Colorado Parks and Wildlife is Hiring Interns


River Watch & Water Quality Internship Opportunity

Are you interested in a career with natural resources, including water, water quality, wildlife, working with volunteers, and working with data and information production?

This position’s primary responsibilities will be focused on a combination of River Watch Program needs, skill set and interest of intern, and producing some tangible deliverables (while gaining experience).

Apply Today!
Colorado Parks & Wildlife

Copyright © 2016 Colorado Parks and Wildlife, All rights reserved.
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Colorado Parks and Wildlife

1313 Sherman

Denver, CO 80203


It’s coming up on that time of year: Remember Interns are not slaves and the Department of Labor enforces that.

Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act

This fact sheet provides general information to help determine whether interns must be paid the minimum wage and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act for the services that they provide to “for-profit” private sector employers.


The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines the term “employ” very broadly as including to “suffer or permit to work.”  Covered and non-exempt individuals who are “suffered or permitted” to work must be compensated under the law for the services they perform for an employer.  Internships in the “for-profit” private sector will most often be viewed as employment, unless the test described below relating to trainees is met.  Interns in the “for-profit” private sector who qualify as employees rather than trainees typically must be paid at least the minimum wage and overtime compensation for hours worked over forty in a workweek.

The Test for Unpaid Interns

There are some circumstances under which individuals who participate in “for-profit” private sector internships or training programs may do so without compensation.  The Supreme Court has held that the term “suffer or permit to work” cannot be interpreted so as to make a person whose work serves only his or her own interest an employee of another who provides aid or instruction.  This may apply to interns who receive training for their own educational benefit if the training meets certain criteria.  The determination of whether an internship or training program meets this exclusion depends upon all of the facts and circumstances of each such program.

The following six criteria must be applied when making this determination: 

1.   The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;

2.   The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern; 

3.   The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;

4.   The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded; 

5.   The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and 

6.   The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

If all of the factors listed above are met, an employment relationship does not exist under the FLSA, and the Act’s minimum wage and overtime provisions do not apply to the intern.  This exclusion from the definition of employment is necessarily quite narrow because the FLSA’s definition of “employ” is very broad.  Some of the most commonly discussed factors for “for-profit” private sector internship programs are considered below.

Similar To An Education Environment And The Primary Beneficiary Of The Activity

In general, the more an internship program is structured around a classroom or academic experience as opposed to the employer’s actual operations, the more likely the internship will be viewed as an extension of the individual’s educational experience (this often occurs where a college or university exercises oversight over the internship program and provides educational credit).  The more the internship provides the individual with skills that can be used in multiple employment settings, as opposed to skills particular to one employer’s operation, the more likely the intern would be viewed as receiving training.  Under these circumstances the intern does not perform the routine work of the business on a regular and recurring basis, and the business is not dependent upon the work of the intern.  On the other hand, if the interns are engaged in the operations of the employer or are performing productive work (for example, filing, performing other clerical work, or assisting customers), then the fact that they may be receiving some benefits in the form of a new skill or improved work habits will not exclude them from the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime requirements because the employer benefits from the interns’ work. 

Displacement And Supervision Issues

If an employer uses interns as substitutes for regular workers or to augment its existing workforce during specific time periods, these interns should be paid at least the minimum wage and overtime compensation for hours worked over forty in a workweek.  If the employer would have hired additional employees or required existing staff to work additional hours had the interns not performed the work, then the interns will be viewed as employees and entitled compensation under the FLSA.  Conversely, if the employer is providing job shadowing opportunities that allow an intern to learn certain functions under the close and constant supervision of regular employees, but the intern performs no or minimal work, the activity is more likely to be viewed as a bona fide education experience.  On the other hand, if the intern receives the same level of supervision as the employer’s regular workforce, this would suggest an employment relationship, rather than training.

Job Entitlement

The internship should be of a fixed duration, established prior to the outset of the internship.  Further, unpaid internships generally should not be used by the employer as a trial period for individuals seeking employment at the conclusion of the internship period.  If an intern is placed with the employer for a trial period with the expectation that he or she will then be hired on a permanent basis, that individual generally would be considered an employee under the FLSA. 

Where to Obtain Additional Information

This publication is for general information and is not to be considered in the same light as official statements of position contained in the regulations.

For additional information, visit our Wage and Hour Division Website: and/or call our toll-free information and helpline, available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in your time zone, 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).

The FLSA makes a special exception under certain circumstances for individuals who volunteer to perform services for a state or local government agency and for individuals who volunteer for humanitarian purposes for private non-profit food banks.   WHD also recognizes an exception for individuals who volunteer their time, freely and without anticipation of compensation for religious, charitable, civic, or humanitarian purposes to non-profit organizations.  Unpaid internships in the public sector and for non-profit charitable organizations, where the intern volunteers without expectation of compensation, are generally permissible.  WHD is reviewing the need for additional guidance on internships in the public and non-profit sectors. 

Do Something

Follow the DOL guidelines when working with someone who expects more than getting you coffee.

