Summer Stranding Response Intern




Organization: Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center (AZA Member)
Location: Virginia Beach, VA, United States
Job or Internship: Internship

Stranding Response Intern

Duties: Assist with dead and live stranding response of marine mammals and sea turtles, including, but not limited to: necropsies, data and sample collection, animal disposal, cleaning, office organization, data entry and management, live animal husbandry, working with volunteer team members and staff and other activities.

 Assist in stranding response for dead marine mammals and sea turtles in the field and at the Stranding Center. Work may be done under extremely adverse weather conditions.

 Assist in the collection of Level A data for the National Marine Fisheries Service.

 Participate in post mortem data collection and necropsies.

 Assist in care for animals during rehabilitation including but not limited to food prep, feeding, cleaning (mopping floor, washing dirty laundry, vacuuming tanks, washing dishes, etc.), tank repairs, and other husbandry duties. Assist in coordinating the release of rehabilitated and disentangled animals.

 Assist with public outreach and education events.

 Assist with volunteer and cooperator trainings.

 Assist staff with daily administrative tasks including answering phones, taking messages, preparing volunteers for response, data entry.

 Develop and complete an independent, staff approved project and 15 minute presentation for the Stranding Staff and Volunteers

 Other duties as assigned by Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Staff.

Qualifications: Applicants must be at least 18 years old, able and comfortable driving full-sized pick-up trucks, in good physical condition, able to lift over 40 pounds, work in adverse conditions; commit to ten weeks and work well independently and as part of a team. Candidates should also be self-motivated, articulate, mature, reliable, responsible and able to take, as well as give, direction. Internships are open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Preference is given to students who have completed their sophomore year and are working towards credit for a degree in science. A background in biology and familiarity with stranding response is preferred but not required.

Note: Stranding interns are must work 24 hours a week (three 8-hour days) for 10 consecutive weeks. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE! Housing and transportation cannot be provided. Most of the animals the stranding center works with are dead (approximately 95%) and most are decomposing. The center may get 10-12 strandings per day in the peak summer season. This is a position that requires a strong nose, stomach and mental state. IT IS NOT FOR EVERYONE! Please consider this before applying.

To apply, forward your application to Shawn Reid Volunteer Resources Office Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center 717 General Booth Boulevard Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451. Include a cover letter detailing your expectations and how you plan to use your experience to assist your career and/or academic goals; a resume and an official copy of your college/university transcript and two letters of recommendation. One letter of recommendation must be academic. Perspective candidates will be contacted by phone or email to schedule an interview with the coordinating staff member.