CDFW Wildlife Externship FAQ
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center offer a four-to-six-week externship in Wildlife Medicine to senior veterinary students.
What is involved with this externship?
You will work side-by-side with CDFW and WHC leading wildlife veterinarians and pathologists. You will rotate between CDFW's Wildlife Investigations Lab (WIL) in Rancho Cordova and CDFW's Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center in Santa Cruz, with variable time spent at the WHC participating in ongoing field research projects and/or oil spill response.
What kind of experiences will I find in this externship?
Depending upon ongoing activities at the various facilities, you can expect to gain practical experience in wildlife immobilization and transport, captive wildlife care, and wildlife disease investigation and management, and will work with a variety of species, including hoofstock, carnivores, marine mammals and seabirds.
Will I do any research during the externship?
Externs are strongly encouraged to complete a research or laboratory project during the externship under the mentorship of a CDFW wildlife veterinarian.
What is the ideal participation window?
The best time to participate in wildlife capture opportunities is between October and February.
Who covers the costs of participating?
You will be responsible for all expenses and for obtaining housing while at the WIL and WHC; free housing is available in Santa Cruz. You will also be responsible for your own transportation.
What are the application requirements?
Please submit a letter of intent, a curriculum vitae, and two letters of reference.
When is my application due?
Applications are due September 1 of a student's third year.
Please submit a letter of intent, a curriculum vitae and 2 letters of reference to Dr. Michael Ziccardi by email or by mail to Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616. If you have any questions or concerns, please email Dr. Ziccardi.