Internships at the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary PDF Print E-mail

The Kellogg Bird Sanctuary offers internships throughout the year.
Juniors, seniors and recent graduates (within one year of graduation) with a background in biology, zoology, ecology, pre-vet, fisheries & wildlife, science education and parks & rec are encouraged to apply.  Applicants must be U.S. citizens.

Click here for information on all Kellogg Biological Station Internships.

Avian Care Internships:

Intern collage

Summer 2015 applications are now open!

Avian Care Intern Job Description

To apply, visit the KBS Internships page for details.

For more information call (269) 671-2510 or email

Our Interns (Present & Past)

Sara Griffith (Summer 2014; Environmental Education)


My name is Sara Griffith, and I am a junior at Michigan State University studying Biological Sciences. I love hiking, camping, and spending time out in nature. I have a passion for teaching and helping those around me. I spent four years of my life working and volunteering at an assisted living home growing up, and this past summer I had the privilege of working at the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary. I worked at the Bird Sanctuary as an Environmental Education Intern, and I spent my time directing the Kids Being Scientists Camp. This internship helped gain priceless information about education and how to work with all different types of people.

Austin Hackert (Summer 2014; Avian Care Intern)


Austin came to the sanctuary just before finishing his undergraduate degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University.  During his internship he has been working to enhance the native pollinator garden through better signage and physical appearance, so that the garden may showcase the relationship between native plants and pollinators to the sanctuary visitors.  Along with caring for the birds, Austin has also been training in various aspects of raptor care, including glove handling, health checks and proper husbandry.  Austin is hoping to apply the skills acquired through the avian care internship to a career in natural resource management and conservation, and hopefully make his way into the world of falconry.

Christoper Kuechle (Summer 2014; Avian Care Intern)


An MSU senior majoring in Zoology, Chris started his internship to gain hands on experience working with a variety of avian species.  Though daily avian care and maintenance is the top priority on his agenda, Chris works with the glove trained Red-tailed hawk, Toby, and has helped with other special projects, including helping raise baby bobwhites, wrangling waterfowl, and even constructing a native bee condo for the Sanctuary’s own pollinator garden, including the structure and signage associated. A lover of all critters, Chris loves to spend his own time visiting the sanctuary and seeing both the birds and other local fauna, when he’s not too busy studying Ecology at the Kellogg Biological Station. Chris plans to use the incredible experience and hands-on work from this internship toward his career in Veterinary Medicine.

Ashely Adams (Fall 2013; Avian Care Intern)

Ashely Adams

A recent Michigan State graduate, Ashely put her Fisheries and Wildlife degree to good use during her internship.   Besides performing daily avian care duties, Ashely gave raptor presentations, participated in Conservation Stewards certification classes at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, led tours, and perfected her swan wrangling techniques.   She also created a field guide to the prairie plants on the property, as well as assisted in renovations of the Leslie E. Tassell Pens and acquisition of new birds.  Ashely enjoyed her internship and loved her time with the birds.   She is currently pursuing a master’s in English.

Sean Morgan (Summer 2013; Environmental Education Intern)

Sean Morgan

Chelsea Mohney (Summer 2013; Avian Care Intern)


Chelsea started her internship after completing her junior year in Animal Science at Michigan State University. While at the Sanctuary, Chelsea updated the Angel Wing and Gambird Garden signage as well as created the identification signage for the captive gamebirds housed in the Leslie E. Tassell Pens. In addition to her animal care duties, Chelsea was also able to participate in educational programs for summer campers, lead educational tours, run the bookstore, work with a glove trained Red-tailed hawk, assist with health checks on waterfowl and raptors, and write blog posts for the website. The experiences and knowledge that she has gained throughout her internship will help her in pursuing a future in Veterinary Medicine. Chelsea has thoroughly enjoyed her time at the Sanctuary working with the birds and wonderful staff!

Jackie Wolfinger (Spring 2013; Avian Care Intern, Joe Johnson Fellowship)

Intern Jackie with the Bluebird Trail trailhead sign

Jackie started her internship after graduating from Lake Superior State University with a B.S. in Wildlife Management. While at the Sanctuary, Jackie’s primary intern project was revitalizing the Bluebird Trail. Jackie created signs to mark the trail and designed an educational trail guide about the importance of nest boxes and backyard habitat. In addition to her animal care duties, Jackie also updated and redesigned the identification signage for the captive birds of prey and waterfowl, presented a seminar about nest box users at Wedel’s Spring Garden Expo, worked with the glove-trained raptors, and helped lead tours and education programs at the Sanctuary. Jackie is pursuing a career in informal education.

