Summer 2019 — IDS 369/GRAD 669: Internship in Conservation Leadership

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Courses: IDS 369 (CRN 34940), GRAD 669 (CRN tbd); class 3 credits
Course title: Internship in Conservation Leadership
Instructors: Dr. Hans-Peter Plag,
Office Hours: tbd and on request.
Dr. Eddie Hill
Office Hours: on request
Term: Summer 2019, July - August
Time: TBD
Location: TBD

Course description

The interships in this class can be conducted in Summer 2019 either as part-time of full-time internships. The intership mandates 300 hours at the host institution. Each intership requires an individual application to ensure that the student is matched to requirements of a particular internship. The application and the mandatory resume can be submitted online in the workspace on the StayWoke page. After submission of the application and resume, 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.

Each internship will focus on a wicked problem related to 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 wicked problem and to develop options of how to tackle this problem. The MARI case study template will be used for that. Each student will be mentored in the context of the course and will have a dedicated supervisor at the host institution. Weekly reports (bi-weekly for part-time internships) and weekly conversations of mentor and student will ensure that the mentor can provide guidance and support the student when needed. All submissions of reports and other documents have to be made in the workspace.

Course expectations

The deliverables of the internship include:

  • Weekly reports (biweekly for part-time internships) submitted at the end of each week during the internship.
  • A final report providing details on the research, including an executive summary, a description of the system considered and the challenge addressed, the hazards the system is exposed to, vulnerabilities of the system, foresight, decision making, options, and recommendations. See the MARI case study template for more details.
  • A one-page promotion summary of the internship project and the resulting recommendations in a wording for non-experts.
  • A short reflection on the experience of the internship and the personal value this experience has for you.
  • A promotion presentation giving an overview of the research project.
  • A project video providing a concise overview of the project and its outcomes. Examples of such videos can seen at the CDIP YouTube page. Good example of combining reflection with the research story are the videos of Victor Zhang and Samantha Derrick. See the tips for creating the video.
Templates for the submission of these items are available in the workspace.


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.

Work Skills and Collaboration

You must be able to access 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 in the workspace.


The course requires deliverables to be upload to the workspace 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% (5% for the presentation during the orientation workshop and 5% for the final presentation)
One-page promotional summary of the project: 10% Reflective short story: 10%
Project 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 available in the workspace after the works 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.

Financial Support

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

Orientation Workshop

All interns will have to participate in a two-day orientation workshop that will be held at the beginning of the internship. Full participation in the orientation workshop is mandatory and internships cannot be started before full participation in the orientation workshop. The time spent at the orientation workshop counts towards the 300 hours of the internship.


[2019/02/10] Applications for internships are due February 15, 2019: The applications for internships in Summer 2019 or Spring 2020 are due on February 15, 2019. The applications have to be submitted using the online form available in the Workspace. The applications need to be completed by a resume that also needs to be uploaded in the Workspace as a PDF file.

Experiences of Students