Youth Programs

Youth Shadow Program

Our exciting shadow program for students in grades 6-12th allows participants a glimpse into the Aquarium world. Students will have the opportunity to observe jobs that keep the Aquarium afloat, like aquarist, educator or mammal behaviorist. The Program will be offered on October 24, 2014 , January 19, 2015 and February 16, 2015 (President’s Day).

Application Deadline

October 17, 2014
(for October 24, 2014 Shadow Day)
January 12, 2015
(for January 19, 2015 Shadow Day)
February 9, 2015
(for February 16, 2015 Shadow Day)

Most schools are not in session these days; students will not miss school responsibilities.

Parents

You will be contacted by phone or email one week before the Shadow Days if your child is selected to participate.

Contact Ashley Bradt with questions at abradt@scaquarium.org or 843-579-8531.

How to Apply

How to apply for the Youth Shadow Program

Write a 300-word essay describing why you are interested in participating and what you hope to gain from the experience. Secure a letter of recommendation from an adult, non-family member (preferably a teacher). Submit the form, essay and recommendation letter to:

Application Form
South Carolina Aquarium
Attn: Ashley Bradt
100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston, SC 29401

Splash Program

The Splash Program is a volunteer opportunity for teenagers ages 13, 14 and 15. Teens and their parents are invited to apply to this program working as Exhibit Guides in the Education Department. Exhibit Guides work in the galleries and at the Touch Tank interpreting our exhibits for visitors. These volunteers spread the Aquarium’s mission with special emphasis on education and conservation.

All teams selected for further consideration will be contacted for a personal interview. Interviews will be scheduled in April 2014. Teens accepted into the program are invited to begin volunteering in May 2014. If you have any questions, you can contact us at volunteer@scaquarium.org.

Shifts Available
Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 12:30 – 5 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., 11:30 a.m. – 2.30 p.m. and 2 – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 2 – 5 p.m.
How to Apply

How to apply for the Splash Program

Essay: Interested teens must submit a typed, one-page essay expressing why you and your parent would make a great volunteer team.

References: Each teen must provide a non-relative reference, including their daytime phone number. (examples: teacher, scout leader, coach, or pastor)

All application materials must be submitted by March 28, 2014.

Submit by email to volunteer@scaquarium.org
Fax: 843-579-8511

South Carolina Aquarium
Attn: Splash / Volunteer Services
100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston, SC 29401

Aquateen Program

Our Aquateen program is a seasonal volunteer opportunity for 10, 16-year-old and 17-year-old students to work as Exhibit Guides. Selected students work a minimum of 10, 4 1/2 hour shifts, between June 9th and August 12th. Exhibit guide shifts can be in morning or afternoon and run Monday through Friday.

Exhibit Guides interact in our galleries, at the Touch Tank helping our guests, answering questions, and consistently providing an exceptional guest experience. These volunteers convey the mission of the Aquarium with special emphasis on fun, education and conservation. Training is held at the Aquarium (two sessions- seven hours each).

Important Dates

Application Deadline: April 11, 2014

Interviews: April 20 - 30, 2014

Orientation/Training Classes: May – June, 2014

Program Dates: June 9 – August 12, 2014

How to Apply

How to apply for the Aquateen Program

Application should include an essay describing experiences you’ve had with customer service, public speaking, and any strengths or skills that uniquely qualify you for the program. In addition, you will need to include a letter of reference from an adult who has worked with you, such as a teacher, leader or supervisor.

Requirements: currently be age 16 or 17, be available June 9 – August 12, 2014, submit application materials, and enjoy interacting with Aquarium guests.

Application Form
Please contact Ashley Bradt with questions at
ABradt@scaquarium.org or 843-579-8531.

South Carolina Aquarium
Attn: Ashley Bradt
100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston, SC 29401
Fax: (843) 720-3861

Internship Opportunities

High School Intern Program

The South Carolina Aquarium High School Intern Program is an opportunity to become a paid intern for 11th grade students in the Charleston area who qualify for free or reduced school lunch. As part of the program, students attend training classes where they learn about Aquarium animals and ocean science, develop career and team-building skills, and participate in field trips. At the end of the class, 10 students are chosen as paid interns, working with marine educators and marine biologists through the summer.

