Internships

Internships with EARTH Ltd and Southwick’s Zoo are a rewarding experience which provides college students and recent college graduates the chance to learn and develop valuable skills while working in a unique setting.

We offer two internship opportunities each year: Spring/Summer Internships which begin in May and end in August, and Fall internships which begin in August and typically end in November.

Internship FAQs


Spring/Summer 2018 Internships

Deadline to Apply for Early Acceptance: February 15, 2018
Deadline to Apply: March 9, 2018

If you have any questions, email or call Samantha Russak at samantha@southwickszoo.com or 1-800-258-9182 ext 214

*As part of your application we require you to upload your resume, cover letter, and a letter of recommendation. You may choose to have your recommendation letter emailed directly to samantha@southwickszoo.com; however, please note that your application will be considered incomplete until the letter is received.


Requirements for all Internships:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Must be a student currently enrolled in college or a recent graduate.
  • Must be able to attend internship training orientation and zoo tour in May 2018.
  • Must be willing and able to work with children of varying ages, as well as adults, in a professional manner.
  • Must be able to take and follow directions to maintain a safe work environment for personnel, visitors, and the animals at the zoo.
  • All interns will be required to complete assignments during their internships, dependent on department.
  • All interns are required to create a project for, and attend, EARTH Awareness Day on August 4, 2018.
  • Interns are required to assist with EARTH Bash on June 22, 2018.

Benefits of all internships

  • Discounts for food purchased at the zoo during work hours (does NOT apply to Galliford’s Restaurant).
  • Discounts for gifts purchased at the zoo gift shop.
  • Season’s pass to use for yourself and friends for entrance to the zoo on non-work days (after 2nd week of internship).
  • The opportunity to gain experience and work with a great group of people!

All Interns will be responsible to their direct supervisors (listed below), in addition to Samantha Russak, Director of Education and Betsey Brewer, Executive Director of Conservation, Education, & Research.


 

Education Internships

Requirements for all Education Interns:

  • Must be available to work at least 3 days each week Monday – Friday.
  • Prior experience working with children preferred.
  • Students pursuing a degree related to education are preferred.
  • Must be able to be in close proximity to hay and shavings and other possible allergens, such as: dust, mold, and grass.

Wild Adventure Summer Program Intern

Number of available positions: 1-2

Direct supervisors: Program Coordinator: Jan Weatherbee; Program Director: Bob Clark; Program Instructor: Pat Sullivan

Goal/Objective: Interns in the Wild Adventure Summer Program will help guide and oversee students through their daily adventures.

Availability: Please note that this internship begins in mid-June, however Summer Program interns are still required to attend orientation in May.

Summer Programs offered by EARTH Ltd are:

  • Adventures and Ecosystems (grades 4, 5, 6):  June 25-June 29
  • Armadillos to Zebras (grades K & 1):  July 2-July 3 & July 5-July 6
  • Animal Antics (grades 2 & 3):  July 9-13
  • Adventures and Ecosystems (grades 4, 5, 6):  July 16-20
  • Armadillos to Zebras (grades 1 & 2):   July 23-July 27
  • Teen Zoology (grades 7, 8, 9):  July 30-August 3
  • Animal Antics (grades 2 & 3):  August 6-10

Wild Adventure Summer Program interns will:

  • Assist with daily tasks
  • Enthusiastically engage students in a schedule of crafts, activities, animal encounters, and zoo tours
  • Ensure the safety of all students
  • Build and maintain a good rapport with students and parents
  • Assist with clean-up and organization
  • Chaperone students on excursions
  • Develop a project to present on EARTH Awareness Day

 

Apply for Education Internship


 

Animal Care Internships

 

Requirements for all Animal Care Interns:

  • Must be available to work at least 3 days each week
  • Must be able to lift 50lbs.
  • Must be able to stand for long periods of time and work in varying weather conditions including heat and rain.
  • Must be able to crawl, climb, and reach to clean low and “awkward” areas.
  • Must be able to be in close proximity to hay and shavings and other possible allergens, such as: dust, mold, and grass.

Animal Care internships include positions with the EARTH Discovery Center, Bird Department, Primate Department, and Hoofstock Department

 

EARTH Discovery Center Intern

Number of available positions: 7-8

Direct supervisors: Head Education Coordinator: Lauren Culley; Education Coordinator: Sarah DiCarlo; Assistant Education Coordinators: Diana Waterman and Julie Richer

Goal/Objective: Interns at the EARTH Discovery Center learn proper animal handling techniques and assist staff with daily animal care, educational programs, and upkeep of the EARTH Discovery Center, Reptile & Insect Building, and various exhibits located throughout the zoo. Interns also interact with the zoo’s visitors and assist with other tasks as needed.

