Marine Mammal Specialist Internship

The selected candidate is responsible for providing support to the marine mammal specialists. This internship's primary purpose is to learn about marine mammal care, conservation, research, and training. There is limited hands-on animal contact during the internship.

Essential Functions

  • Prepares daily animal diets as instructed.
  • Responsible for the cleanliness and safety of all animal backup areas.
  • Observes and may assist in enrichment, husbandry, and training sessions.
  • Participates in pre-session preparations.
  • At the completion of the program, the intern will present a power point to training staff regarding either 1) an ongoing project with which the intern has assisted in the Marine Mammal Department, or 2) a new topic or area of interest to the intern in relation to the marine mammal field.
  • Complete assigned readings and exercises in a timely manner. Other duties as assigned.


  • College junior or senior majoring in life science, psychology, or related field preferred.
  • Must have a basic understanding of marine mammal natural history.
  • Must have good swimming skills and be able to lift 50 pounds. Must work well as a team member.
  • Summer and winter terms require 40 hours per week of work for three weeks. Spring and fall terms require eight hours per day, one day per week of work for 15 weeks.
  • Must complete a minimum of 120 hours of work within the selected term, eight hours per day.

Application Deadlines

  • November 1 for winter and spring term
  • March 1 for summer term
  • June 1 for fall term

Back to the Top

How to Apply

Step 1 - Complete Application

Complete the online internship application:

Step 2 - Brief Response

Provide brief responses to the three statements listed in the online Internship Application.

Step 3 - Resume

Upload a resume with two references listed.

Step 4 - Proof

Upload proof of credit and credit amount OR proof of a transcript notation awarded upon successful completion of an internship. This proof of credit OR proof of a transcript notation must be printed on college letterhead and must be signed by your Academic Advisor. (We require proof [sign off] that your college will formally acknowledge your internship experience upon you being successfully selected and completing your internship. Please speak with your college about your credit OR transcript notation options.)

Step 5 - Transcript

Upload a copy of your transcript. It does not have to be an official copy.

Step 6 - Supporting Documents

Check the full position description for any additional requirements. (For example, some positions require a writing sample.) Upload the document in the “Other Supporting Documents” section if needed.

Step 7 - Submit

Submit your completed online Internship Application.

Display FAQ

1. Do I really have to receive college credit OR a transcript notation for my internship in order to participate in the program?

Yes, credit OR a transcript notation is your compensation for your work, and having your college acknowledge the internship gives your experience even more value. Most colleges give credit for internships but some colleges will allow you to have a transcript notation for the internship experience. Upon submitting your application, we require proof (sign off) that your college will acknowledge your internship experience upon you being successfully selected and completing your internship. Please speak with your college about your credit OR transcript notation options.

2. How many credits do I have to receive?

Each college has different requirements and ways of granting credits. As long as you receive at least one credit, you fulfill the requirement.

3. Can I work more than 120 hours?

The requirement is to work a minimum of 120 hours. You can work additional hours as long as they are not preventing another intern from participating, there is work to be done, and there is someone available to supervise you.

4. Can I apply for more than one internship position?

You may apply for no more than 2 internship positions per application deadline. If you are accepted for both positions, you may participate in both if you are able to complete all of the requirements of both positions individually. If you are not able to complete all of the requirements for both positions individually, you must decline one of the positions.

5. What dates are included in each term?

Since each college has a different schedule, we are flexible in defining our terms. The dates of your internship will be determined by your availability and your supervisor's schedule during your interview. The terms are loosely defined as:

• Winter term - Late December through early February
• Spring term - January through May
• Summer term - May through September
• Fall term - September through December

6. What hours will I work?

Schedules are flexible. Animal care staff work weekends in addition to during the week. Most animal care staff work from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. while other positions are generally Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Some interns work 40 hours per week for 3 weeks to complete their hours while others work 8 hours 1-2 days per week for a longer period of time. Your exact hours vary according to the time of year, your supervisor's schedule, and the work that needs to be completed. Your hours will be determined during your interview or upon acceptance.

7. Is parking included?

Yes. The Aquarium validates parking in designated garages for unpaid staff including volunteers and interns. More information will be given to accepted interns regarding parking.

8. Is housing included?

No. Many interns rent a room from one of our staff or make use of the many short term housing options available in the area.

9. Can I send my application in early for the next application deadline?

You may send your application in anytime before the application deadline. Make sure not to send your application too soon since you want it to be as up to date as possible.

10. Will late applications be accepted?

No. Complete applications that are postmarked by the deadline or faxed by 11:59 p.m. on the date of the deadline will be accepted. Late applications will not be accepted.

11. I am in high school, are there internship opportunities available for me?

Although you cannot participate in the College Internship Program there are other programs available for high school students. One such program is the Student Summer Program which is run by our Volunteer Office. For more information click here or call our Volunteer Office at 410-576-3886.

12. I just graduated college. Are there internship opportunities for me?

Yes. We have had many recent graduates successfully apply for an internship by receiving non-degree-seeking credit from their college. Another option is to become a volunteer. Click here for more information on the Aquarium's Volunteer Program. Paid positions are listed on the Aquarium's employment page.

13. I am a graduate student; can I participate in the internship program?

Yes. Although many of our internship positions are tailored to undergraduate students, we do have many graduate students who participate in the program. The same requirements apply to graduate students including receipt of credit.

14. I am an international student; may I participate in the internship program?

Yes. International students are encouraged to apply, but the Aquarium cannot sponsor any visas.

15. Some internship descriptions say that juniors and seniors are preferred, should I still apply if I am an underclassman?

We do not mean that underclassmen will not be accepted, but juniors and seniors are usually more qualified. A junior or senior applicant has had more classes specific to their major that they are able to apply to their work as an intern. Many colleges do not allow students to participate in an internship experience until they have a minimum of 60 credit hours. Make sure your college will allow you to apply as an underclassman.

16. Will I get to swim with the dolphins?

No. Only experienced marine mammal trainers who have spent months or years working on their relationships with these large, powerful animals are able to enter the water with the dolphins.

17. What are the benefits of completing an internship?

An internship gives you an opportunity to gain experience towards your future career. You need experience to make you the most qualified for a job. In a recent survey the Aquarium had 23 paid staff who are former interns, and that number does not even come close to the number of former interns who are staff at other Aquariums and related facilities.

18. Can I volunteer before or after my internship?

Yes. You can start your experience at the Aquarium as a volunteer and/or stay involved as a volunteer after your internship has been completed. Click here for more information on the Volunteer Program. 

Email or call 410-576-3886.