The High School Intern Program is made possible by donations from generous partners including: Alcoa Foundation, Ceres Foundation, Coastal Community Foundation, Kinder Morgan Foundation, Schneider Electric North America Foundation, Target, TD Charitable Foundation, and VWR Foundation.

>Follow the High School Intern Blog

Requirements

  • Be a current 11th grade student
  • Have a strong interest in animals and the environment
  • Qualify for free or reduced school lunch
Two references from teachers must be submitted; one must be from a science teacher. Two teachers must complete a reference form. Reference forms must be submitted in order to be considered for an internship. All applications are due by November 8, 2013.

Important Dates

Application Deadline: Nov. 7, 2014

Interviews: Dec. 2 – 13, 2014

Acceptance Mailed: Dec. 16 -29, 2014

Parent Orientation: Jan. 6, 2015 7:00 pm

Training Classes: Jan. – April 2015

Second Interviews: April 28 – May 2, 2015

Internship Orientations: May 16 and  30, 2015

Summer Internship: June 8 – Aug 2, 2015

Family Night: July 2015

How to Apply

All application materials must be completed and sent to:

After receiving your application and teacher references, an Aquarium team member will contact you to set up an interview. Applicants who are accepted will participate in training classes at the Aquarium from January – April. Classes will meet once a month on Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Participants will be evaluated on interest, commitment and progress shown during the training classes. In April, participants will be interviewed again by Aquarium team members. Based on these evaluations, 10 participants will be chosen for paid internships with our education staff. Internships will be 20 hours/week, $8.25/hour, and will last for eight weeks during the months of June – August.

Application Form      Teacher Reference Form

South Carolina Aquarium
Attn: Drew Heyward / HS Intern Program
100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston, SC 29401

College at the Aquarium

The South Carolina Aquarium has various opportunities for students to engage in meaningful, hands-on learning through our college internship program. This practical learning gives students the chance to gain real-world experience and learn job responsibilities. Current positions are listed below. Please email your cover letter and resume to volunteer@scaquarium.org.

Or mail to:
South Carolina Aquarium
Attn: Volunteer Services
100 Aquarium Wharf
Charleston, SC 29401
Biologist Intern

Description: Students seeking a career in the zoo or aquarium industry, aquaculture, horticulture, or live specimen research will gain valuable experience through this internship. Interns will learn proper husbandry techniques within their chosen discipline. Students currently SCUBA certified that meet all Aquarium requirements may have the opportunity to gain underwater husbandry experience. Applicants must be dependable, have excellent communication skills, regularly lift at least 50 pounds, be comfortable with informal educational interactions with Aquarium guests and be able to work independently. When applying, please specify which area(s) of discipline most interested in: Aquarist; Aviculture; Herpetology; Horticulture; Mammals; and Water Quality and Life Support.

Semester Available: Ongoing

Desired Start Date: Start of Semester

End Date: End of Semester (Flexible)

Hours and Days: 25 hours per week minimum for 12 weeks

Classification: Sophomore, Junior, Senior (preferred)

Major: Any major in Natural Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

Wage: Unpaid; college credit may be available through your university

Application Deadline: Applications are accepted at any time, to guarantee consideration, please apply by the following deadlines: Summer, March 15; Fall, July 15; Spring, November 15.  

Environmental Interpreter Intern

Description: Internship positions are available for students with an interest in conservation education, animal handling, and guest interaction. Interns become familiar with the animals, plants and aquatic inhabitants of South Carolina while helping educate Aquarium guests through a variety of activities. To include: public programs with divers at the Great Ocean Tank, animal programs throughout the building, interacting with Aquarium guests at the Touch Tank, and various other duties. During the school season (October-May), interns have the opportunity to participate in the teaching of school programs. Through these responsibilities, interns will promote conservation and stewardship messaging to our guests and further the Aquarium’s mission. Applicants must have a strong interest in science, good communication skills and the ability to work with people of all ages.

Semester Available: Fall, Spring, Summer

Desired Start Date: Any

End Date: At least three months of service

Hours and Days: 15-20 hours per week, flexible

Classification: Sophomore, Junior, Senior

Major: Life Sciences, Parks and Recreation, Environmental Studies, Education, Communications

Wage: Unpaid; college credit may be available through your university

Horticulture Exhibit Intern

Description: Horticulture Interns assist the Aquarium’s Horticulturist in maintaining care for plants at both the Aquarium and the Aquarium’s offsite nursery.   Duties include maintaining and developing exhibits, maintaining irrigation systems, fertilization, propagation of indigenous species, transplantation, and any projects assigned by the Horticulturist. Interns will also have the opportunity to learn greenhouse management skills.

