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    Volunteer or Intern

    Contribute Today!

    AskNature is an open source project, built by and for the community. It's powered by our volunteers and interns. Current opportunities are detailed below. Check back regularly, as new opportunities may arise over time.

    The Opportunities

    Submit Photos or Graphics

    If you’re a professional or amateur photographer, illustrator, or designer - or a student - who has originally-created graphics of nature or science, showcase your talent by contributing your work to AskNature. We're looking for original photos, scientific illustrations, design sketches, and other graphics to illustrate the technical details of AskNature's biological Strategies. You'll receive credit with every graphic published, while helping to expand and deepen AskNature's inspiring content.

    How to Submit: If you have a handful of graphics, upload them by clicking the plus (+) sign in the Gallery on the right side of any AskNature Strategy page. Complete the form, including the desired credit and licensing details. If you have more than just a few images, email us a brief description of the graphics at editor[at]asknature.org so we can work with you directly.

    Featured Volunteers



    Natalie Chen

    Biomimicry Content Volunteer

    San Diego, California

    Natalie started volunteering with AskNature in July 2016, combining her background in biology and research with an interest in sustainable design to curate biological strategies.

    What would you like to share about yourself with the biomimicry community?

    I graduated in 2015 from University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology. I’ve always been fascinated by nature’s diversity and adaptations, specifically the natural world’s ability to be sustainable, harvest energy, and create and recycle nutrients to survive. As I learn more about human impacts on the environment and the sustainability challenges we face, I wanted to incorporate my knowledge of the natural world to solve human design challenges.












    Dimitri Smirnoff

    Biomimicry Content Volunteer

    Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Dimitri joined AskNature as a volunteer in March of 2016, contributing his enthusiasm for sharing science and biomimicry while crafting and curating biological strategies.

    What would you like to share about yourself with the biomimicry community?

    I obtained my B.A. in biology from Carleton College and am currently pursuing a Master’s in Biomimicry at Arizona State University and the Biomimicry Professional Certification through Biomimicry 3.8. I am passionate about communicating biological information to non-biologists to aid them in generating more sustainable and innovative solutions to human design challenges.













    Ayda Uraz

    Biomimicry Communications Intern

    Santa Rosa, California

    Ayda joined the Biomimicry Institute as an intern in June of 2015, bringing her education in sustainable design to her work telling stories from the biomimicry community.

    What would you like to share about yourself with the biomimicry community?

    I am pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell University. From a young age, I took interest in outdoor hobbies like hiking and scuba diving, which led me to appreciate the role nature has in our lives. Thus with a background in design, I aim to use biomimicry to further environmental sustainability and improve the relationship between people and their physical environment.

    How did your volunteer experience benefit you?

    My experience led me to a path where I think design can be more effective and impactful through progressive and innovative biomimetic applications. Working within a network of biomimetics showed me that we can leverage the power of biomimicry to design better products, places, and systems.

    What was your favorite part about volunteering?

    A large part of my internship involved interviewing leaders in the biomimicry field. I found it extremely moving and inspirational to learn about the person or group behind the innovation. Biomimicry is revolutionary and sustainable. And by applying biomimetic principles, people have helped and improve the lives of others, communities, and the environment.

    How did your volunteer experience further your understanding of biomimicry?

    Prior to my internship, I only heard about key biomimicry examples. However, daily exposure to biomimicry references, while engaging with staff and professionals furthered my understanding of biomimicry. Also, I was personally involved in analyzing, synthesizing, and creating reports, which gave me a much more critical perspective than I had before.

    What is unique about volunteering for AskNature?

    From the first day, the team was supportive to customize my internship according to my own goals and individual interests. Their flexibility made my experience personal and highly rewarding. Moreover, I felt that even though I was an intern, my work was impactful and valued by my supervisors.


    Sam Gochman

    Biomimicry Content Volunteer

    Dix Hills, New York

    Sam began volunteering with the Biomimicry Institute in June of 2015, and applies his background in science and art to curate biological strategies.

    What would you like to share about yourself with the biomimicry community?

