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Symbiota Software Development Internship

Posted by nfranz on January 5, 2024 - 12:08pm in Undergraduate Students

The Arizona State University, Biodiversity Knowledge Integration Center (BioKIC), is offering a new internship for an undergraduate computer science student to develop and maintain the Symbiota software platform code base. Symbiota ( is an open-source software for managing and mobilizing biodiversity data. Over the span of 20 years, Symbiota has developed into a distributed network of theme-based research portals incorporating data from over 1,900 biodiversity collections of preserved plants, animals, fossils, fungi, and more. The 56 existing Symbiota portals publish over 46 million images and +90 million occurrences. Symbiota is specifically designed toward efficient, collaborative digitization and an open data exploration and publishing tool. The internship will focus on maintaining and developing the Symbiota code base, including efforts to achieve compliance and consistency across security systems and portal applications. The position will be integrated with, and mentored by, a team of experienced software engineers, IT systems administrators, and biodiversity data scientists. It is an ideal internship for computer science undergraduate students with a desire to receive training and make direct, valuable contributions to an academic software project with wide use within the biodiversity collections data community.

The selected applicant will be trained in curating and further developing the Symbiota code base, published openly and collaboratively in the BioKIC GitHub repository ( Regular tasks will include accessing and reviewing the software code, which is written in multiple languages including PHP, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, and others. As identified by the lead development team and with their direct and continuous mentorship, the intern will undertake improvements to the code base that will lead to increased compliance, consistency and performance across the code environment and application portals. The expected work includes regular contributions to team communications, meetings, documentation, presentations, and other suitable and prioritized team activities.

Working on-site, Tempe Campus, is strongly preferred.

Inquiries about the internship should be directed to Dr. Franz via email.

Criteria for interns. Prospective applicants must meet all criteria for computer science undergraduate students as defined by the ASU SCAI Major Internship Program:

Supervisor: Dr. Nico Franz (contact:

Duration: Spring semester 2024.

Commitment: 20 hours per week, 280 per semester.