Path of the Jaguar internshipSky Island Alliance works to protect the diversity of life and lands for all who live in the Sky Island region of Arizona and Sonora. Yet the environmental changes the area faces are intensifying with climate change — and it’ll take a creative and collaborative next generation of conservation professionals to protect the Sky Islands well into the future. To that end, we are committed to helping build a community of conservationists that works across boundaries and that reflects the diversity of experiences, values, and cultural backgrounds of the people living here.

Our Path of the Jaguar Internship program brings together undergraduate students from various tribes, Mexico, and the United States to kickstart their careers in conservation. In the past, for instance, we’ve recruited students from Tohono O’odham Community College, University of Arizona, Universidad de la Sierra, and Universidad de Sonora. We’ve also worked with students from various states who are part of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program.

With mentorship from past interns, SIA staff, and other partners, each intern experiences how wildlife and water science helps protect the Path of the Jaguar — the landscape and community where jaguars once roamed freely between Sonora and Arizona, and can again. Our interns share their own cultures and perceptions of the borderlands with one another, gain firsthand experience setting wildlife cameras and surveying springs, camp, and build community connections that’ll support them as they forge new career paths. More than 50 students have graduated from our internship program so far. In 2023, we’ll give 10 more students paid opportunities to learn conservation practices alongside our staff.

Specifically, this year students will:

  • Participate in Spring Seeker — hiking to remote water sources and the ecological oases they create in the Sky Islands to evaluate spring condition and help identify future stewardship projects to keep these waters clean and flowing.
  • Participate in Sky Island FotoFauna — deploying wildlife cameras in the Sky Islands, learning how to identify species in wildlife photos, and submitting data to this regional wildlife-monitoring project.
  • Visit the U.S.-Mexico border to understand how border policy impacts human communities, wildlife, plants, and water.
  • Meet conservation professionals working on a variety of transboundary and cross-jurisdictional projects and learn how to pursue a career in conservation.

How to Apply

We’re currently full on spring 2023 internship positions. But if you’d like to be considered for a future internship, please send a letter of interest to [email protected] and we’ll follow up about the possibility and next steps.