The Aquarium offers unpaid internship opportunities for rising college juniors and seniors interested in pursuing careers related to Biology, Marine Biology, Science Education, Aquarium Sciences or related support staff positions.

All interns must perform duties as required, keep a log of hours and activities, meet with cooperating staff member at least once a week, abide by established dress code and give a minimum of 20 hours/week for at least 10 weeks. Interns can expect to receive help from and access to cooperating staff, receive experience to enhance skills and build resume, receive Aquarium intern benefits and make lifelong contacts.

Application packets must be complete when they are submitted and include the following:

  • A Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center Intern Application
  • A cover letter detailing your expectations and how you plan to use your experience to assist your career and/or academic goals.
  • A resume
  • An official copy of your college/university transcript
  • Two letters of recommendation; one must be an academic reference

Forward your completed application packet to:

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
717 General Booth Boulevard
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451
Attn: Volunteer Resources Office - Intern Applicant
OR email complete application packet to aquavols@virginiaaquarium.com

For questions call,  757-385-0274. Applicants will be contacted by phone or email to schedule an interview with the coordinating staff member.


Internship Opportunities

Duties: Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the daily husbandry of bird exhibits and quarantine areas, preparing diets and feeding, cleaning and maintaining exhibits and quarantine areas, assisting during veterinary visits, updating records, participating in daily observations and enrichment of Animal Ambassadors as well as species on exhibit and in quarantine.

Qualifications: Prefer someone seeking a career in biology, sciences, or education. Must have a minimum 2.0 GPA. Applicant must be available for a minimum of 20 hours a week for 10 weeks. Applicant should be able to tolerate working in hot, cold, or inclement weather conditions. Hours of work 7-4 pm or 8-5 pm and may include weekends and holidays.

Requirements: Intern must maintain a daily journal and meet regularly with the Bird Dept. Intern Coordinator.

The Fishes Section is now accepting intern applications for summer 2015. There are five positions available. The application deadline is March 15, 2015. Please note that all internships are non-compensatory and intern housing is not provided by the Virginia Aquarium.

Candidates Must Possess:

  • Ability to lift up to 75 pounds
  • Ability to work in environmental extremes (very warm or cold)
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time
  • Course completion to at least third year or junior undergraduate status in an accredited college or university

Preferred

  • Minimum grade point average of C or equivalent
  • A desire to pursue a career in fisheries management, animal health management, biology, Professional/Commercial SCUBA industry technician or manager, or a professional aquarist position.

Duties: Assist in the duties of aquatic exhibits husbandry and maintenance in the Fishes department. Responsibilities will include food preparation, feeding, cleaning of habitats and quarantine systems, specimen collection and quarantine, systems maintenance and repair. Each intern will be required to complete an assigned project that provides them experience in public aquarium management and/or management of animals in human care. A PowerPoint presentation on their project will be required. Interns will be required to keep a daily journal and participate in other duties as assigned by the Curator

Qualifications: Current student or candidate with previous college level course work in biology, marine science or related field. Candidate should have a strong career interest in fish-invertebrate husbandry, aquaculture, public aquarium management, marine science, etc. Field and laboratory research experience a plus. SCUBA certification to open water level preferred.

Collection: Sea turtles, temperate Atlantic fishes and invertebrates, tropical and native freshwater fishes and turtles, Indo-Pacific and Red Sea fishes, invertebrates, and corals, rays, sharks, sea horses, live food cultures, jellies

Duration of Internship: A minimum 10 weeks; a minimum of 3 days a week for 8 hours/day - weekends and holidays possible.

A complete Aquarist Assistant Intern application must include the following required components:

  • Cover Letter
  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center internship application form
  • (2) Letters of Recommendation (one must be from an academic instructor)
  • Statement of Intent: (1) page describing how the intern applicant intends to use the internship experience to assist in career or academic goals.
  • Resume
  • Official Transcripts
  • Other materials and documentation/certification

Duties: Responsible for, but not limited to, daily husbandry of marsh exhibits and mammal areas in addition to preparing diets and feeding, cleaning enclosures and maintaining records, assisting full time staff, performing exhibit repairs, animal observations, entering large aquatic habitats for cleaning and maintenance, and behavioral training. There is possible interaction with members of the general public and the harbor seals during animal interactive programs offered by this department.

