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Internships

Our 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.

Internship Application Deadlines

Spring Semester (January-May) – September 30
Summer Semester  (June-August) – January 31
Fall Semester (September-December) – May 31 *Extended deadline for Animal Husbandry Internships of June 29

Students interested in interning at our Animal Rescue Clinic should be working toward a degree in marine biology, veterinary medicine or a related field. Recent graduates seeking experience in these fields are accepted.

The duration of the internship varies by season (12 weeks for the summer; 16 weeks for the spring; 16 weeks for the fall).

Requirements:

  • Minimum of 40 hours per week
  • Must be motivated and responsible
  • Have computer experience plus organizational and communication skills
  • Must work well with others

Duties:

  • Work with live and dead pinnipeds, cetaceans and sea turtles (work may be done under extremely adverse weather conditions)
  • Assist in the collection of Level A data for the NOAA Fisheries Service
  • Assist in rescue and salvage responses
  • Participate in post-mortem work and necropsies
  • Assist in care for animals undergoing rehabilitation
  • Assist in weekly seal physicals
  • Complete a project for the Animal Rescue Program

The Animal Rescue Program (ARP) Fellowship position is an expanded internship. The goal of the program is to provide college students or recent college graduates who are pursuing a career in veterinary medicine an opportunity to expand their skills by learning proper techniques for treating marine animals.

Application deadlines are as follows:
Spring fellowship (Jan-May):  September 30
Summer fellowship (May-Aug):  January 31
Fall fellowship (Sep-Dec):  May 31

Requirements:

  • Must demonstrate excellent representation of the Aquarium
  • Present a positive, can-do attitude and teamwork focused work

Duties:

  • Diet preparation, cleaning and maintenance of ARP areas
  • Record keeping
  • Provide medical treatments to animals with guidance from ARP staff and Aquarium veterinarians (medical treatments may include restraint for procedures, tube feeding, intravenous blood samples, subcutaneous fluids, intramuscular injections, etc.)
  • Provide training and guidance to ARP volunteers and interns, as requested

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

The Marketing Department is seeking a talented individual to join its Digital Media and Production team during the spring and summer to assist with digital content development, archiving, graphics packages and other day-to-day activities as needed.

Schedule is flexible. Applicants must be available a minimum of two days each week.

Requirements:
The right candidate will have some experience with

  • Avid Media Composer
  • Final Cut 7 and X
  • Final Cut Server (Assist with organizing and archiving highlight footage and broll)
  • After EffectsAdobe
  • Creative Suite
  • Microsoft Office
  • Mac and PC systems
  • Sony HDV Camera and deck

Duties:

  • Proficiency in live productions both online and studio
  • Camera assistance in the field on an as needed basis
  • Must be an enthusiastic team player

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:
    • 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:

  • 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

Mystic Aquarium has partnered with the Marine Science Magnet High School of Southeastern Connecticut to offer a Joint Internship in Aquaculture based at the Marine Science Magnet High School.

Requirements:

  • Participate in Mystic Aquarium’s Intern Education Program (orientation, weekly career development seminars, at least one intern social and semester-end project presentation and evaluation)
    articipate in the Research and Veterinary Services Department’s Journal Club, Ridgway Research Seminar Series and research and data progress meetings
  • Must hold a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA) in a related field (e.g., Aquaculture, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Marine Science, Zoology, etc.)
  • May be either a recent college graduate, having received his or her BS or BA within the previous two years, or be a current graduate student, actively enrolled in an academic program in a related field leading to a Master of Science, Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy, or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree

Duties:
Aquaculture Operations 

  • Phytoplankton and zooplankton culture
  • Broodstock fish management
  • Conditioning and spawning
  • Egg incubation
  • Larval fish rearing
  • Growout
  • System maintenance and water quality monitoring

Aquaculture Research

  • Literature review
  • Experimental design
  • Data collection and analysis

Aquaculture Education

  • Presentations for students of the Marine Science Magnet High School as well as Mystic Aquarium staff and volunteers
  • Design and implementation of laboratory activities for students of the Marine Science Magnet High School

The Marketing Department coordinates community relations activities, advertising, conducts marketing studies and creates special events.

Requirements:

  • Be pursuing a course of study in marketing or communications
  • Must be creative
  • Must have strong oral and written skills
  • Must have the ability to interact professionally with media, the general public and Aquarium staff

Duties:

  • Assist in event planning
  • Write copy for marketing materials and website
  • Participate in strategic brainstorming
  • Perform administrative tasks and other assigned duties

The Media and Public Relations Department is responsible for media relations, social media platforms, website management and production of the organization’s tri-annual member magazine, annual report and monthly e-newsletter.

Requirements:

  • Must be efficient and motivated
  • Will need to work independently at times
  • Be pursuing a course of study in public relations or communications
  • Must be creative
  • Must have strong oral and written skills
  • Must have the ability to interact professionally with media, the general public and Aquarium staff

Duties:

  • Assist with media events
  • Assist with social media platforms
  • Write copy for various media pitches
  • Manage online event calendar listings
  • Participate in strategic brainstorming
  • Perform administrative tasks and other assigned duties

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:
    • 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
  • 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:
    • 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 collection animals
  • Clean and maintain exhibits and back-up areas
  • Record keeping
  • Assist with enrichment

Under the direction of Fish & Invertebrates, interns will feed and maintain the exhibits and holding areas for the reptiles, amphibians and insects within our care.

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

Requirements:

  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds

Duties:

  • Food preparation
  • Feed reptiles, amphibians and insect collection
  • Maintenance of terrariums (scrubbing, water changes, water/air monitoring, filter maintenance, water analysis) under supervision
  • Clean food-prep and other back-up areas
  • Assist new exhibit construction and collection of specimens
  • Life support operations
  • Possible assistance with fish and invertebrate care and husbandry

Our research team conducts research in many aspects of marine animal health, husbandry, ecology and conservation. 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 census, behavior, ecology, infectious disease, neuro-immunology and physiology.


Duties:

  • Record, 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 Water Quality Lab staff works closely with the Life Support Technicians in order to maintain exceptional water quality in all aquatic exhibits at Mystic Aquarium, ensuring proper habitats for all animals.

Duties:

  • Perform all tests required to maintain critical parameters in marine mammals pool systems and fish and aquatic invertebrate exhibits
  • Monitor all chemical feed pumps
  • Record keeping and data entry
  • Assist with ensuring compliance with state discharge permits

If you are interested in one the departments below, please submit ONLY a completed application form. The Intern Coordinator will contact you by phone to discuss possible internship projects within the department of your choice. If an opportunity is available, you will be asked to submit all application materials.

A short description of each department appears below.

Guest Services
The Guest Services Department is responsible for ensuring a quality visit for all our guests. Ticket sales, group entry and exhibit interpretation are all handled through Guest Services.

Facilities
The Facilities Department provides life-support services for all exhibits and maintains a comfortable environment for visitors and staff. This department maintains mechanical, electrical and refrigeration systems and assists with the design, installation and maintenance of gardens and grounds around the Aquarium and outdoor exhibits. The Housekeeping function comes under the Facilities Department as does Safety and Security.

Membership
The Membership Department is responsible for developing a constituency for Mystic Aquarium by serving, motivating and maintaining current members as well as soliciting new members. This department is responsible for selling and renewing memberships, admitting members when they visit, communicating with members via digital and print correspondence, developing various programs, events and promotions, as well as providing excellent customer service to ensure the satisfaction and retention of our members.

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