About Shedd

Marine Mammals Internship Information

To be considered for the Marine Mammals Internship, please send all following information to:

John G. Shedd Aquarium
Attn: Tanya Salvey
Marine Mammals Department
1200 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605

Fax: 312-939-2216

Program Description: The marine mammal intern program is designed to be a career learning experience. Interns will gain firsthand experience in data collection, food preparation, and marine mammal husbandry. Where appropriate, interns may take part in interactions with cetaceans, pinnipeds, otters, and penguins, but animal contact is minimal. The intern works toward accomplishing a special research, observational, or school project. Internships are available in winter, spring, summer and fall. A commitment of 12 to 20 weeks, 30 to 35 hours a week is required.

Principle Intern Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Preference is given to those currently studying a related marine-science field or those who have just completed one (seniors and recent graduates preferred).
  • Cleaning: Approximately 55 percent of the time is spent maintaining a clean and healthy environment for the animals, staff, and public.
  • Food preparation: Approximately 25 percent of the time is spent preparing diets for all the animals. This includes thawing, sorting, weighing, cutting, formula preparation, and vitamin administration.
  • Recordkeeping: Approximately 5 percent of the time is spent maintaining records of respiration, job duties accomplished, and other records that are assigned by the Marine Mammal staff.
  • Public interactions: Approximately 5 percent of the time is spent interacting with the public and answering guests' questions.
  • Special project: Approximately 5 percent of the time is spent working toward accomplishing a special project. This may be a requirement of the school, or may be assigned by the supervisor.


Position Qualifications and Specifications:

  • Must currently be in a degree program (junior or senior) or have graduated from one. Preference is given to those currently studying a related marine-science field or those who have completed one.
  • Preference given to those looking to enter a marine mammal or related field.
  • Applicant must be committed to high quality work and able to work well with others in a team effort.
  • Applicant must be able to regularly work all weekend days and holidays, and late night shifts.
  • Ability to lift objects in excess of 40 pounds daily, and periodic lifting in excess of 70 pounds.
  • Exposure to very cold temperatures and to salt water on a daily basis.


How to Apply:
The following are required to complete the application process:

  • Resume indicating education and employment experiences.
  • Cover letter indicating reasons for interest in an internship with our program.
  • Letters of reference from at least three individuals who can vouch for your character and/or work ethic. Please ask them to include contact information in their letters.
  • Application form must be completed and signed.


For a printable version of the application procedure and general internship information listed on this page, please download the program description.

Questions? Please e-mail Tanya Salvey at tsalvey@sheddaquarium.org.

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