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What It’s Like to Intern at the Aquarium: Part 3

by Morgan Randall, Digital Marketing Intern

The Marine Animal Rescue Program, Community Affairs, and Publications interns in my last post gave some insight on jobs interns are doing behind the scenes at the National Aquarium.  But there are still more amazing experiences to be had!

Courtney Potter

Animal Programs

Courtney is a senior at Virginia Tech but is currently taking a semester off and attending the College of Southern Maryland.  She is majoring in dairy science with a minor in animal and poultry science, with a horse emphasis.

Despite living two hours away from the aquarium, she committed to the trip in order to get hands-on experience and an opportunity outside of Virginia Tech.  Within her department she was responsible for taking care of a variety of animals. Her duties included (but were not limited to) cleaning their environments, measuring the animals’ food, and providing stimulating animal enrichment activities.  Courtney also conducted an independent study project with the bearded dragons, where she investigated which structure, a cork clog or cardboard box, the animals preferred to use in their enclosure.  She found her time at the aquarium to be “extremely helpful” in figuring out what she wanted to do concerning animals.

Courtney helps out with an animal encounter with Flick the kookaburra

Kristen Lipari

Marketing, Community Affairs

Kristen is a senior at Loyola University majoring in marketing with a minor in information systems.  During her freshman year of college, she had her eye on the aquarium as a potential internship opportunity.  Then, at the internship fair at her school, she applied knowing that it would be a great place to work.

Kristen assists in planning and researching for events at the aquarium.  One event that she has been helping plan is the Grade A Student Night, where local students grades K–12 with three or more As can get into the aquarium for free.  She is also helping with the aquarium’s Cultural Series events.  Kristen says that this internship has helped her become a better communicator and prioritize.  She currently has a job lined up with a staffing agency for after she graduates.

Kristen mans an educational table at an event

Alea Williams

Visual Productions

Alea is a sophomore at Anne Arundel Community College and will soon be getting her Associates Degree through their media production program.  Afterwards, she plans on transferring to Emerson College to major in digital post-production.  She has loved the aquarium since she was a young child and considers this her dream internship.

Alea wears many hats in her department.  In one day she could be doing anything from transferring VHS archives into DVDs, to shooting and gathering footage during the dolphin presentations.  However, her ongoing assignment was to create a short web video about the golden lion tamarins in the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit.  This included shooting video, conducting interviews, and making edits to the footage.  She has gained a lot of experience at the aquarium and would love to work with the company in the future. You can see the results of her hard work here:

Interested in interning at the National Aquarium? Learn more here.

What It’s Like to Intern at the Aquarium: Part 2

by Morgan Randall, Digital Marketing Intern

Previously, you met an Aquarist and Events & Promotions intern, but there are still many more aquarium internship opportunities available to students regardless of their major.  These next three interns are proof of that!

Lindsay Magill

MARP

Lindsay is a sophomore at Oregon State University majoring in zoology.  She came to the National Aquarium, Baltimore, for both experience and college credit.

Lindsay works with the Marine Animal Rescue Program (MARP), which specializes in rescuing marine animals in distress.  So far, she has not received any hands-on experience with rescuing these animals because there haven’t been any in need of rescuing.  In fact, this has been the case for the last couple of months.  Despite this, she is learning the protocol that goes along with rescuing these animals so if one does need rescuing, she will be ready.  After getting her Bachelor of Arts degree in zoology, Lindsay hopes to get her master’s in marine biology.  She says that she would want to work with MARP (or something similar) in the future.

Melanie Moscoso

Marketing, Community Affairs

Melanie is a senior at Notre Dame of Maryland University majoring in business with a focus in marketing and a minor in entrepreneurship.  She is an international student from Ecuador and compares the National Aquarium to a sort of Disneyland.  She knew that the aquarium would provide her with an interesting experience so she decided to apply for an internship.

Melanie helps out at an event

Melanie is responsible for researching and assisting in the planning of events at the aquarium.  This includes contacting performers, musical artists, and dancers for an event.  One group of events that she has been helping with is the Cultural Series, which is a series of events between October and March dedicated to exploring, experiencing, and celebrating cultures around the world.  For the Latino Heritage event in October, in particular, she says that her Spanish background helped her connect with some of the performers she contacted.  Melanie’s career aspiration is to become brand manager of a major sports retail company, because she loves sports.

