Internships

An opportunity and experience you’ll never forget.

The internship program at Riverbanks is an opportunity for college students to acquire experience and knowledge by working along side our professional staff. Although it is a non-paid internship, the experience will no doubt benefit any future endeavors in the zoological field or related area of interest. Internships are available to college students in animal care, public relations, summer camp (education major only), education programs (education major only), ZooTeen program, horticulture and other areas of request.

Take the first step to begin paving your career path today.

Upon receiving the completed application, selected students will be contacted to schedule an interview. Efforts are made to place students in their area of interest.

For more information, please call the Staffing and Training Manager at 803.602.0829 or email Tracy Hughes.

Current Internship Positions (last updated on February 10, 2017)

Mammal Summer Internship (Please apply by February 19, 2016 — Unpaid Internship — no housing available)

Posted: 1/5/17

The Mammal Department at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is proud to offer an internship experience for qualified students. The purpose of an internship in our Mammal Department is to gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of Riverbank's mission and how it is achieved through various functions and operations throughout the zoo and garden.

The categories of study during the internship include:

  • Assist with daily maintenance of animal enclosures and exhibits.
  • Learn about animal nutrition and prepare diets.
  • Learn about animal behaviors in both captive and natural environments.
  • Observe operant conditioning techniques of captive animals.
  • Design and implement environmental enrichment techniques.
  • Assist animal keepers and veterinarians during medical procedures.
  • Attend department meetings.

While interning with the Mammal Department you will observe and participate in the overall operation of the zoological facility. You will gain exposure to other departments that support the individual function and goals of the Mammal Department. During your internship at Riverbanks you will be exposed to a variety of management styles and approaches.

This is an unpaid internship open to undergraduates seeking degrees in biology or related fields. Interns must complete at least 160 hours over a minimum of 10 weeks. Applicant must be able to work any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.

Apply today! Submit an online internship application.

Aquarium Summer Internship (Please apply by February 26, 2017 — Unpaid Internship — no housing available)

Posted: 1/18/17

The aquarium at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is proud to offer internship experience for qualified students. The purpose of an internship in our aquarium is to gain an in-depth knowledge of working in a public aquarium. At the completion of the internship, you will have a great appreciation for the various facets that make up fish and invertebrate husbandry in a public aquarium environment.

Our Aquarium-Reptile Complex, commonly referred to as the ARC, is comprised of five distinct ecosystems showcasing over 125 species of aquatic vertebrates and 200 species of aquatic invertebrates in over 80,000 gallons of water. Interns, alongside our staff, will provide the highest standards of care for our living collections, conserving biodiversity through careful utilization of all available resources.

The categories of study during the internship are water chemistry, fish and invertebrate identification, life support systems, veterinary practices, fish disease, and fish and invertebrate husbandry. Skill development and learning opportunities in these categories will include the following:

  • Assisting with daily maintenance of animal enclosures and exhibits.
  • Learning about animal nutrition and prepare diets.
  • Learning about animal behaviors in both captive and natural environments.
  • Observing operant conditioning techniques of captive animals.
  • Designing and implementing environmental enrichment techniques.
  • Observing medical procedures alongside Aquarists and Veterinarians.

Each intern will have the opportunity to work with different members of our Aquarium staff learning specific skills and knowledge from the above categories.

This is an unpaid internship open to undergraduates seeking degrees in biology or related fields. Interns must complete at least 160 hours over a minimum of 10 weeks. Applicant must be able to work any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.

Apply today! Submit an online internship application.

Bird Department Summer Avian Internship (Please apply by March 01, 2017 — Unpaid Internship — no housing available)

Posted: 2/10/17
Riverbanks Zoo and Garden offers a diverse aviculture experience. The Bird Department collection is comprised of about 300 individuals representing approximately 70 species. Birds are housed in an indoor tropical birdhouse, a sub-Antarctic exhibit, outdoor aviaries, and off-exhibit enclosures. The collection is managed for exhibit, formal and informal education experiences, and propagation.

Under the supervision of the Bird Department, interns will learn the fundamentals of bird keeping. Alongside keepers, interns will be responsible for the proper care of an avian collection. This includes diet, cleaning, disinfecting, maintaining exhibits and public areas, and observing animals for illness, injury, or abnormal behavior. Interns will learn proper methods of avian capture and safe restraint. Interns will be exposed to the basics of artificial incubation and hand-rearing and become familiar with AZA SSP® policies and practice. Interns will assist in maintaining detailed behavioral, reproductive, and medical records and reports. Interns will interact with guests and help answer their questions.  

This position requires work in all weather conditions including heat, humidity, rain, and cold. Candidates must be able to be on their feet for long periods of time. This position involves considerable physical activity such as repetitive bending, pushing, pulling, and carrying heavy loads.

This is a full time unpaid internship open to undergraduates or recent graduates seeking degrees in biology or related fields. The term of appointment is 12 weeks of uninterrupted work from May to August. Interns are required to work 40 hours per week in 5 consecutive days. This includes weekends and holidays. Vacation time is not a benefit of this internship.

Apply today! Submit an online internship application.

Internship Requirements Review and consider if interested in an internship.

  • Major must be related to internship area.
  • Must be a hard worker, enthusiastic, and willing to learn.
  • Animal Care Interns must be at least 18 years old.
  • There are two levels of time commitment for college internships, but we are willing to accept students for non-credit. Level 1 college credit assigned project for 40 hours per week (minimal of 3 months.) Level 2 college credit assigned project for 20–40 hours per week (minimal of 2 months.) Non-college project for 20–40 hours per week (minimal of 2 months.)
  • A current tuberculin skin test prior to interning.
  • Must follow Riverbanks Appearance Policy. Riverbanks supplies interns with T-shirts and a nametag. Interns have the option of purchasing additional uniform items at their own expense. Interns are responsible for purchasing khaki pants/shorts and closed-toe shoes.
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