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Each summer the Leon Levy Preserve offers a college-level internship program focused on the terrestrial natural history of The Bahamas. Hosted at the Preserve in Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera the internship lasts nine weeks and is designed to provide college students with field experience that can lead to work in the conservation field that they cannot attain in typical classroom settings.
Experts from various fields teach different aspects of natural history so as to provide the interns with both a broad and deep familiarity with each subject. Subjects include botany, plant ecology, geology, ornithology and herpetology.
A major focus of the botany portion includes the fundamentals of plant taxonomy and training to sight-recognize common Bahamian plant species. These skills are then used by interns to further the ongoing permanent forest plot research at the Preserve.
A two-year pilot program was introduced between the Levy Preserve and the Natural Areas Conservancy in New York for week-long exchanges for further scientific collaboration and exploration. The program proved quite successful.
The interns conduct independent research projects and present their findings during the final week to the general public.