Chrystal Smith

Publications 

Chrystal is a senior at UMBC majoring in graphic design and photography.  She applied to the National Aquarium expecting a fun and interesting experience that fit into her major, but is getting even more than she expected out of the internship.

Chrystal at her desk

Aside from working on projects such as creating the teacher booklets for education outreach programs and making event flyers, she has learned some essential skills that will help her in the professional world.  To name a few, she is learning how to stay organized, work with other graphic designers and departments, and is experiencing what it’s like to work in a professional environment (something she had yet to do before interning at the aquarium).  Chrystal is looking forward to having more content for her portfolio after interning with the organization.

Stay tuned for the conclusion of our What It’s Like to Intern at the Aquarium series!

Interested in interning at the National Aquarium? Learn more here.

What It’s Like to Intern at the Aquarium: Part 1

by Morgan Randall, Digital Marketing Intern

Ever wonder what it’s like to intern at the National Aquarium?  Take a moment to imagine it…Let me guess, you’re thinking that it would involve directly working with the fish and animals in the exhibits.  Well, it does for some, but there is so much more that goes into running an aquarium.  That’s why college students in various areas of studies have the opportunity to gain valuable experience with the organization. In fact, a graphic design student can obtain just as much experience as a biology student, working as an aquarist.

As an intern myself, working in the Digital Marketing Department and majoring in communication arts, I know firsthand how important the jobs behind the scenes are for the organization.  Since working with the aquarium, I have assisted with the launch of their new website (which included writing some of the descriptions for the Events & Activities page), edited entries for the blog, and wrote for the blog as well.

But I’m not the only intern who has found working at the aquarium to be an enriching experience.  The interns below have had similar experiences.  Take a look!

Tyler Littleton

Aquarist

Tyler is a senior at Stevenson University majoring in biology.  He came to the aquarium knowing that it would fit well with what he wanted to do in the future.

While at the aquarium, Tyler learned about all that went into taking care of the fish in his section.  This included food prep, feedings, water changes, aiding with moving the fish, and other tasks.  Tyler was responsible for the fish in the Lurking, Occupying, Migrating and Sensing exhibits in the aquarium as well as the Lobby reef.  He said that he quickly got to the point where he could care for these fish without a supervisor.

Tyler Littleton feeding fish behind the scenes

Besides making sure the fish were well kept, he conducted research on the chambered nautilus for his senior research project.  The project had to do with the husbandry of the animal, which he found didn’t exist in the scientific community.  After graduating, Tyler wants to work for an aquarium or do some type of open water excursion, performing population studies and fish collection.

Annelise Murphy

Events & Promotions

Annelise is a junior at Towson University majoring in mass communications, double tracking in public relations and advertisement, and minoring in English.  She was attracted to the idea of working for a company with such an extensive conservation and eco-friendly incentive.

Annelise Murphy

When she is not researching for an event, she can be found writing and making edits to blogs, helping with the aquarium’s social media platforms, environmental scanning, and seeing where the aquarium’s been showing up in the news.  Annelise is interested in both event planning and advertisement, but is open to testing the waters with other areas within the communications field.  She plans on doing another internship in the near future in order to get more insight on her intended career endeavors.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our What It’s Like to Intern at the Aquarium series!

Interested in interning at the National Aquarium? Learn more here.

Thoughtful Thursday: International Coastal Cleanup

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The International Coastal Cleanup is an annual coordinated volunteer effort to remove debris that has accumulated in our oceans and on our coasts. It is a chance for world citizens that are concerned about the health of our oceans and waterways to participate in meaningful action that will make a difference. In 2012, more than 560,000 volunteers from 97 countries picked up more the 10 million pounds of trash. This year’s efforts begin this weekend and will last throughout the coming weeks.

ft. mchenry cleanup

All types of volunteer groups will join forces over the next couple of weekends to remove and quantify the trash ending up in our waters. Because this is a coordinated effort led by the Ocean Conservancy, each volunteer will be asked to fill out a standard data sheet. This allows event coordinators to track the amount and types of trash that end up on our coasts every year and to make comparisons across the globe and through the years. Ultimately, it informs and focuses the efforts being made to change behaviors that will benefit our natural world.