Internships are open to any adult over 18 who have a strong interest in horticulture.  Applicant must be able to do physical labor outdoors, lift 50 pounds and have reliable transportation to and from nursery.  This program is designed for people interested in pursuing a career in horticulture.

Semester Available: Ongoing

Desired Start Date: Start of Semester

End Date: End of Semester (Flexible)

Hours and Days: 16 hours per week minimum for 12 weeks

Classification: Sophomore, Junior, Senior (preferred)

Major: Any natural sciences major (Horticulture, Environmental Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

Wage: Unpaid; college credit may be available through your university

Application Deadline: Applications are encouraged at any time. To guarantee consideration, please apply by the following deadlines: Summer Internship:  April 1st; Fall Internship:  August 1st; Spring Internship: December 1st

Horticulture-Organic Food Crop Intern

Description: Horticulture-Organic Food Crop Intern will assist the Aquarium’s Horticulturist in growing and harvesting organic food crops to feed and enrich the Aquarium’s animal collection. Responsibilities include planting, organic pest control, composting, weeding, fertilization and harvest. Interns will also work with the Aquarium’s Animal Behaviorist to prepare grown foods into enrichment for the animal collection.

Internships are open to any adult over the age of 18 who have a strong interest in horticulture and organic gardening.  Applicants must be able to do physical labor outdoors, lift 50 pounds, and have reliable transportation to and from the nursery. This program is designed for people interested in pursuing a career in horticulture.

Semester Available: Ongoing

Desired Start Date: Start of Semester

End Date: End of Semester (Flexible)

Hours and Days: 16 hours per week minimum for 12 weeks

Classification: Sophomore, Junior, Senior (preferred)

Major: Any natural sciences major (Horticulture, Environmental Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

Wage: Unpaid; college credit may be available through your university

Application Deadline: Applications are accepted at any time. To guarantee consideration, please apply by the following deadlines: Summer Internship:  April 1st; Fall Internship:  August 1st; Spring Internship: December 1st

Sea Turtle Rescue Program Intern

Description: Intern duties consist of 1) care and maintenance of sea turtle patients including diet preparation and feeding, daily observations, and environmental enrichment; 2) giving educational tours of our turtle hospital and helping with educational outreach at offsite locations; 3) assisting with medical care of patients (administering medications and fluids; treating wounds; and helping with routine medical exams, blood work, radiographs, laser therapy, ultrasonography, endoscopies, and surgeries); 4) maintenance of holding tanks and hospital equipment including daily cleaning and upkeep of filtration systems; 5) general cleaning and restocking of the entire hospital area; 6) maintaining detailed records and log books; and 7) assisting in miscellaneous projects (plumbing, painting, research, etc.). Applicants must be conservation-oriented, be able to work independently and demonstrate initiative, be comfortable engaging the general public during tours, be detail oriented, be able to lift 50 pounds, and be willing to work long and/or flexible hours as needed. This job may require long days, weekend shifts and occasional late night or early morning work.

Semester Available: Ongoing

Desired Start Date: Start of Semester

End Date: End of Semester (Flexible)

Hours and Days: 20-40+ hours per week (weekends and evenings may be required)

Classification: Sophomore, Junior, Senior (preferred)

Major: Any natural sciences major (Marine Biology, Conservation Ecology, etc.)

Wage: Unpaid; college credit may be available through your university

Application Deadline: Applications are accepted at any time. To guarantee consideration, please apply by the following deadlines: Summer, March 15th; Fall, July 15th; Spring, November 15th.

Public Relations Intern

Description: Public Relations Interns are involved in the implementation of the Aquarium’s PR plan and will gain hands-on knowledge and experience running a local, regional and national campaign. Interns write press materials, edit and organize news clips and files, give building tours to media, update media databases, coordinate special events for the department and more. Applicants should have a strong interest in public relations and related course work, be comfortable in new situations, be able to react to situations quickly and multi-task as well as have a strong interest in conservation, sea life and a not-for-profit organization.

