Internship Opportunities

Gain hands-on work experience at a small, environmental non-profit!
The Bald Head Island Conservancy was founded in 1983 to conserve local wildlife, monitor island ecosystems, and provide educational experiences to island visitors and residents. Bald Head Island Conservancy interns help to advance the Conservancy’s  mission   today as we Discover, Learn, Conserve, and Preserve. In addition to their departmental responsibilities (see below), all interns assist the Conservancy with various duties associated with non-profit business management, including engaging with island visitors, signing the public up for programs and memberships, working special events and fundraisers, assisting with wildlife emergency response, and helping in Turtle Central gift shop. Summer interns all also assist with leading public educational sea turtle walk programs (9:00 pm - 12:00 am) for Conservancy members. Training is provided for all tasks. The Bald Head Island Conservancy welcomes applicants of all races, religions, abilities, genders, and sexual orientations. Our internship program is popular, competitive, and can be a life-changing experience for students and graduates!

Internship Types  

Sea Turtle Interns  conduct nightly beach patrols on foot or via all terrain vehicles to intercept, tag and monitor nesting sea turtles and support scientific research on nesting populations. For a description of the sea turtle protection program  click here Sea turtle interns work a nocturnal schedule from 9 pm - 6 am nightly.   Summer season only.   

Conservation Interns  conduct environmental monitoring fieldwork and data management, including animal population surveys, aquifer water quality, invasive species monitoring and treatment, and tidal creek water quality. For a description of each program  click here . Conservation interns also lead  wildlife emergency response , mainly birds and reptiles.

Education Interns  lead a variety of environmental education programs for families and children including classroom programs, island wildlife tours, kids fishing programs, and kayak trips. Education interns also lead seasonal day camps and school field trips. For program descriptions  click here .

Development Interns  assist with the management of the BHI Conservancy membership program, Adopt-A-Programs, Turtle Trot 5K runs/walks, and other fundraisers and special events. For more information on BHI Conservancy fundraising efforts  click here .

Marketing Interns   promote the BHI Conservancy through print and electronic newsletters, social media, media releases, flyers, and other materials targeting on-island organizations, the general public, Conservancy members, and donors. For more information, view our social media accounts and  our  recent news .  

Retail Interns  support  Turtle Central Gift Shop  in all retail functions of the store including promotions, Turtle Tuesday set up and activities (summer), marketing and advertising, sales, processing new inventory, merchandising of the store, and e-commerce sales.


All BHI interns must:
  • Be rising college juniors, seniors, or recent graduates from an accredited college or university
  • Be majoring in a field related to their desired position and career goals in that area (i.e., biology, environmental science, education, business, communications, marketing, etc.)
  • Have excellent communication and customer service skills and be comfortable interacting with diverse groups of people
  • Have computer proficiency with MS Office applications
  • Be able to work well both independently and as part of a team environment
  • Be able to work in physically challenging environments, including long periods exposed to extreme temperatures, while keeping an upbeat attitude
  • Possess a valid Driver’s License
  • All applicants will be subject to a background check


Location  Bald Head Island is part of the 12,000-acre Smith Island Complex and is accessible by passenger ferry from Southport, NC. It is a sustainably-developed barrier island with a community dedicated to living in harmony with nature. The island features approximately 1,100 homes, with ~200 permanent year-round residents, and a thriving population of vacationers. BHI Conservancy interns receive a living stipend and are provided shared, dorm-style housing on the island, all utilities, and weekly ferry tickets to and from the mainland.   

Hours  The BHI Conservancy office is open from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm every day. Conservation fieldwork and education programs may often occur outside of office hours, especially during the summer and sea turtle season. Interns work an average of 50 hrs/wk. 

Independent Projects   All interns are asked to lead an independent project as an individual or in a team, to help enhance the Conservancy’s mission and strategic goals of each department. Projects are a great way for interns to develop leadership, communication, and critical thinking skills, and to bring fresh ideas to the Conservancy. Interns will be given guidance by their supervisors and a few work hours each week to work on their projects. Projects will be presented in oral and/or written format at the end of the internship term.  Click here to view projects completed by past interns! 

Internships for Course Credit or Volunteer Opportunities  All internships are full-time, paid, and interns are required to live on campus. We may be able to help interns meet course credit needs from their academic institutions if they fit within our existing internship framework - check with your BHI Conservancy supervisor.

If you are interested in long- or short-term volunteer opportunities and do not require housing, please contact our volunteer coordinator by emailing   .


Summer Interns:

  • Internship dates: typically second week in May - second week in August
  • Application period opens in December and closes in January

Off-Season Interns:

  • Internship dates: typically third week in August - second week in June (10-month), or the third week in August - the third week in December (4-month)
  • Application period opens in May and closes in June

Application Process

Applications typically include a cover letter, resume or CV, and contact information for three references, submitted to the internship program via email: check the job announcement for specific instructions each year, and please follow instructions carefully. Top candidates are invited for a phone or video interview. The selection process may take 1-2 months after the application deadline: please be patient as we review applications with care!

The most successful internship applications are a good match for the skills and attributes mentioned in the job description and bring diverse perspectives to our program. Let your cover letter demonstrate why you are the best fit among many competitive applicants for an internship at Bald Head Island Conservancy!

Check our  Job Openings   page for job announcements during the open period.

Watch the video below to meet our 2020-2021 Interns!