The top ten list of items found on our beaches during the cleanup should come as no surprise to anyone. The list includes cigarettes, plastic bottles, plastic bags, food wrappers and straws – all single use items that we’ve come to rely on in our society of convenience. With the exception of cigarettes, the global list closely mirrors the list the National Aquarium has been tallying at Fort McHenry over the past 14 years. Of the 600,000+ items collected in this area over the years, more than 95 percent has been plastic or foamed plastic.

These items weren’t born in the ocean or the harbor, they were carelessly discarded on land and delivered to the nearest stream (often via storm sewers). From here, there are carried downstream by the tides and water flow until they end up on a shoreline somewhere.

Plastic debris at Ft. McHenry National Monument and Shrine here in Baltimore. Plastic pollution is seriously hurting the ocean and its inhabitants!

We know, if we want to make a difference, we need to stop the debris at its source – cleaning it up after the fact is not a long-term solution! We need to look at our own behaviors and determine how to eliminate the flow of debris from our homes to our streets to our waterways. We thought that if we focus on the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) we would be successful.

For many years, the emphasis has been on recycling. In truth, recycling should be our last choice. Our ultimate success will depend upon how well we can assimilate the fourth R into the equation – Refuse. This world does not have unlimited resources and we need to stop acting like it does. We need to be thoughtful in our everyday consumer decisions so that we look beyond the gratification of that warm cup of coffee or cold soda and begin to consider the real-world costs of the decisions we make. The real-world cost of using non-degradable, oil-based, disposable drink ware instead of carrying a reusable coffee mug.

In the mean time, while we are figuring out how to turn our consumer society on it’s ear, we have a big mess to clean up. In my job, I get to see much of the Chesapeake Bay. I get to travel to it’s islands and remote wetland habitats and enjoy all of the benefits our natural world has to offer. In all of those travels, I have never seen a shoreline unmarred by the sight of trash. It’s everywhere. Baltimore and the more populated areas of the watershed are admittedly more affected by debris, but there is no place that is immune. If we want to truly champion a healthy Chesapeake (healthy for humans and animals alike), we need a trash-free environment. It is possible and we can start today.

If you haven’t already, register to join us at our October 5th Fort McHenry event in Baltimore or find another International Coastal Cleanup event near you!

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Only ONE Month Left to Apply for a Spring Internship!

As part of our mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures, we are committed to developing the next generation of ocean conservationists, marine biologists and global communicators. Our college internship program offers students the unique opportunity to work hands on with our department teams behind the scenes, in the exhibits, out in the field and in our local community!

A former marketing intern Melanie helping out at one of our Cultural Series events.

We have positions available in many of our departments, including:

- Marketing
- Graphic design
- Education
- Marine animal rescue
- Marine mammal training
- Animal programs

Interns have the opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge, gain valuable workplace experience and establish professional contacts.

It takes a village to keep our amazing Aquarium running smoothly – we offer internships year-round, applications for our Spring positions are due by November 1. 

Apply now!

Want to know first-hand what interning at the Aquarium is all about?
Read our three-part series “What It’s Like to Intern at the Aquarium” 

Interns receive free parking during hours of work and a 30% discount at our cafe and gift shop. Interns that are certified divers are eligible for a SCUBA dive in one of our exhibits. Students must be able to receive college credit for their work at the Aquarium; internships are unpaid. Students must also be enrolled at a two or four year institution and be able to work a minimum of 120 hours throughout the semester.

During his internship with the biological programs team, Tyler was responsible for caring for this tank! Tyler also conducted research for his senior project during his internship with us!

Again, applications for our Spring positions are due by November 1. Apply now!

How to apply:

1. Download the Internship Application (PDF)

2. Attach brief responses to the three statements listed on the bottom of the application.

3.  Enclose a resume with two references listed.

4. Enclose a transcript or have the school’s registrar send one to the address below. It does not have to be an official copy.

5. Check the full position description for any additional requirements. For example, some positions require a writing sample.

6. Mail to:
National Aquarium – Internships
501 E. Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

If you have any questions about applying our about our internships, email intern@aqua.org or call (410) 576-3888

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