Reports to/Department: Under the supervision of the Education Curator, reports to Program Animal Keepers.
Position Description: Brandywine Zoo is seeking outgoing applicants with a dynamic personality for Animal Shows and other animal encounters. This candidate will have an interest in public education as well as animal husbandry. Summer Program Animal Interns will need to present various programs utilizing artifacts and program animals from our teaching collection to engage visitors on zoo grounds, assist zoo guests with way-finding, lead tours for scheduled groups, assist with the zoo’s special events, present live animal shows for the public, including Reptile Shows, assist with off-site Traveling Zoo programming as needed, and positively and professionally represent and promote the Brandywine Zoo and its programs. Interns in this position will be responsible for presenting to large and small groups of all ages in various settings, so comfort with public speaking over a microphone is a must.
We are searching for a dedicated candidate available for a minimum of 4 months, up to 6 months. This position is flexible, with a minimum of three days per week required (at least one weekend day-Friday, Saturday, or Sunday-required) maximum of five days per week, 8 am – 4 pm on scheduled days, with some evening events required, and will serve as an Educator and work in the Education Department of the Brandywine Zoo.
This position will also include daily husbandry of program animals. Summer Program Animal Interns will work with staff to perform routine husbandry in one area of the Zoo’s collection of over 30 program animals, which includes small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.
We’re looking for an individual with great people skills (especially with children!), is a self-starter, able to work as part of a team and independently, energetic, positive, creative, a positive sense of humor and has a passion for the environment! Zoo Interns are expected to be fun, safe, conscientious and a committed leader who gets along well with others.
- Presenting and evaluating animal shows that engage and inspire audiences through fun, exciting, and safe animal encounters that promote the mission of the Brandywine Zoo.
- Training and presenting for Reptile Shows and other live animal demonstrations to both large and small audiences on a regular basis.
- Ensuring all aspects of on-site zoo programing are delivered efficiently, to the best of the intern’s ability. This includes strong communication with the Guest Services to ensure program scheduling is accurate, and are carried out professionally and always on time.
- Performing daily husbandry for a variety of reptiles, amphibians, mammals and invertebrates.
- Able to follow protocols to prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases and maintain high levels of animal safety.
- Ability to work weekend days and flexible hours as schedules dictate.
- Assisting with the Zoo’s outreach programming, called Traveling Zoos, when needed.
- Applicants must be working toward or already have a degree in Education, Recreation, Museum Studies, Animal Science, or other Biological Sciences.
- Must have an interest in working with the general public; especially children ages 4-13.
- Must be comfortable handling a variety of live animals, including reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and mammals, and knowledgeable about their natural history.
- Must exhibit consistent professional characteristics such as a positive attitude, ability to show initiative, emotional maturity and self-responsibility.
- Comfortable with public speaking, including speaking over a microphone or loud speaker.
This Opportunity is GOOD for People Who:
- Enjoy working with children
- Like working outside
- Interested in handling and presenting program animals
- Enjoys public speaking
- Have the ability to follow or create lesson plans
- At least 18 years old with valid driver’s license and reliable transportation
- Provide proof of negative TB Test within the last 12 months before start date
- Good physical condition: able to stand/walk for extended periods of time, kneel, crouch, and able to work in all weather conditions.
- Be able to lift up to 25 pounds
- Must be fluent in the English language (verbal and written communication)
- Overall GPA must be 2.5 or higher
- Good organizational skills
- Able and willing to read and follow verbal and written work instructions and work independently
- Willing to assist with administrative, customer relations, and housekeeping tasks and possibly animal care
- Able to commit to upholding all Zoo safety and personnel policies, and support the overall mission
- Able to professionally represent the Brandywine Zoo in all interactions with visitors, staff, and other members of the community
Training: Interns must attend Delaware State Parks Seasonal Interpreter Training. Additional, trainings will include program animal husbandry, program animal handling, public presentation/interpretation skills, and various online modules in the San Diego Zoo Global Academy.
Required Time Commitment: Minimum 4 month commitment (late May to mid-September), preferable 6 months (start/end dates flexible).
Shift Times: 8 am – 4 pm
Scheduling: Part Time 22.5-37.5 hours per week (minimum 3 days/week), with one weekend day required.
Stipend – This is an unpaid internship.
Housing – Housing is not available for this position.
- Full access to the San Diego Zoo Global Academy course-list for the duration of the internship; certificate upon completion.
- Networking opportunity and access to 180+ years of professional experience and knowledge via current zoo staff.
- Potential training in numerous animal husbandry and zoo facility skills such as exhibit design and maintenance, animal nutrition, landscaping, small tool use, veterinary care, operant conditioning and public speaking.
- Free access to all Delaware State Parks during internship or volunteer duration including Delaware Seashore and Fort Delaware.
- Job shadow opportunities at nearby AZA zoos when scheduling permits.
To Apply: All volunteers must complete the DE State Parks Intern Application. Interns must also complete and pass a background check administered by DE State Parks. For more information, please visit https://destateparks.com/Volunteer/Positions.
Questions: Email Danielle.Levredge@state.de.us