    I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, majoring in biology with a concentration in ecology and minoring in human-centered design. I have always been involved with nature from hikes in the wilderness to fundraising for conservation. I am constantly amazed by its materials, networks, structures, and processes. By viewing design from a biological perspective, I hope to learn from nature and apply its elegant, time-tested strategies to solutions for worldwide problems through biomimicry and biophilic design.

    How did your volunteer experience benefit you?

    Volunteering with AskNature has exposed me to many different scientific fields, and through this, I have gained much knowledge that I would otherwise not have encountered. My volunteer experience has sharpened my skills in research and writing through practice navigating, analyzing, and effectively communicating complex information. Most of all, I learned to think in terms of biomimicry and how nature can lead us to sustainable, adapted solutions to the world’s challenges.

    What was your favorite part about volunteering?

    My favorite part about volunteering with AskNature has been spreading awareness about biomimicry and seeing the impact of our work. Collaborating on group projects and working in a team has produced important information that is truly accessible for anyone to use.

    How did your volunteer experience further your understanding of biomimicry?

    This experience gave me practice in thinking through the lens of nature to arrive at elegant, efficient designs and systems. I was introduced to an array of contexts in which biomimicry can be used, and I was shown the process of nature’s way of problem solving. Since volunteering, whenever I need to make a design or strategy, I find myself looking towards nature for the answer.

    What is unique about volunteering for AskNature?

    AskNature combines research and ways of thinking from many different branches of science with writing and media to communicate these concepts of growing importance to the public.


    Allie Miller

    Biological Curator

    Elko, Minnesota

    Allie began volunteering for AskNature in 2013 and has been instrumental in its development through her curation of biological strategies and illustrations.

    What would you like to share about yourself with the biomimicry community?

    I am currently pursuing a masters of Industrial Design at Georgia Tech and previously received a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from Mount Holyoke College. Prior to Georgia Tech, I worked in a variety of clinical and public health environments and became interested in the intersections between health, environment and other sociological factors. Looking forward, I hope to use design as a tool to improve public access to healthier products and environments.

    How did your volunteer experience benefit you?

    My volunteer experience with AskNature has been significant in helping me improve my writing skills--specifically, scientific writing. Additionally, it has allowed me to access an array of biomimicry and design tools that I hope to use in my academic research.

    What was your favorite part about volunteering?

    My favorite part about volunteering with AskNature has been being connected to like-minded students and professionals. I always knew that nature had an awe-inspiring way of existing, but I never had the vocabulary to articulate. Not only do I now have that vocabulary, but I am also linked to a network of individuals who carry a similar level of appreciation.

    How did your volunteer experience further your understanding of biomimicry?

    Before volunteering with AskNature, I knew very little, if anything, about biomimicry. Now, I feel equipped to not only understand the information, but to serve as a competent spokesperson for the biomimicry community. It is also exciting to be working on strategies, and then see products or systems in real life that have a foundation in biomimicry.

    What is unique about volunteering for AskNature?

     What’s most unique about volunteering for AskNature is that your volunteer work has a direct impact on the biomimicry community. Whether it’s illustrating or curating, the success of individual strategies lies in your ability to extract the most critical information in a succinct manner, and then turn that into something that will be both engaging and accessible to a larger audience. It’s a much higher level of responsibility than the average volunteer opportunity.


    Leon Wang

    Biological Curator

    San Diego, California

    Leon joined AskNature in 2014 as a Biological Curator, applying his science education and enthusiasm for biomimicry to create biological strategy pages.

    What would you like to share about yourself with the biomimicry community?

    I am 22 years old and finishing my Bachelor of Science in Bioengineering with a minor in Environmental Studies at University of California, San Diego. I have a natural curiosity and a deep passion for nature and the outdoors. With my engineering background and biomimicry knowledge, I will help develop life-friendly solutions to the world’s challenges, and inspire others to do the same.

    How did your volunteer experience benefit you?

    My volunteer experience with AskNature has given me the chance to meet and connect with great people with similar passions for nature. Curating for AskNature has sharpened my writing skills and given me a greater understanding of the methodology behind biomimicry. Above all, I have gotten the opportunity to contribute to the biomimicry community and play a role in this exciting movement!

