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Internships & Assistantships

Summer Internship


Duke Forest summer interns are exposed to all aspects of managing a multi-use forest. Summer interns work closely with the Forest Supervisor, Technician, and Maintenance and Infrastructure Manager and may be assigned special projects, depending on current needs.  Otherwise, typical duties include:

  • Assisting in forest management activities such as timber sales, invasive species control, continuous forest inventory sampling; and boundary line maintenance.
  • Assisting in recreation management activities such as trail maintenance, blazing, and trimming.
  • Assisting in operations such as road maintenance, vehicle maintenance, and research project set-up and tear-down.
  • Assisting with infrastructure maintenance and improvements, including painting forest gates, cleaning forest signs, and maintaining picnic shelters.
  • Assisting with ongoing projects or annual events such as monitoring Natural Heritage and High Conservation Value areas and facilitating the ongoing “Good Leashes Make Good Neighbors’ campaign. 
  • Assisting with communications, outreach, and engagement including but not limited to supporting work on the Duke Forest Facebook page and offering tours and volunteer events.
  • Maintaining and improving infrastructure, including forest gates, signs, and picnic shelters

This is a 13-week paid summer internship supported by the Bruce and Ginny Roberts Duke Forest Internship Fund and Toney Lumber Company of Louisburg. Exact start and end dates are negotiable.

We are no longer accepting applications for internships at this time.

Student Assistantships

During the academic year, graduate students awarded an assistantship from Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment may work with Forest Staff on a variety of projects related to forest management, including:

Natural area monitoringEducation and outreach
Road and trail maintenanceTimber inventory and harvest prep
Gate and sign improvementBoundary line marking
Data and records organizationGPS data collection
GIS data entryData analysis
Communications / PRRecreation management
Duke Forest Staff with 2017-2018 student Assistants (R>L) Kelly Horvath, Emily Leung, and Matt Brantley (not pictured, Kelli Palaka), May 2018

Some perspectives from our students:

My time spent working in the Duke Forest this year was truly invaluable. I’ve always found nature to be somewhat of an escape from tiresome or stressful days. Having the opportunity to work in the forest every week helped me stay on track with my studies not only by providing the mental healing I needed but also because it reminded me why I am here pursuing a graduate degree in Environmental Management.  – Kelly Horvath 
The forest’s proximity and ease of accessibility has enriched the coursework available at the Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, with clear examples of active forest management for wildlife conservation and timber harvesting. The Duke Forest acts as a resource to provide examples of the theory learned in class, with the added bonus of fresh air and outdoor atmosphere.  – Emily Leung   
I truly believe that Duke Forest is the most valuable asset the Duke Forestry program has, and that not only includes the physical forest, but the staff that goes out of their way on a daily basis to better our (students) experiences, whether that be academically, through professional development, or simply building meaningful personal relationships.  – Matt Brantley   

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