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

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

We are no longer accepting applications for fall internships. Please check back in early January 2017 for Spring/Summer application.

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.
  • All interns are required to create a project for and attend EARTH Awareness Day on August 6, 2016. (Summer internships only)
  • Interns are required to assist with EARTH Bash and one additional EARTH event. (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.

Animal Care Internships

Requirements for all Animal Care Interns:

  • Must be available to work at least 3 days each week, including at least one weekend day 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

EARTH Discovery Center Intern

Direct supervisors: EARTH Education Coordinators, Kate Albertini, Lauren Culley, Sarah Buttermore, Rachel Defronzo, and Gina Chesmore.

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, and exotic birds (cleaning, food prep, etc.)
  • Design and construct animal enrichment
  • Help with up-keep of the Discovery Center (raking, sweeping, mopping, dusting, etc.)
  • Transport of animals from the Earth Discovery Center to numerous locations throughout the zoo
  • Work as a conscientious educator interacting with zoo visitors and answering questions
  • Assist with planning for educational programs such as Junior ZooKeeping.
  • Present at the “Ask the Zoo Crew” stage
  • Assist with preparation of live animal presentations as needed
  • Accompany staff on ZooMobile education programs as needed
  • Assist in other zoo areas, such as the deer forest, as needed
  • Select and research a topic to present a visual interactive display for EARTH Awareness Day (Summer internships only)

Bird Department Intern

Direct supervisors: Head Bird Zookeeper, Danielle Poirier; Bird Keepers: Nicole Auger, Mike Luscombe, and Kristen Gagnon

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
  • Complete an independent, staff approved training and enrichment project with a bird of your choice, to be presented at EARTH Awareness Day (Summer internships only)

Primate Keeper Intern (Summer Only)

Direct supervisors: Head Primate Zookeeper, Michelle Breen; Primate Keepers: Jess Lanchansky, Ruth Mazeika, and Britney St. Pierre.

Goal/Objective: Interns in the primate department will actively participate in animal care and help maintain all primate exhibits, along with some grounds maintenance. This position is Friday-Monday and requires availability for both Saturday and Sunday.

Primate interns will:

  • Ensure the safety of zoo visitors, primate keepers, and primates
  • Assist with animal husbandry on numerous primates and other animals throughout the zoo (cleaning, food prep, etc.)
  • Design and construct animal enrichment
  • Help with upkeep of zoo grounds
  • Perform record keeping as needed
  • Select and research a topic to present a visual interactive display for EARTH Awareness Day

Education Internships

EARTH Ltd. Wild Adventure Summer Program Intern (Summer Only)

Direct supervisors: Program Director, Jan Weatherbee; Instructor, Bob Clarke

Goal/Objective: Interns in the Wild Adventure Summer Program will help guide and oversee students through their daily adventures.
*Summer Program interns must be able to work Mon-Fri. 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:

  • Adventure and Ecosystems (grades 4, 5, 6) June 27-July 1
  • Introduction to Animal Ecology (grade k) July 5-8
  • Animal Behavior (grades 2 & 3) July 11-15
  • Introduction to Animal Ecology (grades 1 & 2) July 18-22
  • Adventure and Ecosystems (grades 4, 5, 6) June 25-July 29
  • Teen Zoology (grades 7, 8, 9) August 1-5
  • Animal Behavior (grades 2 & 3) August 8-12


  • 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 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 project to present on EARTH Awareness Day

Marketing Internships

Marketing & Social Media Intern (Summer Only)

Direct Supervisors: Betsey Brewer and Rebecca Mansfield

Goal/Objective: Marketing interns will assist with various marketing activities including social media, public relations, and event planning.


  • Must be detail oriented and have strong communication skills.
  • Must be self-motivated with a positive attitude.
  • An interest in wildlife, conservation, and related topics is preferred.
  • Must be capable of working independently as well as part of a team.
  • Must have knowledge of web and social media outlets and experience with PowerPoint, Word and Excel.


Marketing interns will:

  • Update and contribute to the zoo and EARTH’s social media including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
  • Create content, such as blog entries, for the website
  • Write press releases to send to local media outlets
  • Assist with planning and implementing EARTH’s fundraising events
  • Assist as needed with zoo events such as corporate outings and weddings
  • Edit photos, videos, and other media as needed
  • Assist other departments with tasks when necessary
  • Develop project to present on EARTH Awareness Day

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