Semester Available: Fall, Spring, Summer

Desired Start Date: Start of Semester (flexible)

End Date: End of Semester (flexible)

Hours and Days: Eight-20 hours per week, some evenings and weekends required

Classification: Junior, Senior preferred

Major: Communications, Marketing

Wage: Unpaid; college credit may be available through your university, College of Charleston approved

Application Deadline: Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis

Membership Intern

Description: Interns assist with duties such as membership fulfillment, Adopt-an-Animal fulfillment and new member acquisition campaigns. Interns will work closely with our Membership Manager and volunteers, providing support and executing member events including toddler events and Fish-or-Treat. Interns may be asked to set up and work an Aquarium booth at outreach events and assist the Development staff with donor events and major fundraising initiatives and annual gala. Applicants must be detail oriented, resourceful and creative; possess excellent oral communications skills; and maintain a professional and amicable demeanor and appearance. Interns must have a driver’s license, reliable transportation and basic computer knowledge.

Semester Available: Ongoing

Desired Start Date: Start of Semester

End Date: End of Semester (Flexible)

Hours and Days: Flexible

Classification: Junior, Senior

Major: Business Administration, Corporate Communication, Marketing, Hospitality & Tourism

Wage: Unpaid; college credit may be available through your university

School Programs Intern

Description: School Programs Interns work with a dedicated group of Aquarium team members, volunteers and South Carolina teachers and students from across the state. School Programs Interns dedicate two or more days each week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., to Education Programs at the Aquarium. Interns are responsible for teaching small groups of K- 12 students about the rich and diverse aquatic habitats of South Carolina. The ideal candidate has a background in science and some experience working with children, although training is provided. A School Programs Internship combines the best practices of learning and fun in one remarkable experience.

Semester Available: Fall and Spring

Desired Start Date: September (prior to training)

End Date: End of Semester

Hours and Days: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., weekdays

Classification: Sophomore, Junior, Senior

Major: Biology, Education

Wage: Unpaid; college credit may be available through your university

Biology Intern – Independent Study

Description: There are many opportunities for undergraduate students seeking research experience and hands-on training at the South Carolina Aquarium. Literature reviews, animal behavior, diet and nutrition analyses, medical evaluations, enrichment, and sea turtle rehabilitation are some examples. These opportunities may be eligible for independent study credit and some projects have the possibility of being published and/or presented at conferences. In addition to research, students are expected to learn husbandry skills to be able to take care of animals in an aquarium/research setting. Applicants must be goal oriented, strongly motivated and able to work independently. The student will receive guidance throughout the project, however successful completion will depend solely on the student’s dedication and persistence. All research projects involving animals have to have prior approval by members of the Aquarium’s Animal Care Committee. There are a limited number of independent study positions available and acceptance at the Aquarium is determined on a case-by-case basis. A maximum of three students can be mentored during any one semester, and projects should be completed within one to two semesters. Students applying for an Independent Study internship should have a minimum GPA of 3.0; and a completed study plan prior to the beginning of the semester in which the independent study is to be finished.

Semester Available: Ongoing

Desired Start Date: Start of Semester

End Date: End of Semester

Hours and Days: Varies

Classification: Junior, Senior (at least 60 credit hours)

Major: Any major in Natural Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

Wage: Unpaid; college credit may be available through your university

Application Deadline: Applications are accepted at any time, to guarantee consideration, please apply by the following deadlines: Summer, April 1; Fall, August 1; Winter, November 1; Spring, December 1.

Animal Behavior and Enrichment Intern

Description: Students interested in captive animal behavior and enrichment will gain valuable experience through this internship. Interns in this position will be working with all Aquarium animals (mammals, birds, reptiles and aquatic). Main responsibilities could include: observing, monitoring and recording animal behavior, assisting with development of species specific animal history profiles, implementation and documentation of enrichment in animal areas, research new ideas for animal enrichment, design and construct enrichment items, learn and follow all safety protocols and policies, organize enrichment items, assist with special events involving enrichment, and possibly participate in a special project. Applicants should be flexible, a self-starter, able to work independently and in a team setting, and an effective communicator.

Semester Available: Ongoing

Desired Start Date: Start of Semester

End Date: End of Semester

Hours and Days: 25 hours per week for a minimum of 12 weeks

Classification: Sophomore, Junior or Senior preferred

Major: Any major in Natural Sciences or Psychology

Wage: Unpaid; college credit may be available through your university

Application Deadline: Applications are accepted at any time, to guarantee consideration, please apply by the following deadlines: Summer, March 15; Fall, July 15; Spring, November 15.