Charles Collins Internship Program in Conservation Forestry

The Charles “Chip” Collins Internship Program in Conservation Forestry was created to honor and continue the contributions of Mr. Collins to the conservation and management of forests. Over the span of his career in both the public and private sectors, Chip held senior positions with The Nature Conservancy and The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, among other conservation organizations. As a founding partner of The Forestland Group (TFG) in 1995, Chip brought his conservation ethic to the burgeoning field of timberland investments. Chip’s influence remains today in the strong conservation orientation at the core of TFG’s practices.

The Forestland Group, a timberland investment management organization specializing in mixed species, natural forest management, has a rich history of hiring undergraduate and graduate student interns for summer employment and for project work at other times of the year. Products from the internships deliver valuable information to TFG in the form of field data, data synthesis and analysis, and exposure to innovative ideas while providing valuable experience to foresters-in-training.

The Charles Collins Internship Program in Conservation Forestry will identify one candidate each year to address a conservation issue relevant to TFG’s ownership through a practical experience across a 12-week time frame. Projects should focus on managed forests and may be domestic or international in scope. Mentorship for the intern will be provided by TFG staff and consultants. Other project-specific resources will be made available to ensure the quality of both the internship experience and the final products. The Collins Internship comes with a $10,000 stipend (12-weeks) plus travel expenses.

Further Internship Guidelines:

  1. Internships will be based on one primary project, with a focus on some facet of forest conservation and management. Any topic or project may be proposed. For 2018, preferred themes include
    • Threatened and endangered mussels in managed forest ecosystems.
    • Using forest carbon to de-carbonize investment portfolios.
    • Log landing sizes and skid trail intensities in northern forests.
    • Carbon and timber accounting in forests managed for revenues from both.
  2. In addition, the internship will include field experience collecting data on one or more TFG forested properties, possibly working in teams with other interns. Participating in FSC certification field audits may also be part of an internship.
  3. TFG staff will help to refine and clarify the goals and objectives of the internship, tailored to the intern’s interests and background.
  4. Interns will produce a final report that directly addresses the goals of the project, along with a formal presentation of the project in TFG’s Chapel Hill office.


  • Applicants should be enrolled in graduate-level courses or recently graduated from a Masters-level forestry program.
  • Competence with basic field and office technologies including GPS and Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Ability and willingness to live and work in remote, mosquito- and snake-infested, forested environments in inclement weather.


  • Prior internships or employment in conservation and forestry fields.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently.
  • Interest and ability in data analysis.

Students wishing to apply for the Charles Collins internship should submit:

  • A one-page cover letter describing applicant’s qualifications and areas of interest
  • A one-page resume
  • A half-page draft project proposal
  • Current copies of academic transcripts.
  • Names and contact information for three references.

All application materials should be sent as a single pdf document, by email, to Alex Finkral at with the applicant’s name in the subject field and in the pdf file name, and must be received by January 12th, 2018. A candidate will be selected by February 9th.