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Aquarium Internship

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Academic Level:
For most summer research programs, this is your upcoming status as of the fall. Always check with the individual program's website for details.

Undergraduates - Sophomore
Undergraduates - Junior
Undergraduates - Senior

Note: this opportunity encourages applications from community college students.

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is offering four internships at its Aquarium during the summer season. The Maria Mitchell Aquarium houses roughly 65-75 different marine species each year.

One of the most unique public aquarium internships in the country, this paid opportunity immerses interns in all facets of public aquarium operations, including exhibit design, collection and husbandry of 75+ marine species, plumbing and troubleshooting of filtration systems, program and tour leadership, volunteer management, retail in the giftshop, and more!

The ideal candidates have interest and experience with marine biology and environmental education. Many former interns are working the fields of outdoor education, public aquarium husbandry and education, aquaculture, K-12 science education, and marine biological sciences.

The interns, working as a team with the aquarium director, are responsible for virtually all facets of the aquarium's operation, including animal husbandry, leading tours, managing and mentoring volunteers, leading public programs and field trips, designing exhibits, and running the gift shop. Aquarium interns choose a paid ?elective? project to dive into their interests. Previous year, electives included marine plankton culture, invasive species surveys, signage design, animal photography, graphic design, and more! This is a fantastic, immersive experience for students interested in marine biology or who are interested in aquarium careers.

Responsibilities and Tasks

-Feed and care for display animals (up to 90 marine species including: fish, mollusks, arthropods, echinoderms, cnidarians, ctenophores, and more).

-Provide engaging educational experiences to visitors during beach field trips and aquarium tours.

-Plumbing, troubleshooting and repairing the tanks and filtration systems.

-Co-lead marine ecology field trips and beachcombing field trips several times per week.

-Travel around the island to collect species for the aquarium using seining, hook & line, and snorkeling techniques.

-Sell memberships and merchandise in the gift shop.

-Complete independant "elective" project(s), which may include photography, animal surveys, growing plankton, signage design, social media, and more.

-Engage in other MMA activities (astronomy, research, Nantucket history) and special events (Optional).

Key Requirements and Qualifications

-Educational background in marine science, biology, environmental science, or related field with at least two years of college experience.

-Some degree of marine science experience which may include, coursework, study abroad, internship, volunteering, etc.

-Outgoing personality and enthusiasm for teaching science.

-Strong career interests in marine biology and/or outdoor education.

-Experience working and interacting with the public, both adults and children.

-Strong verbal and written communication skills.

-The MMA will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance and continue to require all employees to receive a primary COVID-19 vaccination series.

Participating Institution(s):
(Click an institution to see all programs it hosts or sponsors)
Maria Mitchell Association (Lead)

Program Materials:
 • Program Website 

This Program can be Described by:
Academic Disciplines:
Aquatic & Fisheries Sciences
Environmental Sciences
Marine Sciences & Oceanography
STEM Fields

Biological Oceanography
Marine Biology
Marine Chemistry
Marine Ecology
Marine Invertebrates
Marine Microbes
Marine Policy
Marine Science
STEM Education

Learn More and Apply!

Page last updated 2/12/2024
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