Omaha Zoo Amphibian Conservation Area Internship

An offering by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

SCHEDULE: Each Internship session, Spring, Summer, and Fall, is 13 weeks long. All interns must be available
during this time.
• Weekly Schedule: Must be available to work 28-32 hours per week; unpaid. Interns must be available to attend Tuesday OR Thursday afternoon professional development sessions starting the second week
of their internship. Must be willing to work weekends and holidays. Schedules will be determined before internships begin by working with the Volunteer Manager and animal area supervisors.

DESCRIPTION: Amphibian Conservation interns will assist in and learn about the care of animals in the Amphibian Conservation Area and the Zoo’s amphibian collections in other departments. The Amphibian
Conservation Area (ACA) currently cares for ~1300 individual amphibian specimens in an off-exhibit, strict quarantine area. Most specimens in the collection are comprised of just 8 species and are maintained in
individual bio-secure isolation units. All are of special conservation concern. The species being focused on currently are:
- Wyoming Toads
- Boreal Toads
- Puerto Rican Crested Toads
- Mississippi Gopher Frogs
- Blue-spotted Salamanders
- Mountain Yellow-legged Frogs
- Panamanian Golden Frogs
- Mountain Chicken Frogs
This is an ever-changing list. This department can pick up new projects/species as they present themselves. We also house/breed some amphibian species, not listed, meant for zoological exhibition. ACA interns will assist in and learn about the daily care and reproduction of several insect prey species (fruit flies, crickets, roaches, soldier flies, etc.).

• Develop, work on, and present an internship project aligned with the research needs of the Amphibian Conservation Area.
• Attend weekly professional development sessions.
• Complete learning goals on internship checklist.
• Participate in and complete a mid-point and final evaluation.
• Assist in and complete tasks as assigned, including but not limited to:
o Attend to all aspects of daily animal husbandry and enclosure maintenance while adhering to specific quarantine protocols for an amphibian collection of special conservation needs in a major AZA accredited institution.
o Write clear, concise reports and maintain accurate records on animals and aquatic systems.
Practice good communication skills and work well with others while maintaining the ability to work effectively as an individual. May be asked to assist in preparing data for publications.
o Reports potential issues or concerns promptly to supervisor.
o Participate in and help develop educational presentations for Zoo visitors.
o Participate in and support collaborative efforts pertaining to the ACA Collection, such as reproduction of selected species, research, enrichment, training, and conservation programs.
o Other duties may be assigned.
• Must be at least 18 years old.
• Must follow safety guidelines and always demonstrate safe working practices.
• Must have effective time management skills for working in a fast-paced and flexible work environment.
• Must possess strong communication skills; Communicate frequently and in a professional manner with supervisor and team members.
• Must work well with others and have the ability to work independently.
• Must be team-oriented and willing to work with other interns, volunteers, and staff members to further not only the goals of the Department but also of the Zoo’s Mission Statement.
• Must attend shifts on time and as scheduled.
• Must have the ability to follow detailed instructions.
• Must complete a TB Test before beginning internship

EXPERIENCE: Previous experience with amphibians in an AZA institution is preferred, but not required.
Experience with amphibian conservation is preferred. Experience with laboratory and/or quarantine procedures and aquatic life support systems is preferred. Consideration will be given to an individual’s past
direct experience with exotic animals.

EDUCATION: Interns must be currently enrolled in, or have recently graduated from, a college or university. A minimum of one year of coursework in a major field of study to be applied during the internship (e.g. biology, zoology, animal behavior, etc.) is preferred. Knowledge of amphibian natural history, biology, captive husbandry, and conservation issues preferred. Must be motivated to continue expanding knowledge base as it applies to amphibians.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: This position may involve considerable physical exertion, such as climbing of ladders, lifting of heavy objects (50+ pounds), and/or assuming awkward positions. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consider these physical requirements before applying for an internship in this area. Interns that are not able to meet the physical requirements for the position may be reassigned to another department.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: Off-exhibit quarantine space with several small isolation rooms. Must be willing to work in confined/uncomfortable spaces and with potentially dangerous animals. May be asked to work in adverse weather conditions. Routine exposure to heat, cold, moisture and air pollution. The position may involve exposure to chemical substances and physical trauma of a minor nature such as cuts, bruises, and minor burns.

PUBLIC CONTACT: Interns will interact with the public frequently throughout their internship and are expected to always exhibit professionalism and exceptional customer service. Interns may be asked to engage in public speaking opportunities, including but not limited to informal educational presentations for the public.

Learning Outcomes

None listed
Unpaid, Year-long
Omaha, NE
Start Date
12th September, 2022
End Date
13th December, 2022
Start Time
12:00 AM
End Time
12:00 AM
Science - Animal
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