Interactive Animal Programs Intern - Children's Adventure Trails

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 work28-32 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 Interactive Animal Programs Intern for Children’s Adventure Trails. Under the direction of the Adventure Trails Staff, along with the Supervisor of IAP and the IAP Manager, interns assist keeper staff in all aspects of the day-to-day husbandry, training and enrichment requirements for the animals in the Children’s Adventure Trails collection. Interns may also participate in training and enrichment programs with the area animals as well as be expected to give public presentations.
The Interactive Animal Programs Area-Children’s Adventure Trails currently cares for a wide variety of small mammals, reptiles, domestics, psittacines, and various animals across other taxa. The Focus of the IAP department is to promote awareness and stewardship of the animal kingdom through animal interactions with the general public. The program consists of collection animals each having specific outlined objectives or teaching points that support the mission of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium to Inspire, Educate, and Engage people to serve as life-long stewards for animals, their habitats, and their conservation. This internship is designed to provide an opportunity to form a knowledge base as it pertains to managing program animals under human care in an AZA accredited facility in the following areas: General Knowledge, Daily Husbandry, Nutrition, Data Collection and Record Keeping, Environmental Enrichment, Operant Conditioning, Conservation Issues, and Guest Interactions.

•Develop, work on, and present an internship project aligned with the research needs of animal care staff in the Interactive Animal Programs 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:
-Preparing and offering approved diets to the specimens in the Children’s Adventure Trails Collections.
-Preparing, offering, and logging approved Enrichment in accordance to the animals' life strategy plan.
-Assisting in developing and implementing Operant Conditioning techniques for the collection animals.
-Assisting with and potentially individually providing animal demonstrations and encounters.
-Assisting in other aspects of animal husbandry such as monitoring and recording weights and observing and recording behaviors.
-Maintaining exhibit and enclosure standards for aesthetics and hygiene –raking, shoveling, cleaning glass, disinfecting equipment and other tasks.
-Maintaining Behind-the-Scenes Areas and other holding areas, for aesthetics and hygiene standards according to USDA and AZA Regulations.
-Assisting with exhibit maintenance, dismantling, and refurnishing.
-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: Experience is not necessary, but consideration will be given to an individual’s past direct experience with exotic animals in other zoological, aqua cultural, ecological and biological areas such as in schools, aquariums, nature centers, agricultural operations, animal merchandizing or conservation centers.

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. Must be motivated to continue expanding knowledge base as it applies to program animals and guest interaction.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: This position at times involves considerable physical exertion, such as regularly climbing of ladders, lifting of heavy objects (up to or more than 50 pounds) and/or assuming awkward positions.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: There are routine exposures to significant levels of heat, cold, and moisture. 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. As an intern in the Interactive Animal Programs Department, you will be expected to be proficient and comfortable interacting with the public. Guest concerns, questions or complaints should be promptly addressed to the Lead Keeper, Supervisor or Manager.
Unpaid, Year-long
Omaha, NE
Start Date
1st February, 2022
End Date
29th April, 2022
Start Time
12:00 AM
End Time
12:00 AM
Science - Animal