Hannah INHF intern at Quigley-Slattery Heritage Prairie

Conservation Programs internship

The conservation programs intern plays a vital role at INHF by writing grants that provide funding for land conservation and other INHF projects. The conservation programs intern is also crucial to INHF’s water monitoring program. 

Job Description

The primary task of the conservation programs intern is to write grant proposals to fund land protection. They may also write posts for the INHF blog, visit INHF properties, and provide other general program support. In addition to these duties, we encourage candidates to create a personal project they can share with staff at the end of their internship. This internship introduces interns to many leading members of Iowa's conservation community.

Your supervisor will be Emily Martin (she/they), conservation programs coordinator. If this is your first time applying to a job or internship, or you need additional help, do not hesitate to reach out to Emily at emartin@inhf.org with questions. Applications will be submitted to Emily Martin (scroll to bottom for instructions on how to apply).

Work Examples

The conservation programs intern applies to two major grant cycles during the summer. State Recreational Trails grants are due July 1st. Past successful grant applications have funded Iowa River’s Edge Trail and Red Rock Prairie Trail. Resource Enhancement and Protection grants are due August 15th. Past successful grant applications have funded additions to Heritage Hills Wildlife Management Area, Mann Wetlands, and Magnetic Park. Other grant applications will be submitted as they arise throughout the summer.

Interns have also assisted with INHF volunteer events and have written for the INHF blog. Past examples of personal projects include a guide to Story County’s lesser-known outdoor spaces and a report on regenerative farming programs in the Midwest. Depending on need, the conservation programs intern may assist with water sampling, soil sampling, and other research.


This position is open to all majors and skill sets. The most successful applicants will have a passion for conserving Iowa’s land, water and wildlife and a desire to learn how to write grants. The conservation programs internship requires a high level of independence, initiative, and ability to adapt. The ideal candidate will have strong writing skills, GIS experience, and some knowledge of Iowa’s native ecosystems. Candidates of all backgrounds and skill sets will be considered. The position is open to both undergraduate and graduate students; applicants must be attending an Iowa school or originally be from Iowa.


This position is full-time with flexible hours up to 40 hours/week, beginning in May and ending in August. This is a paid position at a rate of $15/hour.

There is an opportunity to blend working from our downtown Des Moines office, working from home, and working in the field. This position encourages a healthy work-life balance. This is a non-exempt position.

Application information

The 2024 position is now closed. 

To apply for the internship, please email Conservation Programs Coordinator Emily Martin at emartin@inhf.org the following:

  • A one-page cover letter
  • Resume

Feel free to call or email in advance if you have any questions.

Emily Martin, conservation programs coordinator
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
505 Fifth Ave., Ste. 444
Des Moines, IA 50309-2321

Phone:  (515) 809-5682
e-mail: emartin@inhf.org