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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.

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 Recruiting and Staffing Specialist at 803.602.0964 or email Haley Albright.

Current Internship Positions (last updated on January 16, 2020)

Reptile Department - Summer Internship (Please apply by March 1, 2020 - Unpaid Internship – no housing available.)

Posted: 1/15/2020

Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

 

Responsibilities: Alongside keepers, and according to departmental guidelines, interns will assist with the proper care of the reptile collection, which may include raking yards, cleaning glass, and proper husbandry for feeder insects.  

This position involves considerable physical activity, bending, pushing, pulling, climbing ladders, and regular lifting. Interacts with Riverbanks guests and cooperates within a team setting. Reports to the Senior Reptile Keeper.

 

Requirements: Must be at least 18 years of age with a HS diploma or equivalent. Must be able to bend, stoop or stand for long periods of time. Must be able to work outdoors in all weather conditions. Commit to a minimum of 1 semester for 4 hours a week. Proof of a current Tuberculin skin test.

 

Mammal Department - Hoofstock/Sea Lion - Summer Internship (Please apply by March 15, 2020 — Unpaid Internship — no housing available.)

Posted: 1/15/2020

Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

 

Responsibilities: 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- prepare, and distribute diets.

•    Learn about AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums), Studbooks, SSPs (Species Survival Programs), TAGs (Taxon Advisory Groups), and other aspects of zoo management.

•    Design and implement environmental enrichment techniques.

•    Assist animal keepers and veterinarians during medical procedures.

•    Attend department meetings.

•    Interns will have many opportunities to learn from the keepers as they conduct training sessions with the animals in the hoofstock area.  

 

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.

 

Requirements: Full time and part time unpaid internships are open to undergraduates seeking degrees in biology or related fields. Applicants must be able to work any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.

Mammal Department - Hoofstock/Sea Lion - Spring Internship (Please apply by February 15, 2020 — Unpaid Internship — no housing available.)

Posted: 1/15/2020

Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

 

Responsibilities: 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- prepare, and distribute diets.

•    Learn about AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums), Studbooks, SSPs (Species Survival Programs), TAGs (Taxon Advisory Groups), and other aspects of zoo management.

•    Design and implement environmental enrichment techniques.

•    Assist animal keepers and veterinarians during medical procedures.

•    Attend department meetings.

•    Interns will have many opportunities to learn from the keepers as they conduct training sessions with the animals in the hoofstock area.  

 

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.

 

Requirements: Full time and part time unpaid internships are open to undergraduates seeking degrees in biology or related fields. Applicants must be able to work any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.

Mammal Department - Gorilla/Small Mammals – Summer Internship (Please apply by March 15, 2020 — Unpaid Internship — no housing available.)

Posted: 1/15/2020

Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

 

Responsibilities: 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.

 

Gorilla/Small Mammals Internship includes the following three areas:

• Ndoki Forest: Western Lowland Gorilla and Slender-tailed Meerkat

• Kangaroo Walkabout: Red Kangaroo, Red-necked Wallaby and Tammar Wallaby.

• Riverbanks Conservation Outpost: Ring-tailed Lemur, Red-ruffed Lemur, Golden-lion Tamarin, Saki Monkey, Squirrel Monkey, Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo, Hoffmann’s Two-toed Sloth, Black-footed Cat and Fishing Cat.

 

The categories of study during the internship include:

• Assist with daily maintenance of animal enclosures and exhibits.

• Assist with daily maintenance of keeper areas. This includes cleaning dishes, daily laundry, etc.

• Learn about animal nutrition and prepare diets.

• Learn about animal behaviors in both captive and natural environments.

• Operant Conditioning:

o Observe operant conditioning techniques of captive animals.

o Learn how keepers weigh animals monthly. Interns will be allowed to assist keepers in weighing certain species.  

• Enrichment:

o Design and implement environmental enrichment techniques.

o Assist keepers in observing animals with new enrichment items and completing evaluation forms.  

• Observe 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.

 

Requirements: Full time and part time unpaid internships are open to undergraduates seeking degrees in biology or related fields. Applicants must be able to work any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.

Mammal Department - Gorilla/Small Mammal - Spring Internship (Please apply by February 15, 2020 — Unpaid Internship — no housing available.)

Posted: 1/15/2020

Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

 

Responsibilities: 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.

 

Gorilla/Small Mammals Internship includes the following three areas:

• Ndoki Forest: Western Lowland Gorilla and Slender-tailed Meerkat

• Kangaroo Walkabout: Red Kangaroo, Red-necked Wallaby and Tammar Wallaby.

• Riverbanks Conservation Outpost: Ring-tailed Lemur, Red-ruffed Lemur, Golden-lion Tamarin, Saki Monkey, Squirrel Monkey, Matschie’s Tree Kangaroo, Hoffmann’s Two-toed Sloth, Black-footed Cat and Fishing Cat.

 

The categories of study during the internship include:

• Assist with daily maintenance of animal enclosures and exhibits.

• Assist with daily maintenance of keeper areas. This includes cleaning dishes, daily laundry, etc.

