Summer 2018: Internship in Conservation Leadsership

Course description

The interships in for this class can be conducted in Summer 2018 either as part-time of full-time internships. The intership mandates 200 hours at the host institution. Each intership requires an individual application to ensure that the student is matched to requirements of a particular internship. After submission of the application, an interview will be scheduled with the advisors to ensure that there is an optimal match between the host, project, location, etc., and the student's interests and qualifications.

NOTE: Submission deadline for the application is February 23, 2018. Applications submitted after the deadline will be considered, but it is likely that the students wil have to defer the internship to the Fall 2018 or Spring 2019 term.

Each internship will focus on a "real-world issue" that constituted a leadership challenge in conservation. The student is expected to use the concepts of adaptation and sustainability science to analyse the issue and to develop options of how to address the issue. Each student will be mentored in the context of the course and will have a dedicated supervisor at the host institution. Weekly reports and weekly conversations of mentor and student will ensure that the mentor can provide guidance and support the student when needed.

Course expectations

The deliverables of the internship include:

  • An case study paper on the specific issue. This case study paper was prepared as part of the Sustainability Leadership Class (BIOL/OEAS 467).
  • A final report providing details on the issue, including the hazards, vulnerability, foresight, decision making, options, and recommendations.
  • A one-page executive summary of the project and the resulting recommendations in a wording for non-experts.
  • A short story on the experience of the internship and the personal value this experience has.
  • A YouTube video providing a concise overview of the project and its outcomes. Examples of such videos can seen at the CDIP YouTube page.


Prerequistes are all mandatory classes of the Conversation Leadership Minor, i.e., BIOL/OEAS/IDS 466W and BIOL/OEAS/IDS 467. Students are expected to have reached the Commonwealth of Virginia standards-of-learning in high school math, science, and writing. Regular class attendance is required as some of the information will only be provided during class.

Financial Support

Financial support is available for the internships, including travel costs, lodging, per diem for food, and insurance fees. The availability of funding is depending on economic needs and academic standing. A GPA of 3.0 is required to be eligible for funding.

Orientation Workshop

All interns will participate in an orientation workshop to be held at the beginning of the internship.

Work Skills and Collaboration

You must be able to access Blackboard and the class web page at on a daily basis. Assignment details including deadlines, course materials, schedule changes, and other important information will be posted at the class web page regularly. Please visit the course website for detailed weekly course information.

Grades will be available on the class page on Blackboard.

Collaboration is expressly permitted, encouraged, and may even be required for team projects, but must follow these guidelines:

  • You must actively participate in the collaborative project;
  • You must write your own individual report on any team project work;
  • All team members’ names must be included in any written project work;
  • You must understand the material and be able to answer questions on it.


The course requires deliverables to be upload to Blackboard in a timely manner respecting all deadlines.

You will be graded on a standard scale:
100-95% =A
90-94% = A-
86-89% = B+
85-83% =B
82-80% =B-
79-76% =C+
75-72% =C
72-70% =C-
69-66% =D+
65-63% =D
62-60% =D-
59.9% and below=F.

The overall grade for the class will be composed of individual grades using:
Weekly reporting 10%
Final report: 40%
Presentation: 10%
One-page executive summary of the project: 10%
Reflective short story: 10%
YouTube video: 20%

University regulations prohibit communicating test results via email or by phone. If you wish to talk about your grade, please make an appointment. All scores will be placed on BlackBoard as soon as possible after they are graded.

Grade forgiveness policy:

Missed deadlines are only acceptable for valid reasons such as: participation in ODU sports team events (a coach's note is needed), evidence of illness (doctor's or Student Health Services' note needed), bereavement of an immediate family member (death notice needed), or documented court appearance (copy of notice to appear needed). Advance notice in writing must be given whenever possible.

Late submissions will be graded on a reduced point scale as follows:
up to 24 hrs late = 90%
up to 48 hrs late = 80%

A further 10% per day reduction in possible points earned will be applied, up to a maximum total of 5 days late, after which the assignment will not be accepted without evidence that the student was sick or there was a family emergency.

Course Disclaimer

Every attempt is made to provide a syllabus that is complete and that provides an accurate overview of the course. However, circumstances and events may make it necessary for the instructor to modify the syllabus during the semester. This may depend, in part, on the progress, needs, and experiences of the students.

Teaching Philosophy

The material covered in this course is exciting and can also be challenging. I encourage you to ask questions in class if you are uncertain about concepts, ideas or formulas. I recommend that you read the reading material weekly, prior to the lecture and study your own lecture notes frequently. The material that I cover in this class will build upon itself, and reading through course notes regularly will allow you to catch problems early, if you find that you are having them.

Honor Code

By taking this course, you agree to adhere to Old Dominion University’s honor code. Cheating on exams, quizzes, plagiarism in written work, and failing to participate fully in group work will not be tolerated; infractions will be dealt with according to University policy. General honor code guidelines for various course assignments are posted in the on Blackboard (Policies > General Policies); all students are responsible for reading, understanding, and following those guidelines.

All students should follow the principles of the ODU Honor Code:

Honor Code: We, the students of Old Dominion University, aspire to be honest and forthright in our academic endeavors. Therefore, we will practice honesty and integrity and be guided by the tenets of the Monarch Creed. We will meet the challenges to be beyond reproach in our actions and our words. We will conduct ourselves in a manner that commands the dignity and respect that we also give to others. 

