Detroit Zoological Society
  • Life Sciences - Internships
  • Royal Oak, MI, USA
  • Internship

The Life Science internship is an unpaid internship. The student must be currently enrolled at an accredited four-year college or university and seeking a degree in a science-related area.  Students must earn college credit for their time as an intern.  Interns will work with the Life Science staff to learn the duties and responsibilities of zookeeping as a profession.  Interns will help provide daily care for the animals including feeding, cleaning, behavioral observations, habitat modifications, and participation in special projects all designed to help ensure the best welfare for each animal.  Interns will also interact with guests and help ensure outstanding overall guest experiences.

Internships are approximately 14 weeks in length running from:

  • September to December (fall)
  • January to April (spring)
  • May to August (summer)

These sessions have start and end dates that coincide with the individual semesters.  Applications are due July 1st for fall, November 1st for spring, and March 1st for summer. 

Internships are available in the following areas:

  • Mammals
  • Birds
  • Reptiles
  • Amphibians

Interns will support, both publicly and privately, the principles of the Detroit Zoological Society. Interns will maintain a professional manner when dealing with all constituencies and always preserve a high level of confidentiality. This job description is by no means all-inclusive and may be subject to change due to the needs of the Detroit Zoological Society and its leadership. This document will be reviewed on a continual basis and will be modified as needed.

Authority and Accountability: Interns are accountable to Life Science Curators, Associate Curators and Supervisors.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Shadowing zookeepers providing daily care, including but not limited to, feeding, cleaning and habitat maintenance
  • Take direction from staff concerning duties, responsibilities and safety procedures
  • Participate in special projects that benefit the animals
  • Observations of animals and enhancing animal welfare
  • Submit a written 2-3 page paper summarizing your time as an intern. This is due one week before the internship ends.

Working Conditions: Work is performed indoors and outdoors with exposure to all seasonal weather conditions. Frequent exposure to animals with risk of zoonotic disease transmission (Tuberculosis, Salmonella and others).

Physical Requirements: Interns must be able to perform all principal duties satisfactorily. Able to perform moderate physical effort on a daily basis such as walking, bending, stooping, lifting, and standing for an extended period of time.  Able to lift up to 50 pounds.

Other requirements:

Junior or senior level status currently enrolled in a college or university, proof required. Letter of recommendation from an accredited college professor stating credit will be received for the internship.  College course work completed in zoology, biology, animal behavior or related field.  Must be self- motivated and have a strong work ethic.  All interns must have proof of a negative TB test within the last 12 months and drug screen on or before start date. The Human Resources department for the Detroit Zoological Society will also perform a background check on all students before they can start their internship.

Resume and cover letter should be submitted along with your Detroit Zoological Society application.

Detroit Zoological Society
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