Jennifer Smith (Fall 2012; Avian Care Intern, Joe Johnson Fellowship)


Jennifer started her internship after graduating from Washington State University. Through her internship, she was able to expand her knowledge of raptors, and to gain experience with waterfowl and gamebirds. In addition to her animal care tasks, Jennifer created two new educational exhibits for the Overlook Museum—one about lead poisoning in Trumpeter Swans, and another about Citizen Science and Purple Martins. She also led tours, completed weekly birding surveys, worked with the glove-trained raptors, and volunteered at the Pitsfield Banding Station for the fall songbird banding season. Jennifer really enjoyed her time at the Sanctuary, and knows that it was an incredibly valuable experience. She is pursuing a career in animal care and environmental education, preferably with birds in some capacity.

Catherine Lorenz (Summer 2012; Avian Care Intern)


Catherine began her internship after graduating from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and right before starting at Michigan State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. While here, Catherine used her veterinary knowledge to set up a fecal testing station. This allows us to identify and treat parasitic infections in the Sanctuary’s birds. In addition to this project, she also performed daily cleaning and feeding duties, completed a weekly bird survey, wrote news articles for the website, assisted with health checks of captive birds, and worked with a glove-trained Red-tailed Hawk. During her internship, Catherine was also able to participate in Michigan Audubon’s Cerulean Warbler Festival, give educational talks to summer campers, and run the bookstore. She had a great time interacting with the Sanctuary’s wonderful staff, volunteers, and visitors!

Auriel Van Der Laar (Summer 2012; Environmental Education Intern)


I have learned so much from my time here at the Sanctuary. Working with such a wide age range of youth, from energy filled preschoolers to question asking problem solving middle schoolers and everything in between has been extremely challenging and rewarding. I also worked on developing scavenger hunt sheets for use by our visitors to help them pay closer attention during their visit. Working with the staff and volunteers here has given me valuable perspective about the challenges of outdoor education. I hope to take these experiences and use them to turn my research for my PhD this fall into something that is accessible and interesting to everyone.

I graduated in December 2011  from Michigan Technological University with a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Management and minor in remote sensing. Remote sensing is all about using technology to help manage natural resources, I've always loved technology and during my internship learned more about utilizing social media and networking to help spread the word about the Sanctuary and our upcoming events. I hope that the ground work I've laid will help more people learn about the awesome work happening here.

Heather Kraus (Spring 2012; Avian Care Intern)

Heather Kraus

Erin Linderman (Fall 2011; Avian Care Intern)

Erin and Red-tailed Hawk

It’s difficult to represent just how much I learned at the Sanctuary from technical, professional, and personal standpoints.  Most importantly, I have accomplished all the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the internship.  Going into this internship I had no professional animal husbandry or bird-specific skills and I am now leaving the Sanctuary proficient in caring for, monitoring, and handling many different species of waterfowl, game birds, and birds of prey as well as safely conducting raptor health checks.  I now have hours of experience handling trained birds of prey on the glove and have even had the opportunity to work with both a Red-tailed Hawk and a Great Horned Owl.  Weekly E-bird surveys have increased my birding skills by providing regular exposure to some species I was previously only vaguely familiar with which has helped me improve on identifying them both by sight and sound.  Regularly birding has helped me improve in general too because, like anything in life, practice makes perfect!

Alyssa Arseneau (Summer 2011; Education/Interpretation Intern)

Intern 2011 photo

Alyssa, a graduate Michigan State University with a B.A. in Advertising, began her internship creating educational programs for Wild Wednesdays and Science Camp, and developed new signs and posters. With the help of Rich from True Value in Richland, she created two interactive spinning posts to showcase information in the Overlook Museum. The exhibit includes 12 panels that describe different aspects about the birds at the Sanctuary that people may not be aware of.

Alyssa is very enthusiastic about the outdoors and worked hard to share information and her experiences with guests of all ages. Alyssa will miss the Sanctuary and truly enjoyed the entire experience. In the future she hopes to continue her career path as an environmental interpreter or share the wonders of nature through meaningful forms of advertising.