Qualifications: Applicants must be available for a minimum of 32-40 hours per week. Length of service for summer applicants is mid-May through mid-August, for fall applicants is September through November, and for spring applicants is January through April. Schedule flexibility is important and will include weekends and possible evenings. Applicants should be in excellent physical health and be able to lift 40 pounds and tolerate working in varying environmental conditions that could include direct sun and warm temperatures, confined spaces with delicate exhibit materials, cold temperature for food storage, and wet conditions in and around aquatic habitats. Applicants should be strong swimmers and SCUBA certification is a plus.

Requirements: Intern must provide written proof of his or her rabies pre-exposure vaccinations. The rabies vaccination process will allow an intern to safely work with our entire mammal collection protecting both the student and our animals. The approximate cost of re-exposure vaccinations varies with different agencies, but will cost in the range of $500.00. Currently, this process involves a series of 3 shots given over a period of 21 days. It is possible to make these arrangements though a family doctor or local health department.

Herpetology is now accepting intern applications for summer 2015. The application deadline is March 15, 2015. Interns selected for this position will experience an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Please note that all internships are non-compensatory and intern housing is not provided by the Virginia Aquarium.

Duties: Working under the supervision aquarium Herpetology staff, interns assist in the care of a variety of species of reptiles, amphibians, insects and other species as appropriate, including some threatened or endangered specimens. Duties are varied and may be hands-on with some of our species. Interns will assist with the daily husbandry of exhibits and reptile holding areas for both the Bay & Ocean Pavilion and Marsh Pavilion. Husbandry duties include, but are not limited to, preparing diets and feeding, cleaning and maintaining enclosures, maintaining records, assisting in animal observations and enrichment as appropriate.

Qualifications: Applicants must be available to work for a minimum of 20 hours a week for a minimum of 10 weeks. Preferred applicants should be individuals seeking a career in a biology, animal care, or zoological related field with a passion for herpetology. Applicants should be in good physical health and be able to lift 40 pounds. This position will also require applicants to work in confined, warm spaces where temperatures can exceed 90 degrees and can be humid or dry and dusty.

Requirements: A minimum of 10 weeks; a minimum of 20 hours a week. Daily hours will vary. Herpetology staff will with work with interns to develop a schedule. Work days are subject to change due to holidays, inclement weather, etc.

Duties: Assist in the identification, preservation, and organization of the Aquarium's natural history collection. Management of the collection database includes cataloguing and photographing specimens.

Qualifications: Background in marine biology, oceanography, geology or related field. Knowledge of museum collection management practices preferred. Ability to identify mollusks, bones, marine animal teeth, Native American artifacts, fossils, rocks, and minerals a plus. Database (Microsoft Access) knowledge preferable. Must be self-motivated.

Dive Operations is now accepting intern applications for summer 2015. There is one position available. The application deadline is March 15, 2015. Please note that all internships are non-compensatory and intern housing is not provided by the Virginia Aquarium.

Candidates Must Possess:

  • Ability to lift up to 75 pounds
  • Ability to work in environmental extremes (very warm or cold)
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time
  • Course completion to at least third year or junior undergraduate status in an accredited college or university

Preferred

  • Minimum grade point average of C or equivalent
  • A desire to pursue a career in fisheries management, animal health management, biology, Professional/Commercial SCUBA industry technician or manager, or a professional aquarist position.
  • SCUBA certification is required. Intern MUST supply own SCUBA mask. Other equipment and air tanks will be supplied. Diving skills and proficiency will be assessed prior to incorporation into actual SCUBA diving duties. Inadequate skill level or proficiency will exclude intern from actual SCUBA diving duties but not preclude intern from completing dive internship. A certification card and copies of all dive logs must be submitted before the intern will be accepted into the program.

