About us:

The American Bear Association, which co-operates the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary is dedicated to promoting a better understanding of black bears and all wildlife through education, observation and experience. The ABA provides an unprecedented opportunity for visitors to observe and study black bears at the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary. Through education, the ABA raises awareness about the needs of black bears and promotes increased tolerance and appreciation for this often-misunderstood species.

Internship Program:

If you are interested in bears, conservation education, working closely with people, putting in long hours of hard work in all weather conditions, and living in rustic accommodations with some electricity, very little running water, or little to no telephone service, then this internship is definitely for you. At the end of the day, you will be dirty, you will be exhausted, and you will smile knowing that you have made a difference in the lives of bears and have seen things most wildlife enthusiasts only dream about.

Our internship program has been carefully designed with the goal of promoting future employability in a career within animal husbandry or wildlife education. It is ideal for those studying in fields such as; wildlife biology, wildlife management, ecology, field biology, biology, wildlife education, etc. Candidates must be over 18 years old and have a good level of fitness as this type of work can be physically demanding.

The program is open to all US citizens as well as anyone with a status that allows them to work/volunteer in the US. Your lodging and meals are included in this internship. For qualifying interns staying 10+weeks, we offer a stipend of $50/week from May-August and a stipend of $75/week for August-October.  In addition, interns will receive a uniform, a 30% off discount on all merchandise, laundry money and some may qualify to use company vehicles.

Morning/afternoon jobs

  • Picking up and/or unloading supplies, including 50-pound bags of seed and 35-pound bags of fruit and nuts. Heavy lifting is often a part of the job and is therefore required.
  • Daily cleanup of feeding areas and scat removal
  • Maintaining the property, including carpentry projects
  • Planting, mulching, weed-eating and other landscape improvement projects
  • Preparing and distributing bear food mixtures
  • Maintain records on bear activity and behavior
  • Photograph individual bears for records
  • Bird count survey via ebird.org
  • MN annual berry study via MN Department of Natural Resources
  • Research projects with a presentation are required. You will work in small groups and will choose from a pre-approved list of potential behavior studies
  • Write articles for our newsletter, Bear in Mind
  • Prepare educational material for our followers on Facebook and Instagram and our email subscribers
  • Weekly in the field programs & field trips will be taken May-July

Jobs during evening/visitors’ hours include:

  • Assisting with admission and parking cars
  • Educating the public about black bears, ecology, behavior, practical environmental conservation and land stewardship
  • Preparing formal 3-8 minute deck talks that interpret bear behavior and debunk any myths and misconceptions our visitors may have regarding bears
  • Execute a prepared 5-minute introductory bus talk on the history of the bears and Vince Shute
  • Sale of souvenirs and educational materials in the gift shop and at our visitor center
  • Promoting membership to the American Bear Association

Length of Internship

We are looking for individuals that can stay for at LEAST a month between May 1st and October 15th. Since space is limited, those able to stay longer will be given preference. Most interns commit to a 2–3-month time frame. The start date for the internship is ideally between May 10th-24th. We can sometimes be flexible with dates. We are ALWAYS looking for people to stay August-October 1st as we become short staffed as interns go back to school.

How to Apply:

Please fill out an application (found on our website: www.americanbear.org) and email it to us. Applicants must also send; a resume, a letter of recommendation and one reference. The application deadline for interns seeking to intern for May-July is April 15th, 2023. For those seeking to intern in August-October, the deadline is July 1st, 2023. Space is limited so APPLY EARLY!