Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology & the Environment (ATREE)

Bangalore | India

India-003 | Print This Position Description

ATREE strives to conserve biodiversity and promote sustainable economic development using principles of both natural and social sciences. Interns may participate in a wide variety of projects, depending on their skills and interests. Various combinations of fieldwork and office work are available. Language requirement: English.

About the Organization

ATREE was established in 1996 to combine principles of natural and social sciences to conserve biodiversity, promote sustainable development, and to build the necessary social and human capital needed to address our most pressing environmental challenges. ATREE deals with the issues relating to India's rapidly diminishing biological resources and natural ecosystems, and the environmental, social and economic implications of this decline. ATREE has a network of offices and field stations across India, through which it works to develop social and human capital to address environmental issues at local, regional and national levels.

Job Description

Interns may participate in a wide variety of projects,depending on their eudational background, skills and interests. Various combinations of fieldwork and office work are available for master's students. The list below is a sample of ATREE programs currently seeking interns. Within many of these programs also exist opportunities for website design, statistical analysis, data base management and proposal writing/editing, which is more applicable to qualified undergraduate students.

Communications Intern: ATREE is currently particularly interested in an intern to assist with communication projects including web content editing, developing web pages, brochures, editing reports, flyers, etc.

Urban Environmental Education: summer education programs and camps, school-year field trips and presentations, curriculum development for hands-on conservation studies, teacher manuals

Rural Environmental Education: Linking urban and rural schools, setting up school-yard living laboratories (such as butterfly and medicinal plant gardens, useful and endangered tree gardens, etc.), and developing educational modules to use as resources for teacher training, village biodiversity surveys, and curriculum development for hands-on conservation studies

Conservation Genetics: species-specific research, genetic diversity maps of flora and fauna, evaluation of the socio-economic causes and consequences of genetic resource loss on the livelihoods of forest communities

Conservation Planning: remote sensing (RS) and geographical information system (GIS) analysis of the spatial distribution of biodiversity, land-use, forest cover and watersheds, natural resource planning and management, ecological economics

Conservation and Livelihoods: forest-based community enterprises, women's self-help groups and micro-enterprises, participatory resource management, initiation and development of sustainable agroforestry systems

Conservation Ecology and Management: research projects looking at regeneration and dynamics in tropical dry forest ecosystems, especially the effects of anthropogenic fires, and of invasive species (e.g., mechanisms of invasive species success and barriers to restoration of native species)

All internships are coordinated through and based in the Bangalore office. Work and travel to field sites and other offices may be coordinated based on the specific internship. The intern will be in communication with their ATREE supervisor prior to their arrival. During this time and immediately following their arrival in Bangalore, the intern will be given an overview of ATREE's current projects and will be encouraged to discuss specific internship possibilities with various members of ATREE's staff.

# of Positions per term

2 at any given time

Start Dates

Any time throughout the year. Note: The monsoon season occurs from June through August.  Fieldwork will be limited and interns will most likely be restricted to the Bangalore office during this time.

Duration of Internship

3-6 Months

Academic Background

Undergraduate seniors or Master degree students with concentrations in relevant fields such as conservation genetics and botany, landscape ecology, marine ecology and general science education focusing on conservation, sustainable development, community forestry, agronomy, ecology, biology, environmental education, rural development, conservation, sustainability etc.

Field work in forests may be limited for foreign interns due to national government regulations requiring permits to work in the forests, but projects on the agricultural lands managed by ATREE offer opportunities to do work in wildlife ecology and conservation.


Organizational skills, writing and communication skills, computer skills, field experience relating to intern's academic interests (ex: scientific research, GIS, education), and an ability to work independently. A positive attitude and willingness to learn will help! Flexibility is key. A flexible intern with varied interests in the many facets of ATREE is more likely to complete a successful internship as compared to an intern arriving with extremely specific and rigid goals.

Language Ability

English is spoken in the office. The regional language is Kannada, but most people speak English to a varying degree in Bangalore.

Other Requirements

Experience living abroad in a developing country and previous work in a non-profit/NGO are preferred.

Flexibility is a required attribute of all interns. Interns may come into contact with restrictions or changes to which they are unaccustomed. For example due to traditional cultural norms, male interns working in rural villages will not be able to work directly with village women. However, they can work with men and/or all school children. Female interns will not be able to work directly with male members of the village, but may work with women and/or all school children. At the ATREE office and in Bangalore, these restrictions do not apply.

Total costs vary depending on how long you plan to be abroad, where you will be living, your personal spending habits, and current exchange rates. The following estimates will give you a ballpark figure for this internship. Get help with the math from our handy Cost Calculator and currency converter.

IE3 Program Fee

The IE3 program fee is $3450 for the first term for both in-state and out-of-state students and $1000 for each additional term. This fee includes up to 12 credits per term, and is charged in lieu of tuition. Visit your University's IE3 page for details regarding campus administrative fees.

Estimated One-Time Expenses

Expense Type Price
International Travel $1200-1800
Visa Fees $100
Recommended Immunizations $250-$450

*See Additional Cost Information below.

Estimated Monthly Expenses

Expense Type Price/month
Housing $150-300*
Food $100-200**
Local Transportation $20-60
Recreation $50-$75
Personal Expenses $50-$75



Additional Expense Information

  • Housing: ATREE will assist in locating suitable housing upon arrival. It is easier for the intern to find inexpensive permanent housing if they are willing to stay for a minimum of 6 months. Housing will cost between US $150 and $300 per month depending on location, preferences, desired amenities (kitchen, stove, hot water, furnishings) and length of stay.

If the intern will be living at a field station location, all housing will be pre-arranged by ATREE and the intern will be informed of the cost. (Approximately US $200 per month).

ATREE will not pay for local transport for work related activities, though often the intern can be transported free of charge with other staff in ATREE vehicles.

The Bangalore office is located on the outskirts of Bangalore in a suburb called Hebbal, directly off a main city transport artery. It is approximately 20 minutes from central Bangalore and is easily accessible by public transportation. The office has 3 floors and approximately 30 employees at any given time, many of whom split their time between their field research sites and the central office. ATREE employees have varied interests and projects and often collaborate on larger issues. The Bangalore office also houses the GIS lab. Office atmosphere is casual and English is the language most often spoken. Office hours are usually 9am-5pm, but are flexible for earlier arrivals or later departures. In India, Saturday is often a workday. There is a guard/groundskeeper present 24 hours/day at the office.