Duties: Assist with daily dive programs in the Chesapeake Bay Aquarium. Responsibilities will include but are not limited to assisting in the maintenance of Aquarium SCUBA equipment, filling SCUBA tanks, tending volunteer divers during programs, participating in daily dive programs, and assisting in maintenance dive duties. Intern will be required to complete an assigned project that provides them experience in public aquarium dive operations management. A PowerPoint presentation on their project will be required. Interns will be required to keep a daily journal and participate in other duties as assigned by the Curator.

Qualifications: Current student or candidate with previous college level course work in biology, marine science, education (informal science education) or related field. Candidate should have a strong career interest in SCUBA diving technology, SCUBA diving industry management, fish-invertebrate husbandry, marine science, public aquarium management, etc. Field and laboratory research experience a plus. SCUBA certification open water level with at least ten open water dives (non-certification dives) logged required. Ownership of SCUBA mask required.

Duration of Internship: A minimum 10 weeks; a minimum of 5 days a week for 5 hours/day including holidays – possible weekends.

A complete Aquarist Assistant Intern application must include the following required components:

  • Cover Letter
  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center internship application form
  • (2) Letters of Recommendation (one must be from an academic instructor)
  • Statement of Intent: (1) page describing how the intern applicant intends to use the internship experience to assist in career or academic goals.
  • Resume
  • Official Transcripts
  • Other materials and documentation/certification including (1) copy of dive certification card and copies of all dive logs (Dive Intern Applicants ONLY).

Duties: Conduct public presentations on marine related topics; supervise and teach volunteers; assist program staff with group check-in, visitor services, and other related activities.  Develop, implement and conduct a variety of education programs and visitor enhancement events for the general public using Curiosity Carts.Curiosity Carts are "roving" educational programming opportunities for Aquarium guests where interns can create new topics of discussion. Educators bring these informational carts to guests in all areas of the Aquarium. Develop educational materials on multiple program topics and acquires props and artifacts to enhance these programs.

Qualifications: Applicants must be junior or senior college students and majoring in biology or education with biology or environmental sciences concentration. Public speaking or customer service experience is a plus. Candidate must be self-motivated, outgoing and enthusiastic.

Duties: Assist the Aquarium's efforts to inform staff, volunteers and the public about activities and actions that can positively affect the environment. While working closely with the Green Team and Education Department staff, the intern investigates methods that can be implemented to make Aquarium practices more sustainable and eco-friendly and make recommendations to promote best practices.

Qualifications: Interest in marine science and/or education with the ability to work with limited supervision. Public speaking or customer service experience is a plus. Candidate must be self-motivated, outgoing, enthusiastic. Applicants must have junior or senior status.

Duties: Assist with daily responsibilities for maintaining horticulture exhibits, including but not limited to raking, weeding, watering, and pruning. Assist with landscaping using native plants and 'natural' design. Help with identification of plant pests and diseases. Prepare proposal for plant selection, placement, and cost. Other horticultural duties may be assigned as needed.

Qualifications: Applicants must be available for a minimum of 20 hours a week for 10 weeks. Applicants must be self-motivated, reliable, and possess good people skills. Applicants must also be able to tolerate physical exertion and environmental conditions associated with outdoor activities, such as heat, humidity, rain, etc. Applicants should be in excellent physical health and be able to manage a backpack leaf-blower, string trimmer, and other typical landscape equipment.  Some horticulture experience preferred. Two academic references are required as well as documentation of health insurance.

Duties: Gain an exciting array of new skills and experiences in outdoor education and field biology. Assist path staff in a team environment to develop and present informal outdoor education programs and activities along the Owls Creek Path. Supervise, schedule, and mentor young volunteers.  Provide guests and volunteers with unique outdoor experiences that cultivate an appreciation for the natural world. 

Qualifications: College student studying biology, education, or other related field. Must have the ability to maintain a high energy level in hot, humid, wet, and muddy conditions; have good communication skills and comfortable with public speaking; must enjoy working with children. Candidate should also be a team player with the ability to lift up to 50 pounds.  CPR/First Aid preferred but not required. 

Duties: Work with education specialists to complete administrative tasks and special projects related to school programming.  Assist staff with live animal presentations and hands-on programming both at the Aquarium and offsite at schools, libraries, camps and festivals.

Qualifications: Interest in marine biology or education; ability to lift up to 50 lbs; ability to work with limited supervision; comfortable interacting with children and adults; public speaking and customer service experience preferred.