Craig Campeau (Summer 2011; Avian Care Intern)

intern pic

Craig Campeau began after graduating from Grand Valley State University with a B.S. in Natural Resources Management. Craig experienced all aspects of daily care for the Sanctuary’s captive birds as well as having the opportunity to participate in Canada Goose banding with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Craig was also able to researchhabitats of cavity nesting bird species to install five species specific bird nest boxes on the grounds.  He created a protocol for future interns to monitor these boxes and a booklet for visitors to use and access this information. An information packet encouraging landowners who want to put a nestbox on their property was also created.

Craig was most interested in waterfowl and hopes to use the waterfowl experience gained at the Sanctuary to launch into a conservation related position working directly with ducks!

Jessica Caton (Spring 2011); Raptor/Waterfowl Care Intern


Jessica with one of her favorites, Reeves Pheasant

Jessica joined the Sanctuary following graduation from Michigan State University with a B.S. in Lyman Briggs Zoology and Environmental Studies. Along with daily feeding, care, and health checks for the captive birds, she was able to learn how to glove train two of the Sanctuary’s Red-tailed Hawks. Each week she conducted weekly bird census counts and added new birds to her birding life list!

Jessica decided to complete many small projects for her intern project which included building a ramp for the Bald Eagle, installing a new weather resistant, predator-free waterfowl feeder, writing a proposal for introducing new peafowl to the Sanctuary, completing a manual for the new eBird Trail Tracker kiosk, and developing an information brochure to accompany the trail map.  She helped with the Bird Sanctuary’s annual Field Ornithology Course by creating lecture material and teaching one lecture on introductory ornithology along with leading field birding trips.

She also enjoyed other fun opportunities like taking part in the Sanctuary’s NestWatch program, leading field trip tours, and running the bookstore.  Jessica will miss all of the staff, volunteers, and birds dearly!  She thanks the staff and KBS for the opportunity to take part in this amazing experience!  Jessica will continue on as a Spartan by going back to MSU in July to begin a Master’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife studying Blue-winged Teal migratory behavior.

Jessie Needham (Fall 2010); Raptor/Waterfowl Care Intern


Jessie at the Sanctuary's information table during Cranefest 2010

An avid, birder Jessie was able to use her skill to create a birding checklist to be used by visitors.  She attended the University of Central Arkansas so she enjoyed learning about Michigan birds including the many migrant waterfowl to be seen on Wintergreen Lake in the fall.  Jessie is interested in finding a career that will help to conserve avian species. Jessie's experience was funded by the Joe Johnson Fellowship Fund.

Katie Weeks (Summer 2010); Interpretation/Education Intern

Katie summer 2010

Katie on the shore of Wintergreen Lake

Katie grew up in Hawaii and will graduate in spring 2011 with an Environmental Studies degree from Kalamazoo College.  While at the Sanctuary she created environmental education curriculum for several programs including Science Camp and Wild Wednesdays.  Katie has a passion for educating young and old about our natural world.  She enjoyed her experience so much that she is continuing to volunteer at the Sanctuary throughout the school year while completing her Senior Independant Project about Environmental Education.

Keith McHugh (Summer 2010); Raptor/Waterfowl Care Intern


Keith assisting with Red-tailed Hawk during monthly health check

After graduating from Roanoke College Keith joined us as the Raptor and Waterfowl Care intern. Along with daily duties of feeding and caring for the birds, he participated in raptor enclosure revamping, screech owl box building, and bird health care checks among other tasks.  His personal project was the development of an organic garden to provide supplementary food for the upland game birds.  Along with this, he engineered a solar-powered, rainwater irrigation system.  This system allows for a garden with little to no carbon footprint.  The pheasants have certainly enjoyed this luxury!  Keith is now in New York pursuing a Master’s degree in environmental policy.  He thanks the Sanctuary staff and KBS for their support and initiative in leading a great intern experience!

Stephanie Kong (Spring 10); Raptor/Waterfowl Care Intern


Stephanie and our education Red-tailed Hawk

Stephanie is a recent graduate of the University of Washington, where she earned a degree in Environmental Science with an emphasis on wildlife conservation. She is interested in going to graduate school and working in the field of conservation biology. In addition to caring for the birds at the Sanctuary, she conducts weekly bird surveys on the grounds, is researching and writing husbandry techniques for the game bird collection and is helping to prepare for the return of the bald eagle by renovating raptor enclosures.

