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Internships

Our coveted internship program reflects our mission to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education and research. Internships are available fall, spring and summer in most departments, allowing students of all ages to experience the unique character of the Aquarium and enhance their personal and professional development.

Each semester is approximately 16 weeks long. The spring semester runs from January to May, summer from May to August and fall from September to December. Exact start and end dates may be flexible as determined by the departmental needs and interns’ schedule.

A $750 administration fee will be assessed at the time of acceptance. 

The Foxwoods Marine Theater staff feed, train and care for the Aquarium’s California sea lions. The staff also performs during daily presentations educating the public about the species.

Interns must have a flexible schedule and be able to work five days per week.

Requirements:

  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds
  • Expected to pass swim test including:
    • 200 meter continuous swim in less than six minutes
    • Tread water for 10 minutes or two minutes without hands
    • Swim pool length underwater (50 foot minimum)
    • Tired swimmer tow pool length (50 foot minimum)
    • Surface dive for 10 pound weight retrieval to pool depth

Duties:

  • Assist staff with preparing diets for California sea lions
  • Clean and maintain exhibits and back-up areas
  • Assist with environmental enrichment for California sea lions
  • Record keeping
  • Assist with public presentations
  • Assist with the training of husbandry/show behaviors
  • Assist husbandry staff and veterinary staff with medical procedures

The Development Department is seeking a motivated individual to work alongside the team in its efforts to fundraise for the nonprofit organization. The department is responsible for pursuing grants, donations and major gifts, as well as organizing special events and managing the donor database.

Schedule is flexible within Monday-Friday normal operating hours.

Requirements:

  • Ideal candidate will be pursuing a course of study in nonprofit management or event logistics
  • Have strong communications skills
  • Creativity, attention to detail and the ability to interact professionally with donors, the general public and staff are all critical

Duties:

  • Assist with special event coordination, cultivation efforts, logistical coordination of VIP visits and administrative tasks
  • Others as assigned by supervisor

Interns will learn to assist the Dive Safety Officer (DSO) run daily dive operations. Interns will be trained to provide daily support to the staff and volunteer divers both above and below the water. Through hands-on training our intern will become competent in the care and maintenance of our dive equipment and will gain experience about maintaining aquarium exhibits.

This internship is geared towards those interested in Aquarium Husbandry and running a Dive Safety Program through an Aquarium, University or Research facility.

Requirements:

  • Must be dependable
  • Must have excellent communication skills
  • Must be able to regularly lift at least 50 pounds
  • Must be comfortable speaking with the public in formal and informal settings
  • Preferred Divemaster SCUBA Certified or above (AI, Instructor etc.)
  • At least 50 logged dives in varying conditionsCPR/AED/O2 certification preferred
  • Expected to pass a physical, SCUBA skill assessment and swim test including:
    • 200 meter continuous swim in less than six minutes
    • 300 meter continuous mask, fin, snorkel swim
    • Tread water for 10 minutes or two minutes without hands
    • Swim ½ pool length underwater (50 foot minimum)
    • Tired swimmer tow ½ pool length (50 foot minimum)
    • Surface dive for 10 pound weight retrieval to pool depth

Learning opportunities for interns include increased knowledge of marine science topics, marine conservation issues, curriculum design, activity development and implementation, teaching, and classroom management skills.

These are unpaid positions with flexible schedules based on the candidate’s availability and may be completed for college credit based on the college’s guidelines. Positions available include working with early childhood, school, summer camp or public conservation programs

Requirements:

  • Must be reliable
  • Must have excellent communication skills
  • Must enjoy working with people of all ages
  • Must be able to succeed in a team environment

Duties:

  • Assist Aquarium teachers in teaching classroom and field programs for students of all ages
  • Travel with Aquarium teachers to present outreach programs at local schools
  • Present public programs within the Aquarium
  • Assist with the design and preparation of class materials
  • Whenever possible, teach portions of Aquarium classes

The Department of Fish and Invertebrates is responsible for system maintenance on exhibit and holding systems, animal feeds and maintaining clean work areas. This is accomplished through daily maintenance of systems, detailed analysis of specimens and careful data recording.

Interns must have a flexible schedule and work five days per week.

Requirements:

  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds
  • Expected to pass swim test including:
    • 100 yard swim in less than five minutes
    • Tread water for 10 minutes or two minutes without hands
    • Deploy life safety/flotation device

Duties:

  • Food preparation
  • Feeding of the fish and invertebrate collection
  • Maintenance of aquariums (algae scrubbing, water changes, water monitoring, filter maintenance, H2O chemical analysis, etc.) under aquarist supervision
  • Cleaning back-up areas and equipment
  • Exhibit plumbing and life support operation
  • Daily checks and record keeping

Interns will be working with our colony of African penguins to assist with day-to-day operations. Interns may also be asked to participate in training, media opportunities and in encounter programs.

Penguin interns must have a flexible schedule and work five days a week 7:30am to 4:00pm.

Requirements:

  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds
  • Expected to pass swim test including:
    • 100 yard swim in less than five minutes
    • Tread water for 10 minutes or two minutes without hands
    • Deploy life safety/flotation device

Duties:

  • Assist staff with preparing diets
  • Clean and maintain exhibits and back-up areas
  • Record keeping
  • Feed penguins
  • Assist husbandry staff and veterinarians with medical procedures
  • Assist with the training of husbandry behaviors

Interns will work closely with trainers to assist in day-to-day operations and care for Steller sea lions, harbor seals, Northern fur seals, spotted seal and beluga whales. 