• Learn about animal nutrition and prepare diets.

• Learn about animal behaviors in both captive and natural environments.

• Operant Conditioning:

o Observe operant conditioning techniques of captive animals.

o Learn how keepers weigh animals monthly. Interns will be allowed to assist keepers in weighing certain species.  

• Enrichment:

o Design and implement environmental enrichment techniques.

o Assist keepers in observing animals with new enrichment items and completing evaluation forms.  

• Observe 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.

 

Requirements: Full time and part time unpaid internships are open to undergraduates seeking degrees in biology or related fields. Applicants must be able to work any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.

Mammal Department - Farm/Zebra - Summer Internship (Please apply by March 15, 2020 — Unpaid Internship — no housing available.)

Posted: 1/15/2020

Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

 

Responsibilities: The Mammal Department at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is proud to offer an internship experience for qualified students and post graduates. 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.

 

Internship includes the following areas:

• Farm (goats, alpacas, rabbits, pigs, chickens, etc.)

• Zebra and Ostrich

 

The categories of study during the internship include:

• Assist with daily maintenance of animal enclosures and exhibits.

• Assist with daily maintenance of keeper areas. This includes cleaning dishes, daily laundry, etc.

• Learn about animal nutrition and prepare diets.

• Learn about animal behaviors in both captive and natural environments.

• Observe operant conditioning techniques of captive animals.

• Enrichment:

o Design and implement environmental enrichment techniques.

o Assist keepers in observing animals with new enrichment items and completing evaluation forms.  

• Observe 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.

 

Requirements: Full time and part time unpaid internships are open to undergraduates seeking degrees in biology or related fields. Applicants must be able to work any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.

Mammal Department - Farm/Zebra - Spring Internship (Please apply by February 15, 2020 — Unpaid Internship — no housing available.)

Posted: 1/15/2020

Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

 

Responsibilities: The Mammal Department at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is proud to offer an internship experience for qualified students and post graduates. 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.

 

Internship includes the following areas:

• Farm (goats, alpacas, rabbits, pigs, chickens, etc.)

• Zebra and Ostrich

 

The categories of study during the internship include:

• Assist with daily maintenance of animal enclosures and exhibits.

• Assist with daily maintenance of keeper areas. This includes cleaning dishes, daily laundry, etc.

• Learn about animal nutrition and prepare diets.

• Learn about animal behaviors in both captive and natural environments.

• Observe operant conditioning techniques of captive animals.

• Enrichment:

o Design and implement environmental enrichment techniques.

o Assist keepers in observing animals with new enrichment items and completing evaluation forms.  

• Observe 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.

 

Requirements: Full time and part time unpaid internships are open to undergraduates seeking degrees in biology or related fields. Applicants must be able to work any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.

Mammal Department - Cat/Bear - Summer Internship (Please apply by March 15, 2020 — Unpaid Internship — no housing available.)

Posted: 1/15/2020

Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

 

Responsibilities: 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, including large and small carnivores, primates, and marsupials.

•    Learn about animal nutrition- prepare, and distribute diets.

•    Learn and give informal presentations about animal behaviors in both captive and natural environments.

•    Learn about AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums), Studbooks, SSPs (Species Survival Programs), TAGs (Taxon Advisory Groups), and other aspects of zoo management.

•    Participate in an informal class about, observe, and take part in operant conditioning program of cat/bear area 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.

 

Requirements: Full time and part time unpaid internships are open to undergraduates seeking degrees in biology or related fields. Applicants must be able to work any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.

Mammal Department - Cat/Bear - Spring Internship (Please apply by February 15, 2020 — Unpaid Internship — no housing available.)

Posted: 1/15/2020

Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

 

Responsibilities: 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, including large and small carnivores, primates, and marsupials.

•    Learn about animal nutrition- prepare, and distribute diets.

•    Learn and give informal presentations about animal behaviors in both captive and natural environments.

•    Learn about AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums), Studbooks, SSPs (Species Survival Programs), TAGs (Taxon Advisory Groups), and other aspects of zoo management.

•    Participate in an informal class about, observe, and take part in operant conditioning program of cat/bear area 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.

 

Requirements: Full time and part time unpaid internships are open to undergraduates seeking degrees in biology or related fields. Applicants must be able to work any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.

Mammal Department - Animal Ambassador - Summer Internship (Please apply by March 15, 2020 — Unpaid Internship — no housing available.)

Posted: 1/15/2020

Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

 

Responsibilities: 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.

 

Internship includes working with a variety of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.

• Mammals (Virginia opossums, rabbits, hedgehogs, tenrec, etc.)

• Reptiles (snakes, skinks, turtles, tortoises, lizards, etc.)

• Amphibians (frogs, toads, salamanders, etc.)

• Invertebrates (tarantulas, millipedes, etc.)

 

The categories of study during the internship include:

• Assist with daily maintenance of animal enclosures.

• Learn about animal nutrition- prepare and distribute diets.

• Learn about AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums), Studbooks, SSPs (Species Survival Programs), TAGs (Taxon Advisory Groups), and other aspects of zoo management.

