IMG_6081Internships with EARTH Ltd and Southwick’s Zoo are a rewarding experience where you will have the opportunity to learn and develop valuable skills while working in a unique setting. Spring/Summer Internships begin in May and end in August. Fall internships begin in August and typically end in November.

Internship FAQs

We are no longer accepting applications for Fall 2017 internships.

If you have any questions, email or call Samantha Russak at or 1-800-258-9182 ext 214

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 for Summer internships and August for Fall internships.
  • 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 three assignments during their internships. Assignments are dependent on internship position. (Spring/Summer internships only)
  • All interns are required to create a project for and attend EARTH Awareness Day on Saturday, August 5, 2017. (Spring/Summer internships only)
  • Interns are required to assist with EARTH Bash on Saturday, June 30, 2017 and one additional EARTH event. (Spring/Summer internships only)

Benefits of all internships

  • Discounts for food purchased at zoo during work hours
  • 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.

Fall Internship Descriptions


EARTH Discovery Center Intern

Direct supervisors: Head Education Coordinator: Lauren Culley; Education Coordinators: Sarah DiCarlo and Rachel DeFronzo; Assistant Education Coordinators: Diana Waterman and Katelyn Belleville

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 facility. 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.)
  • 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 educational programs such as Junior ZooKeeping.
  • Present 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


Bird Department Intern

Direct supervisors: Head Bird Trainer: Danielle Poirier; Bird Trainers: Cheyanne Hanneman, Kristen Gagnon, and EmmaLee Eng

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 entertaining 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
  • 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

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