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Greatest Internship in the World: White River National Forest Wilderness Ranger! Apply now

“The White River National Forest in Colorado is recruiting applicants for several Wilderness Ranger internship positions for the summer of 2016. The ranger interns’ primary duty is to conduct educational patrols of the Forest’s Wilderness areas. The ideal applicant is an experienced outdoor leader who is passionate about the stewardship of wild lands and interested in a career in natural resource management. Interns will receive intensive training and education in natural resource management from an inter-disciplinary, field based perspective. This is a volunteer position that includes field per diem reimbursement ($140/week), housing, and an exceptional career/life experience. For more information on the position, view the 2014 Wilderness Program Report @

Thank you in advance for any recommendations or assistance you may offer,

Andrew R. Larson
Lead Wilderness Ranger
Aspen-Sopris Ranger District

White River National Forest

Office: 970-404.3149
620 Main St.
Carbondale, CO 81623
Caring for the land and serving people

Wilderness Internship Outreach.pdf

Youth Internships Available with the National Park Service

Four national internship programs now accepting project proposals – DUE October 30

Please help distribute to others in your park that might be interested in applying

InsideNPS Article

The WASO Youth Programs Division is pleased to announce that four national internship programs (See below) are now accepting project proposals for the 2016 summer work season. These professional development internship programs provide quality work experiences for diverse individuals ages 18-35 in various fields across the NPS system. Project proposal applications are due COB Wednesday, October 30thfor most programs listed below.

National Youth Employment Programs:
Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship Program (HBCUI): This program is designed to link college students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to appointments at NPS sites and program offices. This program is administered by our nation NPS partner Greening Youth Foundation (GYF) (alex_tremble or 202-513-7159.

Latino Heritage Internship Program (LHIP): LHIP aims to provide meaningful work experiences to Latino students in the fields of cultural resources, interpretation, and outreach. LHIP is administered in partnership with the Hispanic Access Foundation (HAF) and the Environment for the Americas (EFTA). In addition to working on substantive NPS assignments, LHIP interns receive additional mentoring and support through HAF and EFTA. See more at Paloma_bolasny or 202-354-2174.

Mosaics in Science (MIS): The MIS Program provides youth under-represented in natural resource science career fields with meaningful, on-the-ground, work experience in the NPS. The program is administered by the Geologic Resources Division in collaboration with other Natural Resource Stewardship and Science (NRSS) Divisions and the Youth Programs Division. MIS positions are fully funded by the WASO Youth Programs Division. Parks and programs interested in applying for a MIS position must submit a position description by COB Sunday, November 1stat lisa_norby or 303-969-2318.

NPS Academy (NPSA): NPS Academy is an innovative, experiential learning program designed to introduce undergraduate and graduate students, ages 18-35, from under-represented communities to career opportunities with the National Park Service. Many of the interns attend a week-long orientation over spring break and serve in 12-week summer internships tailored to various NPS career tracks. Summer internships are available in a variety of fields, including visitor services, education, resource management – and many more (epoore) or Dave Barak (dbarak) for more information on the application process.

Ben Baldwin

Office of Interpretation, Education & Youth Engagement

Intermountain Regional Office
National Park Service

(303) 969-2319


Looking for a great job? Denver Zoo is hiring for Research North American Bison Issues

Denver Zoo’s Department of Conservation and Research has a growing human dimensions of wildlife research program focused on documenting the social contexts for plains bison (Bison bison) conservation and reintroduction across the Rocky Mountain West. We seek highly qualified and motivated graduate students in conservation social science-related fields to apply for the following two internships:

Internship #1: American Icons in a Metropolitan Grassland – Understanding People, Place and Bison Conservation in Denver, CO

This internship advances the mission of Denver Zoo by assisting with a research study that examines the social meanings of and visitor experiences with bison conservation in metro Denver, Colorado. Using survey and interview research, the study will examine metro Denverites’ knowledge about, attitudes towards and experiences with bison conservation generally, and with three of metro-Denver’s conservation bison herds specifically. The research intern will work 20 hour per week to conduct structured visitor intercept interviews in the field, and, as time permits, assist with public opinion survey design. The internship dates are June 15 – October 16, 2015 (final dates based on hire availability).

Internship #2: Creating Sustainable Futures for People, Animals and the Environment – The Human Dimensions of Bison Reintroduction in Northern Colorado

This internship advances the mission of Denver Zoo by assisting with a collaborative and interdisciplinary One Health study funded by Colorado State University (CSU), which will document the effects of bison reintroduction in Northern Larimer County, Colorado on human, animal and ecological health. The research intern will work 20-30 hours per week at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area (near Fort Collins, CO) to collect data about the ways in which the planned bison reintroduction may affect the visitor experience, recreational use patterns and place attachment through visitor intercept interviews, trail monitor data collection and the distribution of handheld GPS units to track visitor trail use patterns. The internship dates are June 15 – October 16, 2015 (final dates based on hire availability).

Please apply through Denver Zoo’s job portal at:

Closing Date for both internships: May 22, 2015

Rebecca Garvoille, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Conservation Biology

Denver Zoo | 2300 Steele St. | Denver, CO | 80205

(Office) 720.337.1676

(Cell) 954.330.7412

(Fax) 720.337.1406

Paid Internship with meaningful Natural Resource Work and Research

Colorado Youth Corps Association is partnering with the Bureau of Land Management to offer paid internships across the state as a pathway to natural

English: Bureau of Land Management logo

English: Bureau of Land Management logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

resource careers. CYCA is currently seeking to fill 13 positions that are 12-week, full-time, paid internships ($10-$13) with Field Offices across Colorado to perform meaningful natural resource work and research. A handful of the positions have an early May start date.

You may find these listings at with links to the Position Descriptions for your review. We kindly ask that you pass this information along to your networks.

If you have any questions about these positions please feel free to reach out to the identified contact for each position; or contact CYCA Associate Director Scott Segerstrom at ssegerstrom and 303-863-0604.

Many thanks in advance for your support of these opportunities.

Jennifer Freeman, Executive Director

Colorado Youth Corps Association

225 East Sixteenth Avenue, Suite 475

Denver, CO 80203

Direct – 303-863-0602

Main – 303-863-0600

Cell – 720-273-9861

Fax – 303-863-0610