We are glad that you have found our website and are reading this page, as this indicates that you likely have a strong personal interest in ornithology, evolutionary biology, or some combination of those disciplines. We look forward to having you as part of our scholarly community in the coming years, whether you come to Cornell as a student or become part of the broader network of scientists with whom we share interests.
Be sure to check out the Lab of Ornithology web pages meant for students at your stage. I was responsible for most of that content, so it directly reflects my own set of experiences and perspectives.
We do not typically offer internship-like experiences for high school students in our research lab, partly because laboratory safety policies make it difficult and expensive for us to gain institutional approval for minors to volunteer or work in our molecular genetics facility. However, we are definitely interested in helping connect you with other relevant opportunities at the Lab of Ornithology, elsewhere at Cornell, and even more broadly within our disciplines.
If you have a strong interest in our areas of expertise, please send an email to me (Irby Lovette) describing your background, your interests, your year in school, etc. I always enjoy talking with high school students (and their parents) who are thinking about attending Cornell owing to our unparalleled opportunities related to ornithology and more generally in the life sciences. If you are making plans to visit Cornell as a prospective student, don’t hesitate to let me know in advance, as with some prior planning we can often arrange for you to meet with me or one of my Lab colleagues, and perhaps with current students who have a similar passion for birds.
It has become fairly common for high school teachers to create a ‘talk to a professor’ assignment in their science classes. We have limited capacity to handle the many such requests we get every year, so if you are in that situation please make it clear in your initial email that you are reaching out from a strong personal interest in our specific area of scholarship.
You can find much more information about our opportunities for students on the main Lab of Ornithology web site, and all high school students with a deep interest in birds should know about our Young Birders event and network.