Zoological Operations: Animal Training (Otters & Alcids)

This program offers interns hands-on animal training experience with the Mammals & Birds team. Interns are exposed to animal care and training activities primarily with otters (Asian small-clawed otters and southern sea otters), alcids (horned puffins, tufted puffins, common murres and pigeon guillemots) with some possible exposure to belugas, harbor seals, and African penguins. Interns work directly with trainers to support the daily care of the collection and learn the basics of operant conditioning. Interns will be paired with a mentor and guided through several training seminars and workshops to gain insight into operant conditioning techniques and how they are used in Georgia Aquarium's mammal and bird program. Interns' daily responsibilities are to work alongside the trainers assisting with animal diet preparation, behavioral observations, environmental enrichment, animal care area clean up, and disinfections. Interns may also play support roles in assisting with animal training and husbandry sessions. Some of the skills interns will acquire during their internship are: diet preparation and feeding; water sampling; commissary clean-up; exhibit and husbandry area maintenance; behavioral observations; environmental enrichment; data recording and data entry; assisting team with animal training, handling and medical procedures; and other duties as assigned.

Schedule: Full availability required (including weekends) 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. or 6:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Minimum Required Hours per Week: 32

  • Semester: Fall
    • Application Deadline: June 1
    • Semester Dates: August 25 - December 31
  • Semester: Spring
    • Application Deadline: October 1
    • Semester Dates:  January 1 - May 20
  • Semester: Summer
    • Application Deadline: February 1
    • Semester Dates: May 15 - August 30

Additional Application Requirements:

  • Major in animal science, biology, marine biology, psychology or related field.
  • Possess a strong desire to gain valuable experience working with marine mammals.
  • Must be an independent worker and team player.
  • Ability to lift 50lbs, climb stairs and work around saltwater.
  • Must be physically fit.
  • Resume required. Email resume to mammaltraining@georgiaaquarium.org. Specify "Otter/Alcid Internship" in the subject of your email.