BFS Locations

Main Laboratory
5838 State Hwy 80
Cooperstown, NY 13326
Phone: 607-547-8778
Fax: 607-547-5114


Lakeside Farm &
Upland Interpretive Center

7027 State Hwy 80
Springfield, NY
(physical address)

Thayer Boathouse
7016 State Hwy 80
Springfield, NY

Rum Hill
Thurston Hill Rd.
Springfield, NY


Goodyear Swamp Sanctuary
7290 State Hwy 80
Springfield, NY


Greenwoods Conservancy
824 Zachow Rd.
Hartwick, NY 13348


Upper Research Site
Averill Rd.
Cooperstown, NY






Internships Available for High School & College StudentsBFS Logo

Research at the Biological Field Station (BFS) is sponsored by local community foundations and individuals, various governmental and private agencies, and the BFS itself. Most of the work is used in decision making regarding the management and protection of our local natural resources. Research teams made up of faculty, staff, selected graduate and undergraduate college students, and high school students focus on specific areas of concern such as water quality monitoring, fisheries management, parasitology, biological control studies and surveys.

College level internships require 10 weeks of participation, 5 days per week, 8AM to 4PM. High School internships last 9 weeks and also run 5 days per week, 8AM to 4PM. All students participating in an internship are responsible for organizing and executing a project under the guidance of BFS faculty and staff. Upon completion of this project a report, relevant to the work and suitable for publication in the BFS Annual Report, must be submitted. Assistance in the preparation of the report will be provided. Presentation of a digital presentation and participation in weekly seminars are required, as is the creation of a digital poster synthesizing the student's research. Often groundwork and data collection requires the support of other interns. Working as a team is one of the beneficial and enjoyable aspects of our program. To see summaries of some recent student projects check the Research page.

If you have questions about the specific internships listed below, contact the BFS at (607)547-8778. FAQs related to the internships can be found here: FAQs

Application Information:

2018 Application period has closed; 2019 Applications will be available in January. Read more about the programs below:


Additional Internship Information

Course Credit:

  • All internships include 1 semester hour of free undergraduate college credit
  • Additional credit hours may be available after faculty consultation (at intern's expense)

Housing & Transportation

Housing is not included, though short term housing housing may be available at the Field Station. There is a daily shuttle to and from the SUNY Oneonta Main Campus. If you would like to inquire about the possibility of staying on the Oneonta campus, you will need to make arrangements with the Office of Continuing Education as part of the summer session program.

Fellowships for Summer Research:

  • High school interns receive: $1,750
  • Undergraduate interns receive $2,750

An incentive of an additional $250.00 may be awarded pending the timely submission of a report suitable for publication in the BFS Annual Report. (Thus, High school interns may receive $2,000 and Undergraduate Interns $3,000.)

Successful candidates have a strong academic background in environmental or natural sciences. They must be self-motivated and willing to work effectively as team members under a variety of environmental conditions. Applicants should be prepared to present PowerPoint updates on their research over the summer, summarize their work in both a large-format poster, and write a detailed technical report of their research, to be included in the BFS Annual Report. These criteria will be considered in the evaluation of applicants.

Scholarship Descriptions

F.H.V. Mecklenburg Conservation Fellowships: Available to high school students. Named in honor of the founder of the Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA). Applicants must be at least 16 years of age. Sponsored by BFS.

Village of Cooperstown (Susquehanna River) Internships: Available to high school students. The purpose of this internship is to monitor water quality in the upper Susquehanna River to assure that the river can safely assimilate effluent from the waste water treatment facility. Applicants must be at least 16 years of age. Sponsored by the Village of Cooperstown.

The OCCA W.N. Harman Biological Field Station Internship: This internship is awarded to an undergraduate college student. They become involved in a wide diversity of research projects. Responsibilities vary accordingly.

Biological Field Station Internships: These internships are awarded to undergraduate college students from SUNY Oneonta with majors in biology and the environmental sciences. They become involved in a wide diversity of research projects. Responsibilities vary accordingly.

Rufus J. Thayer Otsego Lake Research Assistantships: Available to college undergraduates with the background necessary to conduct research on the character and water quality of Otsego Lake. Project responsibilities include assuring for the smooth operation, equipment functioning and cleanup of the analytical laboratories in which they work on a daily basis.

Robert C. MacWatters Internships in the Aquatic Sciences: This is for college undergraduates who have an interest or background in fisheries biology and want to work on some aspect of Otsego Lake fisheries management. Priority is given to students from the Fisheries and Wildlife Technology program at SUNY Cobleskill. Project responsibilities include assuring boats are properly secured and fueled, weekly checks of crankcase oil levels and running gear (research gears aboard, lines and mechanicals).

Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA) Biological Field Station Internships: Interns selected for this internship are involved in a variety of research projects, based in part on interests of the OCCA. Responsibilities vary accordingly but include a presentation to OCCA Board of Directors.

Otsego Land Trust (OLT) Biological Field Station Internships: Interns selected for this internship are involved in research projects related to the interests of the OLT, usually on OLT properties. Responsibilities vary accordingly.

The Peterson Family Conservation Trust Internship: Internships are awarded to undergraduate college students to support survey work at Greenwoods Conservancy near Burlington, NY. Project responsibilities include trail maintenance responsibilities on all BFS lands, typically working with staff and their peers at pre-assigned intervals.

Additional Internships: On an annual basis a number of internships may be awarded to meet additional sponsorship requirements. Contact the BFS Director to ascertain their status.