Ocean Internship: Maria Mitchell Association Aquarium Internship

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is offering four internships at its Aquarium during the 2024 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 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.

Nantucket Island is a resort community that swells to over 60,000 people in the summer. There are 50 miles of beaches and over half the land area is conservation land. The mission of the MMA is to inspire people to experience Nantucket’s land, sea and sky. Programs and facilities focus on environmental education, ecological research, astronomy, and historic preservation. The Aquarium is the most visited of all MMA’s facilities.

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 independent "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 (2) 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 and one booster in 2024. It is highly recommended that all community members stay up to date with their vaccinations and receive further boosters when and if eligible.

Compensation and Duration

  • This is a paid internship.
  • The MMA has dormitory-style housing available for interns to rent. Housing is located within walking distance to the town center and is a short bike ride to beautiful beaches, hiking trials, museums, and other great locations. If you live on campus, you will be expected to attend and participate all dorm cleaning days as part of your housing agreement. Please note that the dorm rooms are shared. Interns are not required to live in MMA provided housing, however, as Nantucket’s housing availability is notoriously limited and often expensive, we require our interns to provide proof of alternative housing before their internship begins.
  • This internship runs approximately from May 29, 2024 to September 2, 2024, with the possibility of extended employment through October 31.

Closing Date: February 1, 2024

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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