Wildlife Health Externship and Volunteer Opportunities

The Wildlife Health unit within the Fish and Wildlife Health subsection of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) offers externship, summer volunteer position, and year-round as-needed volunteer opportunities.

Wildlife Health Externship

The Wildlife Health unit offers one veterinary externshipAdobe PDF per quarter. This externship is open to 3rd and 4th year veterinary students, and students from all accredited veterinary schools are eligible. The position is based at the Wildlife Research Laboratory (Gainesville, FL), and externs (and volunteers) are responsible for their own housing and transportation. To maximize the externship value, it is preferable that externs commit 4-6 weeks to the program; however, 2-week externships will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Summer and As-Needed Volunteer Positions

A summer volunteer positionAdobe PDF is also open to 1st and 2nd year veterinary, veterinary technology, and wildlife students. The dates are flexible but are open approximately 15 May through 15 August. A two month minimum time commitment is required. Although not officially an externship, externship credits can be attained if approved by your school.

In addition to the summer volunteer position, volunteer positions may be available throughout the year on an as-needed basis. These positions are open to veterinary, veterinary technology, and wildlife students as well as others with an interest in conservation medicine. The minimum time commitment for as-needed volunteersAdobe PDF is a period of at least 4 months at 8 hours per week.

Application Process for Externships and Summer Volunteer Program:

Applicants for the externship and summer volunteer position should submit a resume (or CV), cover letter, and contact information for three references to Dr. Mark Cunningham. In your cover letter, please identify the dates that you would be available for the program to which you are applying. Applicants should use the table below as a guideline when selecting their available dates. You will be notified within two weeks after the deadline of the decision results. Applicants for the As-needed volunteer positions should contact Ms. Bambi Clemons.


Available time slots and application deadlines:  

Wildlife Health Externship Dates [a  4-6 wk period within the dates below is preferred]

Application Deadline

Sep 10, 2018 – Nov 16, 2018

Jan 15, 2018

Jan 21, 2019 – May 17, 2019

Apr 30, 2018

Jun 17, 2019 – Aug 16, 2019

Sep 17, 2018

Sep 9, 2019 – Nov 15, 2019

Dec 31, 2018


Summer Volunteer Positions (min 2 month commitment occurring between the dates below)

Application Deadline

May 13 – Aug 16, 2019

Sep 17, 2018


Application Process for As Needed Volunteers 

As Needed Volunteer Positions (min 4 month commitment with 8hr/wk)

Application Deadline




FWC Facts:
Manatees feed for 6 to 8 hours daily, consuming about 4 to 9 percent of their body weight in wet vegetation, such as seagrass and other aquatic plants.

Learn More at AskFWC