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Volunteer: College Internships

Aquarist Internship

The Aquarium of the Pacific has Aquarist Internship opportunities for the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms. These interns will be trained to provide daily husbandry for a diverse collection of marine fishes and invertebrates. Through one-on-one training and hands-on exercises, our interns will become competent in the care and maintenance of each of our exhibits within their assigned gallery.

These are not paid positions.

Our animal collection is divided into 3 distinct geographical zones. We have a Tropical Pacific Gallery, Southern California Gallery and a North Pacific Gallery. In addition to this exhibitry, the Aquarium of the Pacific also has a changing exhibits gallery coupled with a major elasmobranch exhibit called Shark Lagoon. We have one internship position for each of these areas, two in our tropical area, and one for jelly culture for a total of six available positions.


  • Minimum time commitment of 16 hours per week over a 15 week period. (Or a minimum of 240 hours)
  • Must complete our general orientation session, Aquarium 101.
  • Must attend continuing education sessions when applicable.
  • Interest in pursuing a career in marine science fields.
  • Must be currently enrolled or recently graduated from a higher education facility.


  • Primary responsibilities for our interns will include, but are not limited to:
    • daily food preparation and feeding
    • exhibit and behind-the-scenes cleaning
    • record keeping
    • animal observation
    • guest interpretation
  • Our interns will also be able to participate in a number of “special projects” including
    • veterinary procedures
    • annual animal physicals
    • quarantine procedures
    • animal capture and transfer techniques

Qualifications, Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:

  • Broad knowledge of ecological and biological principles, especially those relating to marine habitats.
  • Must be able to lift and carry 50 lbs on stairs, ladders and catwalks.
  • Some background knowledge of marine aquarium keeping.
  • Desire to work in close proximity to marine fish and invertebrates.
  • Willingness to get wet and dirty.
  • Strong communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively to staff and visitors alike.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks.
  • Desire to fulfill our institutional mission of instilling a sense of wonder respect and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants and ecosystems.
  • SCUBA certification highly encouraged.


All qualified applicants will be contacted by email to schedule a phone interview with our Aquarist Internship Coordinator. Candidates will be competitively selected on the basis of knowledge, abilities, experience, attitude, reliability, and punctuality.