    What was your favorite part about volunteering?

    My favorite part about volunteering has been interacting with the people in the biomimicry community. With such a large diversity of volunteers, there is an opportunity to learn something new at every exchange. It has also been great to be a part of such a supportive, knowledgeable, and passionate community.

    How did this volunteer experience make you grow as a person?

    This volunteer experience has helped me improve my communication skills, as well as my ability to digest and simplify scientific research.

    How did your volunteer experience further your understanding of biomimicry?

    Being a biological curator has given me a multitude of resources to learn about nature’s strategies and biomimicry. I have been able to learn about and be a part of the biomimicry design process.


    Thomas McAuley-Biasi

    Biological Curator

    Ontario, Canada

    Thomas began volunteering for AskNature in 2014, contributing his background in zoology and enthusiasm for nature toward many biological strategies.

    What would you like to share about yourself with the biomimicry community?

    I'm a fourth year University student studying Zoology at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Since I was young, I've been fascinated with the environment and the animals that inhabit it, and my passion has only grown since then. As such, I hope that we as humans can one day find a way to thrive on this planet alongside all the amazing organisms we share it with.

    How did your volunteer experience benefit you?

    My volunteer experience has benefited me by opening my eyes to all of the amazing things that occur in the world around me, and by helping me truly appreciate what nature is capable of.

    What was your favorite part about volunteering?

    My favourite part has been learning about and discussing the sophisticated ways in which nature survives and thrives.

    What compelled you to volunteer?

    I was compelled to volunteer with AskNature due to the nature of biomimicry itself. When I first heard about the field of biomimicry, I was amazed by both the simplicity and genius of the whole concept, and wanted to get more involved.

    What is unique about volunteering with AskNature?

    Volunteering with AskNature is such a unique experience as it helps connect not only like-minded individuals, but also professionals from across the continent to delve deeper into the world of biomimicry. Through AskNature, I have been able to reach and communicate with individuals who I would have never met otherwise.


    Rachel Major

    Biological Curator

    Cupertino, California

    Rachel interned for AskNature in 2013 and her contributions, from strategy assessment to curation, were instrumental in molding AskNature into what it is today.

    What would you like to share about yourself with the biomimicry community?

    I am a graduate from Drexel University with a Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in chemistry; I also hold a certificate in general management from Stanford University. My passion for the environment stems from my immense respect for the planet that sustains us and my admiration of the elegance and tenacity of all living things. I hope that biomimicry can help people become connected to and humbled by the environment so that as a whole, humans can reach more efficient, sustainable engineering heights.

    How did your volunteer experience benefit you?

    Volunteering for AskNature has taught me how to effectively teach myself and be comfortable evaluating scientific papers that were outside of my discipline. It has also given me hope that technology and nature do not have to compete with each other, and can exist harmoniously for the betterment of mankind and the planet.

    What was your favorite part about volunteering?

    My favorite part was reading scientific articles across the spectrum, and working to understand them well enough to break them down into layman’s terms. Also, envisioning the way biological strategies could be integrated into technology has been an enjoyable task.

    What compelled you to volunteer?

    I’ve always thought it was amazing that nature could be so efficient and reuse things-- something I thought mankind was striving to emulate. It has always been remarkable to me that nature has mastered the ability to recycle and reuse, while humans are still in the fledgling stages. I have always had respect for nature in its elegance, and so I personally connected to AskNature because they had taken this respect a step further to educate mankind. AskNature is a great way of looking at nature with the appropriate reverence so that our current technologies can be improved, and it paves the way for even greater advancement in future technologies.

    What is unique about volunteering with AskNature?

    By bringing together fields previously thought to be mutually exclusive, such as ecology and engineering, biomimicry provides a platform to launch new technological solutions from a truly interdisciplinary perspective. To paraphrase Isaac Newton, we do indeed stand on the shoulders of giants; biomimicry encourages us to view the world from the eyes of non-human geniuses so that we can see even farther with 3.8 billion years of experience.