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Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

Aquarium Internship

Aquarium - Fall Internship

(Please apply by June 25 - Unpaid Internship – no housing available)

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

Responsibilities:  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 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 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 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.

Experience Required

Education and Experience: This is an unpaid 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.

Further Comments

(Please apply by June 25 - Unpaid Internship – no housing available)


Zoo Membership, Internship Hours


unpaid internship

How to Apply

Please apply via our webpage:

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden
500 Wildlife Parkway
Columbia, SC 29210

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