EARTH interns will:

  • Assist with animal husbandry for reptiles, small mammals, amphibians, invertebrates, and exotic birds (cleaning, food prep, etc.)
    • The EARTH department currently cares for over 30 reptile species, 15 mammal species, 6 invertebrate species, 5 amphibian species, and 3 bird species (over 120 individuals)
  • Design and construct animal enrichment
  • Help with up-keep of the Discovery Center and Reptile & Insect building (raking, sweeping, mopping, dusting, etc.)
  • Transport animals throughout the zoo
  • Work as a conscientious educator interacting with zoo visitors and answering questions
  • Assist with planning and running educational programs such as Junior ZooKeeping
  • Present an animal or biofact at the “Ask a Zoo Crew” stage
  • Assist with preparation of live animal presentations as needed
  • Accompany staff on ZooMobile programs as needed
  • Assist in other zoo areas, such as the deer forest, as needed
  • Complete two assignments outlined in the EARTH Discovery Center intern manual
  • Select and research a topic to present a visual interactive display for EARTH Awareness Day

 

 

Bird Department Intern

Number of available positions: 7-8

Direct supervisors: Head Bird Trainer: Danielle Poirier; Bird Trainers: Kristen Gagnon and Anjali Bhardwaj

Goal/Objective: Interns in the bird department will learn proper bird handling and training techniques, leaving with a working knowledge of avian behavior and classical and operant conditioning. Interns will learn to apply science based positive reinforcement to train a number of different husbandry, veterinary, and show behaviors. These skills will be developed by providing an exceptional level of care to our show and exhibit birds through relationship building, cleaning, feeding, and enrichment.

Bird interns will:

  • Clean cages of, and prepare diets for, show birds and exhibit birds
    • The Bird department currently cares for over 20 different bird species (over 30 individuals, in addition to over 100 parakeets and cockatiels in Parakeet Aviary)
  • Assist with daily husbandry projects
  • Create and distribute enrichment to all birds on a daily basis
  • Train and handle a wide variety of parrots during husbandry and shows
  • Assist in training new show and husbandry behaviors
  • Provide a support role in educational presentations
  • Interact with the public before and after each show
  • Keep records of training, enrichment, and daily happenings
  • Develop and complete a staff approved enrichment project with a bird of your choice
  • Complete an independent, staff approved training project with a bird of your choice, to be presented at EARTH Awareness Day

 

 

Primate Department Intern

Number of available positions: 1-2

Direct supervisors: Head Primate Zookeeper: Michelle Breen; Primate Keepers: Ruth Mazeika, Britney Brosseau, Jess Lanchansky, Lauren Culley, and Sarah DiCarlo

Goal/Objective: Interns in the primate department will actively participate in animal care and help maintain all primate exhibits as well as additional exhibits throughout the zoo, along with some grounds maintenance.

Primate interns will:

  • Ensure the safety of zoo visitors, primate keepers, and primates
  • Assist with animal husbandry for numerous primates and other animals throughout the zoo (cleaning, food prep, etc.)
    • The Primate department currently cares for 18 primate species, 2 marsupial species, 4 large rodent species, and 2 reptile species (over 130 individuals)
  • Design and construct animal enrichment
  • Help with upkeep of zoo grounds, including occasional collecting of trash bags at the end of the work day
  • Perform record keeping as needed
  • Develop and complete a staff approved enrichment project
  • Select and research a topic to present a visual interactive display for EARTH Awareness Day

 

 

Hoofstock Department Intern

Number of available positions: 1-2

Direct supervisors: Head Zookeeper: Duane Long; Hoofstock Keepers: Kevin Racicot, Jonathon Smith, Jess Lanchansky, Josh Lobisser, and Mack Ralbovsky

Goal/Objective: Interns in the hoofstock department will actively participate in animal care and help maintain all hoofstock and big cat exhibits as well as additional exhibits throughout the zoo, along with some grounds maintenance.

Hoofstock interns will:

  • Ensure the safety of zoo visitors, hoofstock keepers, and animals
  • Assist with animal husbandry for numerous hoofstock and other animals throughout the zoo (cleaning, food prep, etc.)
    • The Hoofstock department currently cares for over 20 hoofstock species, over 15 bird species, and 6 large carnivore species (over 320 individuals)
  • Help with upkeep of zoo grounds, including occasional collecting of trash bags at the end of the work day
  • Perform record keeping as needed
  • Develop and complete a staff approved enrichment or conservation project
  • Select and research a topic to present a visual interactive display for EARTH Awareness Day

Apply for Animal Care Internship

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