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Applications Being Accepted for TeenNat Pepperwood’s Youth Summer Conservation Science Internship


Applications Being Accepted for TeenNat
Pepperwood’s Youth Summer Conservation Science Internship

By Sandi Funke

While some teens will be spending their days playing video games, this summer young people at Pepperwood will have fun exploring the forests and grasslands, chaparral and ponds, all while collecting critical conservation data to be used by researchers around the world.

Pepperwood’s conservation science internship “TeenNat” is returning for its fifth year and applications are now being accepted. TeenNat will run Tuesdays through Thursdays from July 5th through August 3rd, 2017. There is no charge for the internship but the application process is competitive and participants ages 13-18 must apply by April 7th, 2017. Pepperwood helps set up carpools to the preserve and some limited transportation assistance is available.

Applications can be downloaded at

TeenNat engages diverse youth in real research, connects them with scientists and other professionals, provides them with technical skills in data collection and photography, and exposes them to nature. Interns are trained to use GPS units and digital cameras to document plants and animals found at Pepperwood (and after the program they get to keep their digital cameras in exchange for their service!). They upload their findings to, a global network for biological data used by researchers around the world.  TeenNat interns have uploaded over 2,700 observations to date. They also collect data on Pepperwood’s redwood populations for Save the Redwood League’s long-term monitoring initiative.

Interns learn about career pathways in the sciences as they interact with researchers and conservation professionals. “This internship has made me consider going into the environmental conservation sciences,” said TeenNat alumni Maddi Blanc, “and I look forward to what I can contribute to the scientific world in the future.”

TeenNat received national recognition through the Toyota TogetherGreen Fellowship awarded to Pepperwood Education Director Sandi Funke for her work designing the program. TeenNat has also been showcased by the North American Association for Environmental Education at their  international conference. TeenNat is supported by grants from the Community Foundation Sonoma County, Save the Redwoods League, Dean Witter FoundationMiranda Lux Foundation, and through donors and members of Pepperwood.

Pepperwood is a leader in advancing the health of Northern California’s land, water and wildlife. Since opening the new Dwight Center for Conservation Science in 2010, the organization has served over 40,000 visitors from Sonoma County and beyond and has earned national recognition as a pioneer in both environmental education and cutting-edge climate science. Pepperwood’s singular focus is applying science to safeguard the future of nature for generations to come. To learn more about Pepperwood and its programs, please visit