Interns must have a flexible schedule and work five days a week.

Requirements:

  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds
  • Expected to pass swim test including:
    • 100 yard swim in less than five minutes
    • Tread water for 10 minutes or two minutes without hands
    • Deploy life safety/flotation device

Duties:

  • Assist staff with preparing diets for collection animals
  • Clean and maintain exhibits and back-up areas
  • Record keeping
  • Assist with enrichment

Gain hands-on experience in a dynamic environment with guidance from a mentor who is a member of our research staff.

Our research team conducts research in many aspects of marine animal health, husbandry and ecology. This is accomplished through detailed analysis of behavior, specimens, data records and a combination of field, in-house and laboratory-based research projects that focus on animal behavior, ecology, infectious disease, neuro-immunology and physiology.

The internship program reflects our mission “to inspire people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education and research.” Internships are available for the fall, spring and summer.

Interns have the opportunity to attend weekly educational seminars, receive feedback from supervisors and work on independent projects to enhance their knowledge and resumes.

Essential Responsibilities:

Here are some of the potential duties for research internships. Please note that duties will vary depending on the intern’s principle focus during the internship. More details can be acquired during the interview process.

  • Videotape, observe, describe and analyze animal behavior
  • Prepare chemical solutions and biological reagents
  • Assist with specimen collection
  • Management of biological specimens
  • Assist with biological assays and experiments
  • Data entry and database management
  • Data analysis, table and graph construction
  • Report writing

The Mystic Aquarium Animal Rescue Program (ARP) responds to reports of live and dead marine mammals and sea turtles along the shores of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Fishers Island, N.Y. An on-site rehabilitation facility is operated for pinnipeds, sea turtles, and occasionally cetaceans.

*Please note: the number of animals under rehabilitation care will depend on the time of year; therefore, primary intern responsibilities may be altered during slower seasons. Interns should be working towards a career in marine biology, biology or a related field.

Minimum requirements

Current valid driver’s license required.  Must be proficient in Microsoft Office.  Must be able to work independently as well as part of a team, possess strong written and verbal communication skills, and have flexibility, a high attention to detail, strong organization and time management skills, a positive attitude and a willingness to learn.  Candidate must be able to meet the physical demands of the position which include prolonged standing and kneeling, lifting objects, and working in outdoor conditions.   ARP interns must demonstrate excellent representation of the aquarium at all times through a positive, can-do attitude and teamwork focused work ethic.

Responsibilities and essential functions

All internships are unpaid with a minimum 12-16 week commitment required.  The position is scheduled five days per week for a minimum of 40 hours each week.  Applicants must be willing to work a flexible schedule, as hours may include evenings, weekends, and holidays.  Housing is not provided.  The ARP intern is responsible for assisting in the day-to-day operations and general organization of the Animal Rescue Clinic (ARC) with guidance from ARP staff.     

To perform this internship position successfully, an individual must be able to execute each essential duty satisfactorily. 

  • Perform and/or assist in overall ARC operations including feeding and caring for rehabilitating animals, delivering medications and supplements, cleaning and maintaining animal units, and maintaining quarantine protocols.
  • Record keeping
  • Assist ARP staff in restraint of rehabilitating animals
  • Assist ARP staff with coverage of the ARP Hotline
  • Assist ARP and veterinary staff with gross necropsy procedures, when necessary
  • Provide mentorship to ARP volunteers who are working within the ARC
  • Assist with the dispatching of first responders to animals in the field
  • Perform all other duties as assigned by supervisor
  • Every intern must properly use, and keep in good order, all personal protective equipment (PPE) supplied to them as protection from recognized hazards
  • All interns are responsible for working in a safe manner at all times and must report any unsafe conditions

Every intern must have a working knowledge of all Facility wide, and Department specific, safety procedures that relate to their position, including, but not limited to:  Emergency Evacuation, Lockdown Procedure, and Fire Extinguisher Use

The Environmental Quality lab is responsible for water quality testing of more than two million gallons of exhibit water. As an intern, you will have the ability to gain hands-on experience conducting various tests to ensure optimal water quality is achieved, along with developing your skills working in a state-certified environmental laboratory.

Interns must have a flexible schedule and work four days per week, working 7am-3:30pm. Schedule to be determined upon acceptance.

Requirements:

  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds.
  • General overview of good lab practices, gained through college chemistry courses.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • The ability to work independently with light supervision.

Duties:

  • Daily sample collection and testing of the marine mammal and bird systems.
  • Daily sample collection and testing of the scheduled fish and invertebrate systems for any given day.
  • The daily tests conducted includes pH, and salinity, while the weekly testing includes ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, total hardness, orthophosphate, total coliforms, enterococcus, etc.
  • Quality control testing is conducted and is accompanied by the corresponding daily/weekly testing.
  • Daily laboratory maintenance, which includes cleaning labware, benchtops, and sample bottles used.
  • Record keeping, documenting daily results on a paper log, and electronically transferring results.
  • Assisting with extra projects as needed.
Internship Application Deadlines
  • Spring Semester (January-May): September 30
  • Summer Semester  (June-August): January 31
  • Fall Semester (September-December): August 20 
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