal. Interns also have the opportunity to serve as trail rangers, responding positively and informatively to questions that visitors might have about the work of Open Lands, and reporting any misconduct.

The internship includes a direct educational component. Intern education days may include field trips to local environmental organizations, guest speakers and collecting data for environmental monitoring programs.

An important part of the internship involves sharing what you’ve learned:

  1. You’ll develop a half-day program for our Eco-camps regarding habitat restoration, using props that you yourself have designed.
  2. With the rest of your team, you’ll host a slide show and luncheon to thank the sponsors who annually underwrite interns’ salaries. As an individual, you’ll write a thank-you letter to your personal sponsor, communicating the highlights of your summer and what you have learned.

Qualifications and Experience:
Applicants must:

  • Be 18 years of age;
  • Have completed the first year of college or equivalent (please inquire for further info);
  • Be willing to work in all types of weather conditions;
  • Be able to help with heavy lifting;
  • *Experience with power equipment is a plus, but not necessary

Successful candidates should have the ability to work as part of a team and have an interest in working in the field of natural resources, as well as an enthusiasm for environmental stewardship.

Excellent communication skills and a positive attitude are important for working with other Lake Forest Open Lands programs including Center for Conservation Leadership students, Eco-Adventure Campers as well as interacting with members of the public.

APPLY. Please submit completed applications to Peter Gordon 350 N. Waukegan Rd. Lake Forest, IL 60045 or email.

All qualified applicants are required to participate in a three-hour volunteer workday as part of the interview process.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until positions are filled.

Paid position up to $2,350
June 5 - July 28, 2017
Monday - Friday | 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Please check back with us after the New Year for an application.