IDS 369:
Internship in Conservation Leadership

Overview (print)
Curriculum (print)
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Courses: IDS 369 (CRN 34940), GRAD 569 (CRN tbd); class 3 credits
Course title: Internship in Conservation Leadership
Instructors: Dr. Hans-Peter Plag,
Office Hours: On request.
Dr. Eddie Hill
Office Hours: On request
Term: Summer 2019, July - August
Time: Variable (appointment based)
Location: Varible

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. Submit the weekly reports in the workspace.
  • 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. Use the Case Study Tool available in the workspace for the development of the report.
  • 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 reflective project video providing a concise overview of the case study project and its outcomes, as well as the value of the learning experiences in the internship for personal and professional development.

Guidelines and templates for the preparation of these documents 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.

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.

The orientation workshop only takes place in Summer terms. Students who plan to carry out their internships in Fall ot Spring terms will have to participate in the prior Summer term.

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.