Behavioral Husbandry Aquatheater Internship

The New York Aquarium's Behavioral Husbandry Aquatheater Internship program expands upon the aquarium's long-term efforts to educate future animal care professionals. During this internship, you will assist in all aspects of care of California sea lions and Harbor seal and may have the opportunity to perform in daily animal presentations. While this is a hands-off/no animal contact internship, the skills learned through active observation are vital to future momentum in the field. Interns will learn the importance of providing a safe and clean environment to the animals, training terminology and be able to watch training in progress, and assist with the section’s animal enrichment program. Additionally, interns will complete reading assignments, coursework, and complete an independent project which will aid the section in their daily objectives. The internship is designed to be a stepping stone into an eventual career as a marine mammal trainer/keeper. Many individuals with the desire to pursue a career in animal care or training in a zoo or aquarium have successfully moved on to full time positions after completion of this internship.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Through hands-off observation and coursework, you will learn the basics of animal training and training terminology and how these methods are applied.
  • You will learn all components of care for marine mammals such as diet preparation and environment cleanliness- this is often a large part of the day.
  • You will learn about animal enrichment including how to schedule and administer daily enrichment and how to conduct animal enrichment observations.
  • You will learn how to communicate with guests and develop your public speaking skills.
  • You will complete reading assignments, quizzes, and course work.
  • You will also complete an independent project. Project topics are dependent upon animal and team needs.

Minimum Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must be able to meet the time commitments outlined above; please note that the schedule varies for students and non-students.
  • Interest in pursuing a career in marine mammal care and animal training
  • Ability to memorize a script
  • Ability to lift 50lbs and perform physically demanding tasks (for example: moving hoses, lifting tanks, moving frozen food).
  • Ability to learn and work in all weather conditions (rain, snow, heat, cold, etc.)
  • Ability to operate well in a busy and fast paced environment
  • Must have basic math skills.
  • Previous animal care experience is helpful but not required
  • Must be eligible to work in the United States
  • Must successfully pass a background screening if accepted


Internship SessionApplication Opens ByDeadline
Winter (January-March/April)Early October November 15
Spring (March-May/June)Early December January 15
Summer (May-August)Early February March 1
Fall (September-November/December)Early JuneJuly 15

*Note: Consistent attendance is required for participation in Animal Department internships and volunteer opportunities.*


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