Desert Dome/Kingdom of the Night Mammal Department Intern

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.
• Orientation: First day of each semester from 9am-4pm. All interns must be available to attend orientation in-person.
• 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: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is seeking an intern in the Desert Dome/Kingdoms of the Night Mammal Department. The Desert Dome’s mammal and bird collection is comprised of
approximately 40 species of desert and nocturnal mammals from a variety of taxa – including primates, carnivores, rodents, and bats, and approximately 30 species of birds. The collection is featured in the Desert Dome, the world’s largest glazed geodesic dome and indoor desert, and in the Kingdoms of the Night, the world’s largest nocturnal exhibit. The Desert Dome stands at 13 stories, covers one full acre, and features 3 major deserts: Namib of Southern Africa, the Red Center of Australia, and Sonora of the Southwestern United States into Mexico. The Kingdoms of the Night, located underneath the Desert Dome, is maintained on a reverse light cycle, and features the world’s largest indoor swamp.

• Develop, work on, and present an internship project aligned with the research needs of animal care staff in the Desert Dome.
• 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 Cleaning and general maintenance of the exhibits and building.
o Daily care of animal collection.
o Recordkeeping.
o Animal enrichment.
o Monitoring behavior and changes in animal health.
o Diet preparation and feeding.
o This position offers very limited direct animal interactions and no participation in animal training. Interns will be provided opportunities to observe Desert Dome animal care staff demonstrate proper animal handling/restraint techniques and operant conditioning training
techniques when applicable.
o Interns are not permitted at this time to work within 6 feet of all primates, cats, and bats in compliance with COVID-19 mitigation protocols.
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 working with mammals at an AZA institution is preferred, but not required.

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 mammal natural history, biology, captive husbandry, and conservation issues preferred. Must be motivated to continue expanding knowledge base as it applies to mammals.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: This position requires considerable physical exertion – such as regularly climbing stairs and ladders, climbing over barriers (up to 4’ high) to access exhibits, lifting heavy objects (up to 50 pounds), and/or assuming awkward positions. This position also requires working in hot and humid conditions. 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: Routine exposure to hot and humid conditions.

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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