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Education 44a

Woodland Ecology Research Mentorship

Become a WERM!

While most internships take place in person there may be some aspects that are conducted remotely at Wave Hill’s discretion.

Wave Hill’s Woodland Ecology Research Mentorship (WERM) is a 14-month program offering motivated New York City high school students a unique opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge of ecology, and participate in hands-on fieldwork and authentic science research.

Wave Hill is part of a community of scientists and restoration practitioners working to improve New York City's 20,000 acres of natural areas. WERM interns directly contribute to these efforts by participating in important field research with local scientists and restoration practitioners―all while getting paid!


The application deadline for summer 2023 has passed. Please check back in January 2024, when we will begin accepting applications for next summer.

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Participating in WERM showed me just how much I enjoyed the sciences, gave me the opportunity to work with such a diverse group of people and exposed me to the reality of what my future job could hold.
Krystine WERM Intern 2017-2018

Qualifications and Benefits

Applicant Qualifications:

  • Currently enrolled in high school with a strong interest in scientific research and the urban environment
  • 16 years old by July 5, 2024, and is a New York City resident eligible to work in the United States
  • Able to make a 14-month commitment from June 2023 through August 2024, including Saturdays during the school year
  • Due to several factors, including the challenges of long travel times, preference will be given to WERM applicants who live in the Bronx or Upper Manhattan.


  • $3,500 in compensation, including stipends, merit scholarships and transportation benefits
  • Receive up to nine college credits upon successful completion of three courses
  • Receive career and college advice, and access to Wave Hill’s alumni network

What to Expect

WERM interns take on different responsibilities over the course of 14 months, growing into independent researchers by the end of the program. During their first summer, interns participate in two college-level courses and engage in forest restoration. Throughout the academic year, interns build their knowledge of New York City's natural areas and learn important research skills through workshops and field trips. In the spring and following summer, interns take a third college-level course and work together with scientist-mentors to conduct research on an ecological topic before presenting their research at graduation.

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Phase I: Summer 2023

July 5 to August 16, 2023
Monday through Friday, 9AM to 4PM

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Phase II: Academic Year

September 2023 to June 2024,
Saturdays, 10AM to 4PM

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Phase III: Summer 2024

Approximately July 1 to August 22, 2024
Monday through Friday, 9AM to 4PM

Who Should Apply

Ideal candidates for the WERM program have a strong interest in scientific research and the urban environment, and are looking to apply their academic enthusiasm and knowledge of the sciences to independent, hands-on fieldwork and research. Participants must be available for all 14 months of the WERM program to apply.

An important goal of the WERM program is addressing the barriers that prevent equal opportunity and support for careers in science and environmental work. We understand science is improved by a diversity of perspectives working together to understand our world. We encourage all NYC youth who are interested in urban ecology and committed to supporting their peers' learning to apply.

We particularly encourage applicants who self-identify as Black, Latinx, Indigenous and/or come from under-resourced schools and communities to apply.

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Outreach and Recruitment

Wave Hill staff visits local schools, community centers and nonprofit organizations to give presentations about our engaging programs. Email if you would like to schedule a visit.

Please also download our flyer about Forest Project and Woodland Research Ecology Mentorship (WERM) and share them with your students.

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Wave Hill is grateful for the opportunity to work with our collaborating partners, the American Museum of Natural History, the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Cornell University, College of Mount St. Vincent, New York Botanical Garden, Gotham Coyote Project, NYC Natural Areas Conservancy, NYC Parks Natural Resources Group, NYC Science Research Mentoring Consortium and the USDA Forest Service New York City Urban Field Station.