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 questions or more information, please contact the Director of Human Resources, Tracy Hughes.

Current Internship Positions (last updated on February 2, 2023)

Reptile Department Summer Internship

Posted: 2/2/2023
Salary: $8.50/hr

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 Herpetology Keeper.

Requirements: At least 18 years of age with a HS diploma or equivalent.  Ability to bend, stoop or stand for long periods of time. Ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions. Commit to a minimum of 1 semester for 40 hours per week. Preferred daily availability from 8am- 1pm at a minimum. Proof of a current Tuberculin skin test.  The preferred candidate will demonstrate an interest in pursuing herpetology as a career. 

 

Aquarium Department Summer Internship

Posted: 2/2/2023
Salary: $8.50/hr

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

Responsibilities: The Aquarium Department 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 greater understanding of maintaining a living collection of fishes and aquatic invertebrates, as well as hands-on skills related to this profession.

Our Aquarium Reptile Conservation, commonly referred to as the ARCC, 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 preparing 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.  

Interns who wish to include diving activities as part of their experience must provide proof of holding the following certifications upon acceptance of an internship offer: Open Water SCUBA (or higher), First Aid, CPR, AED, and Dan Emergency Oxygen Administration.  These certifications must be valid or updated to be continuous throughout the entirety of the internship. Dive team members must also complete a dive physical and required on-site check out dives. Becoming a member of the dive team is not guaranteed, it is based on the needs of the dive team as a whole and availability to staff divers. If you wish to include diving as part of your internship, please indicate this on your application and we can send you additional information.

Education and Experience: This is an internship open to undergraduates seeking degrees in biology or related fields.  Interns must complete at least 180 hours over a minimum of 10 weeks and complete a minimum set of learning objective skills as determined by the staff supervisors.  Working hours are typically 8:30am-5pm for full days and 8:30-12:30 and 1-5pm for half-day blocks. Applicant must be able to work any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.  

 

Mammal Department Hoofstock/Sea Lion Summer Internship

Posted: 1/26/2023
Salary: $8.50/hr

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 or recent 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. 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.

The categories of study during the internship include:

  • Assist with daily maintenance of animal habitats for the giraffe, white rhino, babirusa, and sea lion/seal.
  • 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.
  • Observe and assist with the operant conditioning program with select animals in the area under the guidance of the animal care staff.
  • Design and implement environmental enrichment.
  • Assist animal keepers and veterinarians during medical procedures.
  • Attend department meetings.

Education and Experience: Internships are open to qualified graduates and undergraduates seeking degrees in biology or related fields. Applicants must be able to work any day of the week, including weekends and holidays. 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 3 months for 40 hours a week. Must provide proof of a current Tuberculin skin test. Proper PPE (face masks) must be utilized in sensitive animal areas.

Mammal Department Gorilla/Small Mammal Summer Internship

Posted: 1/26/2023
Salary: $8.50/hr

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 or recent 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. 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.

The categories of study during the internship include:

  • Assist with daily maintenance of animal enclosures and exhibits including small primates, lemurs, sloths, kangaroos, wallaby, small cat species, meerkat, and gorillas.
  • 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.
  • Observe and assist with the operant conditioning program with select animals in the area under the guidance of the animal care staff.
  • Design and implement environmental enrichment.
  • Assist animal keepers and veterinarians during medical procedures.
  • Attend department meetings.

Education and Experience: Internships are open to qualified graduates and undergraduates seeking degrees in biology or related fields. Applicants must be able to work any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.  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 3 months for 40 hours a week. Must provide proof of a current Tuberculin skin test.  Proper PPE (face masks) must be utilized in sensitive animal areas.

Mammal Department Farm/Ambassador Summer Internship

Posted: 1/26/2023
Salary: $8.50/hr

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 or recent 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. 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.

The categories of study during the internship include:

  • Assist with daily maintenance of animal enclosures and exhibits including goats, ducks, turkey, chickens, and alpaca.  As well as the ambassador animals covering a wide range with lorikeets, doves, turtles, tortoises, snakes, geckos, chinchilla, tenrec, skink, and three banded armadillos.
  • 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.
  • Observe and assist with the operant conditioning program with select animals in the area under the guidance of the animal care staff.
  • Design and implement environmental enrichment.
  • Assist animal keepers and veterinarians during medical procedures.
  • Attend department meetings.

Education and Experience: Internships are open to qualified graduates and undergraduates seeking degrees in biology or related fields. Applicants must be able to work any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.  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 3 months for 40 hours a week. Must provide proof of a current Tuberculin skin test.  Proper PPE (face masks) must be utilized in sensitive animal areas.

Mammal Department Cat/Bear Summer Internship

Posted: 1/26/2023
Salary: $8.50/hr

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 or recent 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. 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.

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.
  • Observe and assist with the operant conditioning program with select animals in the area under the guidance of the animal care staff.
  • Design and implement environmental enrichment.
  • Assist animal keepers and veterinarians during medical procedures.
  • Attend department meetings.

Education and Experience: Internships are open to qualified graduates and undergraduates seeking degrees in biology or related fields. Applicants must be able to work any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.  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 3 months for 40 hours a week. Must provide proof of a current Tuberculin skin test.  Proper PPE (face masks) must be utilized in sensitive animal areas.

Bird Department Summer Internship (Temporary 12 Week-40 Hour Internship)

Posted: 1/19/2023
Salary: $8.50/hr

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

Responsibilities: 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 the avian collection and will be expected to perform the following:

Essential 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 and academic curriculum as assigned

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden Internships offers a diverse avicultural experience. The Bird Department collection is comprised of about 300 individuals representing approximately 60 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.

Education and Experience: The ideal candidate will be an undergraduate or recent graduate seeking a degree in Biology or related field. This is a full-time internship with an appointment of 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.

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 up to 50lbs.

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.