The Minnesota Zoo’s Life Support department is responsible for several marine and fresh water systems. This includes 12 exhibit tanks (including a 60,000 gallon Indo-Pacific Reef tank, a 220,000 gallon Caribbean predator tank, a 1,000,000 gallon marine mammal pool and a 60,000 gallon sea otter tank), along with seasonal outdoor pools and water features.

Life support interns are directly involved in the daily operation and duties of the life support department. Interns will work closely with life support, aquarium and marine mammal staff. Intern duties will vary on a daily basis and will include performing daily and weekly water chemistry and microbiological testing. Routine duties to include salt mixing, filter backwashing, daily monitoring of ozone and chlorine disinfecting systems, and operation of the automation and control system. Interns will assist with special projects as they arise and can expect to help with pump maintenance, plumbing, sand and carbon replacement, air compressor servicing, etc. Experience in the use of hand and power tools is a plus; preference for applicants with SCUBA certification.

Aquariums Internship Working Conditions:

  • Schedule:
    • 6:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
    • 40 hours/week
    • Schedule may include one weekend day
  • Location:
    • Both indoors and outdoors throughout the Zoo
  • Activity Level:
    • Medium to high levels of physical activity required, including extensive walking; crouching, bending, stretching, lifting, etc. to access life support systems and equipment
    • Interns who have had a valid driver’s license for at least 6 months may drive the Zoo’s golf carts and/or Trucksters to access parts of the Zoo not open to the general public
  • Animal Husbandry-Collection Interpretation work task distribution:
    • Interns in this work area do not participate in direct animal care (diet preparation, maintaining sanitary enclosures). They do help to clean and maintain water systems including drains, filters, etc., on which the Zoo’s aquatic species depend for survivial.
    • Interns will spend some time seated at a desk, monitoring the performance of machines and equipment and limited time interacting with Zoo guests