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The Great Basin Institute is an interdisciplinary field studies organization that promotes environmental research, education, and conservation throughout the West. The Institute advances ecological literacy and habitat restoration through educational outreach and direct service programs.

Our MissionEdit

A program of the Great Basin Institute (GBI), the International Conservation Volunteer Exchange (ICVE) is a volunteer and internship program for international participants who wish to collaborate with American environmental professionals on natural resource projects on public lands throughout the American West. ICVE is based on the philosophy that international understanding and goodwill can be achieved through cooperating on the shared goal of improving the environment. By attracting a corps of conservation-minded volunteers, ICVE contributes to the breakdown of cultural barriers while advancing ecological awareness on a global scale.

As a cross-cultural exchange between young men and women from all corners of the world, ICVE focuses on the idea of global citizenship through conservation-based service projects. ICVE allows like-minded individuals from around the globe to utilize their collective passion for the environment on projects across the Great Basin Region. This opportunity to discover new cultures, protect sensitive wilderness and make new friendships that last a lifetime, are just a few of the valuable facets of ICVE. By using conservation-based projects as a means to cross cultural thresholds, ICVE enables the growth of international understanding while highlighting the rugged beauty of the western United States.

Since 2004 ICVE has collaborated with dozens of international environmental exchange programs, attracting over 600 students and young professionals from 50 countries and six continents around the world to serve on conservation projects throughout Nevada and the mountainous West.

Internship - NaturalistEdit


Spend six to eight months in western Nevada working at Galena Creek Recreation Area in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains developing and presenting interpretive programs about the diverse natural and cultural resources of the Great Basin region and particularly the forest ecosystems. The position will contribute to the appreciation and preservation of the park and its resources and promotes the opportunity for visitors to care for park resources.


This is a volunteer position for 40 hours a week.  

Housing and full utilities are provided.

A weekly per diem of $100 is provided.

Scheduled trips to cultural or scenic attractions take place once a month.

Timeline:  Beginning March 1, 2015, for six or eight months


  • Develop
    and present interpretive programs;
  • Conduct
    independent research of topics using records, books, files, on-line
    resources and interviews;
  • Assist
    with daily center upkeep. 


  • Knowledge of biology,
    ecology and/or conservation is highly desirable; 
  • Experience interacting
    with all ages in an educational setting is desirable;
  • Motivated, self-starter
    who is detail oriented;
  • Flexibility to handle
    competing and changing priorities;
  • Ability to communicate
    effectively with a diverse public in a variety of forums;
  • Ability to speak English
    conversationally; conversational ability in Spanish desirable but not

J-1 Visa Information

This position is sponsored through the J-1 Student Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). To qualify for this program, you must meet the following requirements:

   1. Be currently enrolled in and pursuing studies at a foreign degree or certificate-granting post-secondary academic institution outside the United States, or; have graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to his or her exchange visitor program start date and;

   2. Possess a valid passport throughout any time spent in the United States.

   3. Pay a fee of US $300 plus a refundable deposit of US $150. US $150 will be refunded to you at the end of the program if all equipment and housing is in order.  NOTE: J-1 visa fees are separate and are estimated to be US $300.

To Apply:

Qualified and interested applicants should forward a cover letter, their résumé, and a list of three professional references to Gwen Bourne,  Please include where you found this volunteer opportunity posted.

This position is available to all, without regard to race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or religion. Persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. The Great Basin Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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