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John G Shedd Aquarium

Marine Mammals Internship

Marine Mammal interns provide staff with support in the day to day care and training of several species of marine mammals and birds. This opportunity is designed to be a career learning experience. New terms begin early January, mid-May and early September of each year. See Shedd's website for additional details.  Applications accepted on a rolling basis.  Apply by March 1 for priority consideration to the Summer term; however, applications will be reviewed until all spaces are filled.

Interns learn the basics of operant conditioning, master animal observation skills, and gain a network of professional colleagues caring for animals in Chicago and across the country.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:• Demonstrate commitment to Shedd’s vision, mission and values.

• Cleaning – Maintains a clean and healthy environment for all animals, the staff and the public. Cleaning responsibilities include kitchens, utensils, floors, windows, pools, offices, bathrooms, laundry and any other area or item in the marine mammal and bird areas.

• Food Preparation – Prepares diets for all the animals. This includes thawing, sorting, weighing, cutting, formula preparation, vitamin administration, heavy lifting and frequent exposure to cold temperatures.

• Record Keeping – Maintains detailed records of all animal interactions and observations, as assigned by staff. These include diet, vitamins, medication, behavioral notes, medical notes, animal weights, physical observations, graphs, temperatures and any other records deemed important to the care of the animals, the facility or daily operation.

• Special Project – Works toward accomplishing a special project assigned by the management team to help with data research, behavioral observations or enrichment observations.

• Other – Performs other duties as assigned.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education: Must be in a degree program or recent graduate, with preference given to those studying in a field related to marine science and/or animal care.

Job Experience: Preference given to those looking to enter the field of marine mammal training and/or animal care.

Personal Characteristics: Commitment to high quality work; ability to work well with others in a team environment.

Unusual Physical Requirements:

• Ability to be scheduled all weekend days and holidays and late night shifts.

• Exposure to very cold temperatures.

• Daily heavy lifting in excess of 40 pounds.

• Periodic lifting in excess of 70 pounds.

• Exposure to salt water daily.



How to Apply

John G Shedd Aquarium
1200 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605

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