Genevieve Rozhon (August 09 - December 09); Raptor/Waterfowl Care Intern


Gen and a captive Trumpeter Swan

Genevieve Rozhon is a recent graduate the University of California, Davis where she completed a B.S. in Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology. While at the Sanctuary Gen was the driving force in training a permanently injured Red-tailed Hawk to be our first education and outreach bird. She worked tirelessly to create an Avian Husbandry Manual and upgrade facilities and enclosures for our birds. All of this while feeding and caring for the birds on a daily basis, experiencing a true Michigan fall and early winter and getting out occasionally to enjoy birding and sites like Lake Michigan for the first time. Genevieve’s next adventure will be in South Dakota surveying and banding migratory shorebirds.

Matt (May 09 - August 09); Wildlife Management Intern

Matt during daily feeding duties

Matt is a student of Zoology at Michigan State University. In addition to being responsible for raptor and waterfowl care and helping to lead the ornithology course in May, he took on constructing bluebird nestboxes for the Sanctuary nestbox trail. He is interested in pursuing a career in ornithology, most interested in working with songbirds.

Sara (May 09 - August 09); Interpreter/Educator Intern

Sara by the Australian Black Swans

Sara is an Elementary Education major at Wayne State University in Detroit. In addition to writing and leading some lessons for our summer camp, she created new educational posters to display in the breezeway and a Trumpeter Swan observation project for visitors. She is interested in teaching K-8 environmental education and eventually pursuing a graduate degree in science education.

Meagan (Jan 09 - April 09); Wildlife Management Intern

Meagan taking a short break from the single-digit temperatures.

Meagan is a recent graduate of University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she earned a degee in Zoology. She is interested in eventually pursuing a career in conservation. Along with her bird care duties, Meagan is working on ways to enhance the raptor and gamebird enclosures. Meagan is also leading field trips for the Sanctuary's Field Ornithology Course.

John (May 08 - Aug 08); Joe Johnson Fellow & Wildlife Management Intern

John banding CAGO
John learning how to age, sex, and band Canada Geese.

John is pursuing a degree in Wildlife Management at MSU. He became our intern in the summer of 2008 and was our first intern to be supported by the Joe Johnson Fellowship Fund. Before coming to us, John had experience raising and handling waterfowl but came to the Sanctuary to learn more about wildlife managment techniques. John's main project during his internship was to redesign and construct new traps for catching ducks. He also partcipated in Canada Goose banding and helped out with some educational programs.

Melissa (May 08 - July 08); Naturalist Intern

Melissa at booth
Melissa at the Wolflake Hatchery's Fish Fest 2008.

Melissa is pursuing a degree in Natural Resources at MSU. She is working towards a career involves communicating science and research to the public. During her internship, Melissa created a display and activities for a promotional booth to be used at fairs and festivals. She also lead educational tours, developed and delivered educational programs and assisted with Canada Goose banding and nest box monitoring.

Jill (Sept 07 - Dec 07); ROKS intern

Jill in the sun

Jill spent the fall of 2007 at KBS as a student in the ROKS program. Part of her ROKS experience included doing a internship at the Sanctuary. Her projects involved helping with the Pollinator Garden renovation, creating a digital map of the garden, and doing background research and teacher interviews for future garden programs.

Jill is continuing to pursue her bachelors degree in biology at MSU.

Harmony (June 07 - Jan 08); Wildlife Management Intern

Harmony setting and baiting duck traps on Wintergreen Lake.

Harmony is a graduate of Central Michigan University. She came to us from the Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center in Ohio, where she had been teaching environmental education. In addition to her regular wildlife management and bird care duties, Harmony helped out with Canada Goose and duck banding and worked on a variety of projects including animal exhibit upgrades, organizing and coordinating the renovation of the Sanctuary's Pollinator Garden, and developing educational programming.

Harmony is currently pursuing a masters degree in science education at Eastern Kentucky University.

Lisa Campion (Summer 2006; Wildlife Management Intern)


Lisa banding a Canada Goose

Lisa is a graduate of Michigan State University, where she earned a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife and Environmental Science and Management.  She is continuing her education by attending Vermont Law School to obtain a Masters of Environmental Law and Policy and a Juris Doctor.  While at the bird sanctuary, Lisa conducted regular wildlife management and bird care duties.  Lisa helped with Canada Goose, swan and duck banding and worked on a variety of projects including animal exhibit upgrades and developing educational programming.  Lisa also developed and implemented an Avain Influenza Proposal for the USDA for research with the Trumpeter Swans.