Requirements: Minimum of 150 hours on a schedule to be determined with supervisor. Intern reports to Education Programs Specialist. Fall applicants intern September through December, spring applicants intern January through April, and Summer applicants intern May through August.

Duties: Research and develop program content that will be used in our new distance learning initiative. Film and develop educational video clips of Aquarium programs and research and work with education specialists to develop activities that tie in with developed video clips. Correlate developed curriculum to national science standards. Research ways to market and implement distance learning packages.

Qualifications: Working towards bachelor's or master's degree in film, marketing, education or science. Experience editing film and ability to work with limited supervision required.

Requirements: Minimum of 150 hours with a schedule to be determined with supervisor. Intern reports to the Education Outreach Specialist. Fall applicants intern September through December, spring applicants intern January through April, and summer applicants intern May through August.

Duties: Writing and creative skills are an essential element of the position. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, composing news releases, newsletter copy, web content and promotional materials. Technical skills such as layout design and photojournalism are highly desirable. Additionally, responsible for administrative details such as helping to maintain media lists, photo archives, media tracking values, and other miscellaneous duties. Some marketing duties may also be assigned.

Qualifications: College rising senior or senior communications major with emphasis in public relations or marketing. Candidate must commit to a minimum of 20 hours a week.

Duties: Assist Education staff with all aspects of the Aquarium's summer Sea Camps. Aid staff with daily instruction of weekly camps and supervise other volunteer camp aides, but work closely with camp coordinators in an administrative role as well.

Qualifications: Interest in marine science, biology and/or education. Ability to work with limited supervision and to work actively outdoors required. Experience working with children is a plus.

Duties: Assist with dead and live stranding response of marine mammals and sea turtles, including, but not limited to, necropsies, data and sample collection, animal disposal, cleaning, office organization, data entry and management, live animal husbandry, working with volunteer team members and staff, and other activities as assigned. Full list of duties included below.

  • Assist in stranding response for dead marine mammals and sea turtles in the field and at the Stranding Center.  Work may be done under extremely adverse weather conditions.
  • Assist in the collection of Level A data for the National Marine Fisheries Service.
  • Participate in post mortem data collection and necropsies.
  • Assist in care for animals during rehabilitation including, but not limited to, food prep, feeding, cleaning (mopping floor, washing dirty laundry, vacuuming tanks, washing dishes, etc.), tank repairs, and other husbandry duties. Assist in coordinating the release of rehabilitated and disentangled animals.
  • Assist with public outreach and education events.
  • Assist with volunteer and cooperator trainings.
  • Assist staff with daily administrative tasks including answering phones, taking messages, preparing volunteers for response, and data entry.
  • Develop and complete an independent, staff approved project and 15 minute presentation for the Stranding Staff and Volunteers
  • Other duties as assigned by Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Staff.

Qualifications: Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have two references (at least one must be academic), be able to and comfortable with driving full-sized pick-up trucks; be in good physical condition and able to lift over 40 pounds; work in adverse conditions. Applicants must commit to ten weeks and work well both independently and as part of a team. Applicants should be self-motivated, articulate, mature, reliable, responsible and able to take, as well as give, direction. Internships are open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Preference is given to students who have completed their sophomore year and are working towards credit for a degree in science. A background in biology and familiarity with stranding response is preferred but not required.

Interns are expected to work 24 hours a week (three eight-hour days) for 10 consecutive weeks without exception. Housing and transportation cannot be provided. Most of the animals the stranding center works with are dead (approximately 95%) and most are decomposing. The center may get 10-12 strandings per day in the peak summer season. This is a position that requires a strong nose, stomach and mental state. IT IS NOT FOR EVERYONE! Please consider this before applying.

Duties: Assist in the performance of water quality analyses and related work as required.

Qualifications: Applicants must be available for a minimum of 20 hours a week for 10 weeks. Current students or candidates with previous college-level course work in chemistry, biology or related field with required lab work. Field/laboratory experiences and knowledge of safe laboratory operating practices a plus. Experience with behavioral condition and animal enrichment techniques are helpful.