Applied Science and Technology - Conservation Technology Internship in collaboration with Mara Elephant Project

Who You Are:

Have you always wanted to apply your technical education and your love of nature to a project that protects endangered species on a day-to-day basis?  With this unique internship, you don’t have to decide between a technical internship project and a deeply moving, important calling.  

To bridge the gap between Conservation and Technology, AI2 and Mara Elephant Project (MEP) are collaborating to launch a conservation-technology internship program designed to engage top students in Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) related fields to work on applying artificial intelligence and related technologies to conservation problems. 

If this sounds like an opportunity you just can’t pass up, we encourage you to apply.

Who We Are:

The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence is a non-profit research institute in Seattle founded by Paul Allen and headed by Professor Oren Etzioni. The core mission of AI2 is to contribute to humanity through high-impact research in artificial intelligence.  AI’s EarthRanger product is a software platform that addresses issues like wildlife poaching, illegal logging, promotion of human-wildlife coexistence, animal research, and conservation advocacy.

Founded in 2011, Mara Elephant Project is a non-profit conservation organization whose vision is to see the existence of a stable elephant population coexisting peacefully with people across the Greater Mara Ecosystem (GME). 

Background:

The Greater Mara Ecosystem (GME) in Kenya is a critical ecosystem given its biodiversity, large wildlife populations and rich cultural history. It forms the northern extent of the annual migration of 2.2 million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle from the Serengeti and is the most visited Kenyan tourist destination. The GME is host to 95 species of mammals and 550 species of birds. Latest census results estimate there are 2600 elephants.

 

Despite its status as one of the most beautiful and important wildlife areas in the world, the Mara faces significant conservation threats: 400 elephants have been illegally killed since 2012 and there has been a 60% increase in recorded human-elephant conflict (HEC) incidents since 2017. The expansion of agriculture, infrastructure and human populations is infringing into current elephant ranging areas and severing movement corridors. 50% of elephant range now falls outside of formally protected areas. 

 

The Mara Elephant Project (MEP) was started in 2011 in response to the high levels of elephant poaching experienced in East Africa. Using elephant GPS tracking, ranger teams, intelligence networks, aerial monitoring and close collaborations with partners such the Kenya Wildlife Service, MEP has protected elephants against ivory poaching, human-elephant conflict and loss of range, connectivity and habitat for the last decade.  

 

Beginning in 2017, MEP partnered with Vulcan Inc. and, more recently, the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), to develop and deploy the EarthRanger protected area domain awareness system platform used to collect real-time information and perform analytics, turning data into actionable conservation information. 

 

Technology is increasingly playing a role in elephant conservation and protected area management. Geographic Information Systems, high-resolution satellite imagery, GPS tracking, camera traps, web mapping, cloud computing, machine learning and advanced databases are all becoming standard conservation tools. But many conservationists still come from a biology or wildlife management background and lack essential skills in these realms. Computer scientists, application developers, database developers and data analysts now have important roles in protecting Africa’s elephants especially in developing the evidence base against which future environmental changes and conservation metrics can be measured. 

Your Next Challenge:

To bridge the gap between Conservation and Technology, AI2 and MEP are together launching a conservation-technology internship program designed to engage top students in Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) related fields to work on applying artificial intelligence and related technologies to conservation problems. 

 

An international undergraduate/graduate student will be paired with a local Kenyan undergraduate/graduate to jointly tackle a selected project that can form a part of their studies, will advance MEP’s mission to protect elephants and their habitats, and leverage and advance EarthRanger and its related technologies. 

 

During the 12 week internship, students will spend time based at the MEP HQ in Lemek Conservancy in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya to gain essential insight and field experience and foster cross-cultural knowledge transfer. 

What You’ll Need:

The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required to help us make a difference.

  • You are currently an undergraduate or graduate student in a STEM related field of study.
  • You have a great idea for an impactful project and the initiative to articulate your idea(s) in writing, then in practice.
  • You have an interest in ML/AI projects and the technical acumen to successfully implement and complete your project.
  • You have the ability to travel internationally.
  • You can show proof of vaccination or the ability to be fully vaccinated before your start date.

As part of the application process, please include a cover letter that includes your ideas/thoughts about potential projects and questions that you’d like to explore during the internship.

AI2 is proud to be an Equal Opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, sexual stereotypes, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics. 

If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at hr@allenai.org  or you may call us at 206-548-5600.

Apply for this Job

* Required

  
  


Voluntary Self-Identification

For government reporting purposes, we ask candidates to respond to the below self-identification survey. Completion of the form is entirely voluntary. Whatever your decision, it will not be considered in the hiring process or thereafter. Any information that you do provide will be recorded and maintained in a confidential file.

As set forth in The Allen Institute for AI’s Equal Employment Opportunity policy, we do not discriminate on the basis of any protected group status under any applicable law.

Race & Ethnicity Definitions

If you believe you belong to any of the categories of protected veterans listed below, please indicate by making the appropriate selection. As a government contractor subject to the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), we request this information in order to measure the effectiveness of the outreach and positive recruitment efforts we undertake pursuant to VEVRAA. Classification of protected categories is as follows:

A "disabled veteran" is one of the following: a veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; or a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.

A "recently separated veteran" means any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran's discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service.

An "active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran" means a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.

An "Armed forces service medal veteran" means a veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985.


Form CC-305

OMB Control Number 1250-0005

Expires 05/31/2023

Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability

Why are you being asked to complete this form?

We are a federal contractor or subcontractor required by law to provide equal employment opportunity to qualified people with disabilities. We are also required to measure our progress toward having at least 7% of our workforce be individuals with disabilities. To do this, we must ask applicants and employees if they have a disability or have ever had a disability. Because a person may become disabled at any time, we ask all of our employees to update their information at least every five years.

Identifying yourself as an individual with a disability is voluntary, and we hope that you will choose to do so. Your answer will be maintained confidentially and not be seen by selecting officials or anyone else involved in making personnel decisions. Completing the form will not negatively impact you in any way, regardless of whether you have self-identified in the past. For more information about this form or the equal employment obligations of federal contractors under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at www.dol.gov/ofccp.

How do you know if you have a disability?

You are considered to have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity, or if you have a history or record of such an impairment or medical condition.

Disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Autism
  • Autoimmune disorder, for example, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or HIV/AIDS
  • Blind or low vision
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular or heart disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, for example, Crohn's Disease, or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Intellectual disability
  • Missing limbs or partially missing limbs
  • Nervous system condition for example, migraine headaches, Parkinson’s disease, or Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Psychiatric condition, for example, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, or major depression

1Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. For more information about this form or the equal employment obligations of Federal contractors, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at www.dol.gov/ofccp.

PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENT: According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. This survey should take about 5 minutes to complete.