National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab (NFWFL)
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Organization/Company: National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab (NFWFL)

Location: Ashland, OR


Pathology Environment: Government Laboratory

Discipline/Field of Study:

Length of Externship: 4 or more weeks

Time of Year: Anytime

Funding: see below

Housing Provided: see below

Description of Externship:

Overview: The National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab (NFWFL) in Ashland, OR offers an unpaid internship program in the Pathology Section of the Lab that is open to foreign and US veterinarians with an interest in learning the techniques of forensic pathology. NFWFL is the only wildlife forensics lab in the United States and is part of the US Department of the Interior Office of Law Enforcement. The Lab aids in the investigations of DOI law enforcement agents by analyzing submitted evidence in four scientific disciplines: Pathology, Genetics, Criminalistics, and Morphology. Cases for analysis are received from all 50 US states and US territories. The Pathology Section is staffed by two pathologists and one pathology evidence technician, and utilizes a new, state-of-the-art facility. Interns will learn about the laws governing endangered species in the US, law enforcement evidence handling protocols, forensic necropsy techniques, and will be exposed to the functions of other scientific disciplines the Lab. Due to the legal nature of the casework, exposure is limited to observation only; however, interns will have the opportunity to apply forensic techniques to donated “practice” carcasses. Participation in and, ideally, completion of a research project is also required. It is recommended that, in their application materials, applicants propose a research project to be undertaken during their time at the Lab. This project may be refined and guided by the staff pathologists.

Applications are accepted year-round and evaluated quarterly. Deadlines for receipt of application materials are January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1. Applications received between January 1 and April 1 will be evaluated and applicants will be informed of their status by April 30. A similar schedule follows other application periods. Applicants should be mindful of the deadline dates when determining proposed dates of the internship.

Who may apply: Degreed veterinarians from an AVMA-accredited veterinary college or foreign veterinarians with an accepted degree. Applicant must have good oral and written English communication skills. This opportunity is ideal for current veterinary pathology residents or recent graduates who desire further study and experience in wildlife forensic pathology. Because the program is designed for degreed veterinarians, it is not eligible for funding from the ACVP Externship Scholarship Program. 

Period of internship: The internship period will be at least one month long and will not exceed three months duration.

Accommodations: At this time, the NFWFL cannot offer a stipend or a housing allowance. Foreign veterinarians may seek funding through their embassy science liaison or ASEAN-WEN.

Application materials:
Cover letter/letter of intent
Three letters of reference
Specific desired timeframe of internship
Outline of proposed project

Please mail or email application materials to:
Dr. Rebecca Kagan
Veterinary Pathologist
National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab
1490 E. Main St.
Ashland, OR 97520 


Updated: 7/30/16

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