Academic Integrity

Old Dominion University is committed to students' personal and academic success. In order to achieve this vision, students, faculty, and staff work together to create an environment that provides the best opportunity for academic inquiry and learning. All students must be honest and forthright in their academic studies. Your work in this course and classroom behavior must align with the expectations outlined in the Code of Student Conduct, which can be found at The following behaviors along with classroom disruptions violate this policy, corrupt the educational process, and will not be tolerated:

  • Cheating: Using unauthorized assistance, materials, study aids, or other information in any academic exercise.
  • Plagiarism: Using someone else's language, ideas, or other original material without acknowledging its source in any academic exercise.
  • Fabrication: Inventing, altering or falsifying any data, citation or information in any academic exercise.
  • Facilitation: Helping another student commit, or attempt to commit, any Academic Integrity violation, or failure to report suspected Academic Integrity violations to a faculty member.

Requirements of the ODU Departments of Biological Sciences and Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Science

By taking this course, you agree to adhere to the requirements and policies of the ODU Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Ocean Earth and Atmospheric Sciences; these may be found on Blackboard (Policies > General Policies).

Missing Classes

If you miss a class no make-up will be provided. If you missed a class and homework was due, you have to email the homework on the same day, unless it is impossible due to documented medical conditions.

If you miss a week or more of classes because of an illness, personal crisis of some kind, or illness of immediate family member, you should notify the Office of Student Affairs and submit required documentation ( Once your request has been validated by the Office of Student Ombudsperson Services (S.O.S.), the course instructor will be issued an official absence notice. Nevertheless, these notices do not “excuse” the absence, nor do they guarantee that the student will be permitted to make up tests. The absence notice simply documents that the student’s illness or other circumstances indicate that the student was unable to participate in class for designated period of time. The authority to excuse absence rests with the instructor, whose decision is final.

If you are Experiencing Difficulty

If you are having any difficulty – with specific course content or anything else we can help with – please do not hesitate to ask for help. Please come and talk to me in person as soon as the problem arises. Remember also that you have access to a variety of student services on campus.

If you have any Special Needs

Please inform me as soon as possible of any special needs you might have, including medical conditions that may require special accommodation.


A syllabus constitutes a contract between the student and the course instructor. Participation in this course indicates your acceptance of its schedule, requirements, and policies. Please review the syllabus and the course requirements as soon as possible. If you believe that the nature of this course does not meet your interests, needs or expectations, if you are not prepared for the amount of work involved or if you anticipate that the class meetings, assignment deadlines or abiding by the course policies will constitute an unacceptable hardship for you, you should drop the class by the drop/add deadline, which is located in the ODU Schedule of Classes.

Managing Conflicts

If you are having a conflict with another student in your class, please let us know right away. Any issues we cannot resolve among ourselves will be taken to either the Biology Department Chair, Dr. Wayne Hynes, or the OEAS Department Chair, Dr. Fred Dobbs, for mediation.

Class Schedule

Note that all deliverables have to be uploaded to Blackboard.

February 2018

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Feb 5 Feb 6 Feb 7 Feb 8
Feb 9
Feb 12
Feb 13
Feb 14
Feb 15
Feb 16
Feb 19
Feb 20
Feb 21
Feb 22
Feb 23
6:00 PM: Applications for internships are due.
Feb 26
Feb 27
Feb 28
Mar 1
Mar 2
Interviews with interns start

March 2018

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Mar 5
Mar 6 Mar 7
Mar 8
Mar 9
Mar 12
Mar 13
Mar 14
Mar 15
Mar 16
Submission of Resume is due
Mar 19
Mar 20
Mar 21
Mar 22
Mar 23
Internship placements will be communicated
Mar 26

Mar 27
Mar 28
Mar 29
Mar 31

April 2018

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Apr 2
Apr 3
Apr 4
Apr 5
Apr 6

Apr 9
Background check and Fingerprinting in Falls Church: Two alternative dates.
Apr 10
Apr 11
Apr 12
Apr 13
Apr 16
Apr 17
Apr 18
Apr 19
Apr 20
Apr 23

Apr 24
Apr 25
Apr 26
Apr 27

May 2018

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Apr 30
May 1
May 2
May 3
May 4

May 7
May 8
May 9
May 10
May 11
May 14
May 15
May 16
May 17
May 18
May 21

May 22
May 23
May 24
May 25
May 28
Pickup and validation of Card in Falls Church
May 29 May 30 May 31
Jun 1

June 2018

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Jun 4

Jun 5 Jun 6 Jun 7
Jun 8
Jun 11

Jun 12 Jun 13 Jun 14
Jun 15
Jun 18

Jun 19 Jun 20 Jun 21
Jun 22
Jun 25

Jun 26 Jun 27 Jun 28
Orientation Workshop
Jun 29
Orientation Workshop

July 2018

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Jul 2

Jul 3 Jul 4 Jul 5
Jul 6
Jul 9
Start of Internship
Jul 10 Jul 11 Jul 12
Jul 13
Weekly Report due
Jul 16

Jul 17 Jul 18 Jul 19
Jul 20
Weekly Report due
Jul 23

Jul 24 Jul 25 Jul 26
Jul 27
Weekly report due

August 2018

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Jul 30

Jul 31
Draft project report due
Aug 1 Aug 2
Aug 3
Weekly report due
Aug 6

Aug 7
Draft presentation, reflection, summary, video due
Aug 8 Aug 9
Aug 10
All final deliverables due. End of Internship
Aug 13

Aug 14 Aug 15 Aug 16
Aug 17
Aug 20

Aug 21 Aug 22 Aug 23
Aug 24
Aug 27

Aug 28 Aug 29 Aug 30
Aug 31