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A Fishes Intern above the Caribbean Reef exhibit,
A queen angelfish swims by, eye-catching with its bright yellow scales and fins with blue scales and fin-edges.
Staff and interns examine fish eggs.

Required materials

  • Resume, indicating education and employment experiences. Please include any aquatic closed-system care or home aquarium husbandry experience.
  • Cover letter indicating reasons for interest in an internship with our program.
  • Reference list with at least three individuals (please include phone numbers and emails) whom we may contact to vouch for your character and work ethic.
  • Two letters of professional/academic recommendation.

Applications should be submitted through our online portal.

Questions? Please contact [email protected].

Application Deadlines

Applications closed for 2020

Fishes intern duties and responsibilities

  • Fishes Interns will be assigned to a specific team, which may include Amazon Rising, Galleries, Quarantine, Wild Reef, or Special Exhibits. Not all areas hire interns each season. 
  • Check specimens, exhibits and reserve tanks each morning and afternoon for animal health and operation of aquarium systems.
  • Prepare daily ration of frozen, fresh and dry commercial foods.
  • Maintain detailed husbandry and medical records including daily reports in assigned husbandry areas and input data via computers onto spreadsheets and/or databases.
  • Assist in enclosure and exhibit maintenance including live food cultures, cleaning, life-support systems, filters, pumps, heaters, etc., and exhibit renovations.
  • Take accurate measurements and record data in an understandable manner.
  • Work safely under a variety of working conditions, including hot or humid conditions.
  • Work well in a team environment.
  • Provide a written summary of your internship.
  • Accomplish other duties as assigned.

Qualifications and requirements

  • Currently enrolled or recent graduate of a bachelor's degree program in the biological sciences, preferably with coursework in ichthyology and other aquatic sciences.
  • Comfortable working with a variety of animals, including fish, small mammals, reptiles, birds, and insects.
  • Must be at least 18 years old.
  • Must have good hearing, visual acuity, verbal and written communicative skills and be able to regularly lift at least 60 pounds.
  • Interns may be assigned special scheduling needs throughout the week, including weekends and holidays.
  • There is a minimum commitment of three months, with interns serving 24 to 40 hours a week. Shift times are usually 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., but can vary with internship area. Interns may be assigned special scheduling needs throughout the week, including weekends and holidays.

This is an unpaid internship. Interns are responsible for securing their own housing accommodations and transport. Shedd Aquarium is accessible via public transit.