The Minnesota Zoo’s Life Support Systems Department is responsible for maintaining the marine and fresh water systems which support the Zoo’s collection of aquatic life.  This collection encompasses 22 exhibit tanks, seasonal outdoor pools and water features.  The Zoo’s exhibit tanks include: a 60,000 gallon Indo-Pacific Reef tank; a 220,000 Caribbean predator tank; a 1,000,000 gallon marine mammal pool; and a 60,000 gallon sea otter tank.

Interns learn how to monitor and maintain both the water quality and the mechanical operations of all of tanks, outdoor pools, and water features.

All interns complete an individual project developed in consultation with Zoo life support staff.

Some interns who both are SCUBA certified (PADI or equivalent) and meet additional dive safety standards and criteria evaluated by the MN Zoo may perform limited, strictly supervised cleaning dives.

Internship availability and commitment:

Internships are available year-round.  Interns work 40 hours per week for 10-14 weeks. Work hours are from 6-2:30 daily; days off are negotiable.

This internship is best suited to individuals who:

Applicants to the Life Support Systems internship program typically have previously completed an Aquarium department internship, or have previous experience in aquatic systems.  This internship is best suited for applicants who wish to enter the Aquarium, Marine Science, or Aquaculture industry as a career.