• Design and implement environmental enrichment techniques.

• Assist animal keepers and veterinarians during medical procedures.

• Attend department meetings.

• Learn appropriate handling and transport of collection, ensuring that all animals receive top quality animal care.

• Observe operant conditioning techniques for all animals.  

• Interact directly with guests during informal and formal programs, providing engaging and accurate educational information.

 

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.

 

Requirements: Full time and part time unpaid internships are open to undergraduates seeking degrees in biology or related fields. Applicants must be able to work any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.

Mammal Department - Animal Ambassador - Spring Internship (Please apply by February 15, 2020 — Unpaid Internship — no housing available.)

Posted: 1/15/2020

Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

 

Responsibilities: 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.

 

Internship includes working with a variety of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.

• Mammals (Virginia opossums, rabbits, hedgehogs, tenrec, etc.)

• Reptiles (snakes, skinks, turtles, tortoises, lizards, etc.)

• Amphibians (frogs, toads, salamanders, etc.)

• Invertebrates (tarantulas, millipedes, etc.)

 

The categories of study during the internship include:

• Assist with daily maintenance of animal enclosures.

• Learn about animal nutrition- prepare and distribute diets.

• Learn about AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums), Studbooks, SSPs (Species Survival Programs), TAGs (Taxon Advisory Groups), and other aspects of zoo management.

• Design and implement environmental enrichment techniques.

• Assist animal keepers and veterinarians during medical procedures.

• Attend department meetings.

• Learn appropriate handling and transport of collection, ensuring that all animals receive top quality animal care.

• Observe operant conditioning techniques for all animals.  

• Interact directly with guests during informal and formal programs, providing engaging and accurate educational information.

 

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.

 

Requirements: Full time and part time unpaid internships are open to undergraduates seeking degrees in biology or related fields. Applicants must be able to work any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.

Bird Department - Summer Internship (Please apply by March 1, 2020 — Unpaid Internship — no housing available.)

Posted: 1/15/2020

Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

Responsibilities: The Riverbanks Zoo and Garden offers a diverse avicultural experience. The Bird Department collection is comprised of about 300 individuals representing approximately 55 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, education experiences, and propagation.

Under the supervision of the Bird Department Keepers, interns will learn the fundamentals of bird keeping. Alongside keepers, interns will be responsible for the proper care of an avian collection and will be expected to perform the following duties:
 

  • Distribute and prepare diets  
  • Clean, scrub, and disinfect exhibits and enclosures
  • Maintain exhibits and public areas
  • Construct, distribute, observe, and record enrichment interactions
  • Become familiar with the indicators of observing animals for illness, injury, or abnormal behavior
  • Observe and participate (if applicable) in the proper methods of avian capture and safe restraint
  • Learn the basics of artificial incubation and hand-rearing  
  • Become familiar with AZA and SSP® policies and practice
  • Assist in record keeping  
  • Provide positive interaction with guests around the park  
  • Participate in behind the scenes tours
  • Complete various projects as assigned

Requirements: 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 lifting/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.

Events Department - Spring Internship (Unpaid Internship – No housing available.)

Posted: 12/11/2019

Ambassador Commitment: Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation.

Responsibilities: The Events Department at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is proud to offer an internship experience for qualified students. The purpose of an internship in our Events Department is to gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of Riverbanks’ mission and how it is represented through various functions and operations throughout Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. During your internship, you’ll gain exposure to several of our annual events such as Riverbanks Run, Wine Tasting at Riverbanks Botanical Garden, Twilight in the Garden, Members’ Night Out, and more.

Under the direction of the Events Manager and Events Supervisor, you will be responsible for supporting the Events Department and all logistical details associated with events throughout the semester. This includes the planning, promotion, setup, execution, and breakdown of events. You will also shadow the marketing department staff, offer input into projects, participate in meetings, and may be asked to assist other departments.
 

  • Assist with the logistics of planning and coordinating events through promotions, on-site execution, and implementation of setup and breakdown
  • Deliver excellent service to guests, staff, sponsors, vendors, and volunteers
  • Assist with the creation and maintenance of yearlong planning records, reports, invoices, and other documents
  • Assist with procurement and organization of inventory
  • Help brainstorm new ideas for events, increase revenue streams at existing events, and enhance guest experiences while at events
  • Conduct a current industry and competitive landscape analysis of events occurring in the Columbia area to ensure that Riverbanks Zoo is reaching all possible audiences and providing fresh and trendy event experiences

Learning Objectives:

  • General communication skills
  • Logistical support of fundraiser-style events
  • Knowledge of conflict resolution
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, mission-driven organization
  • Understanding of large-capacity and multi-day events
  • Understanding of special events and the hospitality industry

Requirements: This is a full-time, unpaid internship open to undergraduates seeking degrees in Hospitality Management, Tourism Management, or related fields. Interns are required to work a minimum of 400 hours during the semester. Applicants must be able to work events that may occur outside of regular work hours, including evenings, weekends, or early mornings according to the events calendar. The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate strong planning, organization, and teamwork skills. Must possess or be eligible for a SC driver’s license.

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.