Nutrition 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: Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is seeking an intern for the Nutrition Department. The Nutrition Department at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is comprised of a Nutrition Laboratory, a centralized Animal Commissary, and a Browse Team. Together these areas work to make sure that every animal at the Zoo and Wildlife Safari Park is provided with a nutritionally complete diet that encourages engagement in natural feeding behaviors.

Develop, work on, and present an internship project aligned with the research needs of the Nutrition department.
• 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 Work in the Zoo’s centralized commissary each day, learning about zoo commissary operations and food safety protocols. Assist with diet preparation, cleaning, and other tasks as needed.
o Collect feed and/or fecal samples and prepare samples for analysis.
o Learn to perform lab analyses and interpret data for procedures including Dry Matter/Organic Matter, Gross Energy, Crude Protein, Crude Fat, Total Dietary Fiber (Soluble/Insoluble).
o Assist with maintaining up-to-date records of quality control samples and updating diet records.
o Assist with ongoing nutrition research, potentially including intake or digestibility studies, animal observations, data entry, etc.
o Interns will have an opportunity to conduct an independent nutrition-related project.
o Assist with planting, caring for, and harvesting from zoo browse gardens (summer only).
o Learn to reliably identify toxic and approved species of browse (summer only).
o This position offers no direct animal interaction.
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 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. animal science, biology, nutrition, zoology, horticulture, etc.) is preferred. Preference given to candidates who have completed at least one nutrition class. Must be motivated to continue expanding knowledge base as it applies animal nutrition.
PHYSICAL DEMANDS: This position may involve considerable physical exertion, including lifting of heavy objects (50 pounds) and/or assuming awkward positions.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: Varying temperatures and climates, including spending time in walk-in freezers and outdoors.
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
12th December, 2022
Start Time
12:00 AM
End Time
12:00 AM
Science - Animal
Visit Page