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Internships

Internships

College students interested in gaining knowledge in the specific fields are invited to inquire about internships at the Virginia Living Museum. We offer unpaid semester-long internships, providing the opportunity for hands-on experience within our Aquarium Care, Development, Volunteer Services and Veterinarian Care areas. Students will gain practical experience for entering the job market. For more information, email the Volunteer Department or contact our Volunteer Office at 757-534-7428 or view the Internship positions below.

Applicants for Aquarium  and Veterinarian Internships must submit an unofficial copy of their transcript with current GPA visible.


Aquarist Internship

The Virginia Living Museum takes applications for one semester Internships on a rolling deadline. Spring Internships begin January/February, Summer Internships begin May/June and Fall Internships begin August/September each year. This Internship posting is in the Aquarium division within the Museum’s Curatorial Department.

Summary of Internship:

The Aquarist Internship is an un-paid, experiential learning opportunity that will take place over the course of one semester. Interns will have the unique opportunity to assist in the daily husbandry and maintenance required for the museum’s live aquatic collection and their corresponding life support systems. Currently the museum holds 100 aquatic species in its collection, including threatened and endangered species, as well as sharks and a sea turtle. Interns will gain experience in the husbandry and maintenance required to sustain these species. The intern may also be called upon to assist with administrative record-keeping.

The Virginia Living Museum takes applications for one semester Aquariums Internships on a rolling deadline.  Spring Internships begin January/February, Summer Internships begin May/June and Fall Internships begin August/September each year.  

Length of Internship

The Aquarist Internship is offered on a one semester basis (10-14 weeks) with the choice of a fall, spring, or summer semester (summer being offered to those that live in the area).  The internship may include some weekends, holidays, and possible offsite events.

For best consideration, please apply by August 1 for the fall semester, January 1 for the spring semester, and May 15 for the summer.

Number of hours required

4 hours per week in half day shifts (either 9-1 am or 1-5 pm)

Qualifications for this Internship:

Interns must be at least 18 years of age and be current college students, or have previous college degree in Biology or related fields (ex: Marine Science, Environmental Science, Zoology, etc.) Candidates should have a strong career interest in the field of Ichthyology, marine biology, aquatic ecology or desire to obtain experience in aquatic husbandry. Candidates must be able to work independently or with minimal supervision, be reliable, on time, and be open and honest.

The intern will gain experience with the following:

Daily and weekly duties that are required for maintaining a live aquatic collection, local aquatic ecology, and behind-the-scenes duties/responsibilities of a public zoo/aquarium setting, and how to work independently and be responsible for weekly tasks. Most notably, interns will have the opportunity to relate their current college courses with everyday Aquarist work procedures (ex. chemistry, ecology, etc.).

Duties:

The intern will perform the following tasks:

  • Water chemistry and water quality monitoring
  • Exhibit cleaning/maintenance (ex. gravel washing)
  • Food preparations and feeding
  • Public feeding programs
  • Other duties as assigned, based on good performance, proficiency and motivation

Please note this internship does not deal with marine mammals.

Projects:

A reflection paper due at the end of the semester to include:

  • The intern’s development over the course of the internship (ex: new knowledge, skills gained, professional direction, emotional growth, etc.)
  • Driving forces that contributed to the success of the intern over the course of the internship
  • The strengths and weaknesses of the program

Length: 1.5-2 pages, 1.5 line spacing, Times New Roman, 12 point font

Expectations:

The intern will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

Interns will be watched and evaluated by staff during the course of their internship with formal evaluations taking place at the mid- and end-point of the internship. Staff will monitor and judge their progress, motivation, improvement and dedication. As interns improve, they will be rewarded by being provided with tasks that require more skill and responsibility. Conversely, poor effort and/or less responsible behavior will result in reduced opportunities or termination of the internship.

The evaluation tool that will be used is the museum’s intern evaluation form.

Feedback:

The intern’s project for the semester will also act as the main source of feedback. This 1.5-2 page reflection will outline the development of the intern, the driving forces contributing to their success, and the strengths and weaknesses of the internship program. This reflection paper will be given to the Aquarium Curator for further consideration.

How to Apply:

Submit cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript, and volunteer application to the Volunteer Services Office.  Be sure to specify “Aquarist Internship” on the application. Applications can be found at www.theVLM.org and follow links to the volunteer pages.

Development Internship

Purpose

To provide support for the Museum’s Development Office, for a variety of membership and special event tasks.

Duration

Internships are available all year, 1 to 3 days a week based on mutually agreeable dates/times, by semester. Option is open for a two semester term (including summers). Internships are non-compensatory.

Duties

Assisting with a variety of Development support to include:

  • Special events – fund raisers, donor cultivation/stewardship projects, graphic arts
  • Writing basic Museum solicitations to donors
  • Researching potential corporate and individual donors, obtaining (by phone or internet) contact names from potential corporate donors
  • Data Entry – Input new member and sponsor information as well as updating current information into Development
  • Database (Raiser’s Edge.)
  • Labeling and collating Museum member packets
  • Miscellaneous office tasks (copy, addressing envelopes, stuffing envelopes)

Qualifications

  • Interested in truly learning and helping the Museum. Energetic.
  • Punctuality & dependability – if you are not able to attend when scheduled, it is required that you inform Volunteer Services of your absence.
  • Enrolled in college; Business/Communication/Marketing/Psychology major a plus.
  • Computer skills: Intermediate knowledge of Microsoft Office programs; Database experience a plus (we use Raiser’s Edge).
  • Ability to learn new software programs.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.

Training

  • New Volunteer Orientation
  • On-the-job training with Development staff.

Supervisors

  • Directly supervised by Development Services Manager and Development staff.
  • Also reports to Volunteer Services staff.

Please submit a cover letter, resume and official VLM volunteer application  to the Volunteer Services office. Be sure to specify “Development Internship” on top of application. No walk-ins.

Development Internship - Special Events

Purpose

To observe and assist with various projects/events assigned by the Development-Special Events Associate.

Duration

Internships are available all year, preferably for a two semester term (summer included); 1 to 3 days per week based on mutually agreeable dates/times. Internship is non-compensatory.

Responsibilities

  • Assist with event planning and management logistics.
  • Work within event budgets; maintain accurate counting of events costs and income.
  • Develop timelines to meet special event objectives.
  • Assist in creating event materials including signage, invitations, flyers and etc.
  • Help secure raffle and silent auction items.
  • Procure and organize supplies for event.
  • Assist in event setup and breakdown.

Qualifications

  • Strong interpersonal, verbal (including phone skills) and written communication skills.
  • Self-motivated, good organizational skills, detail oriented, ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • Punctuality & dependability – if you are not able to attend when scheduled, it is required that you inform Volunteer Services of your absence.
  • Enrolled in college.
  • Computer skills: Intermediate knowledge of Microsoft Office programs; Experience with Adobe creative suite.
  • Flexible work schedule and ability to occasionally work after-hours and some weekends.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, mission driven organization.
  • Ability to occasionally work after-hours and some weekends.
  • Willingness to learn new skills.

Training

  • New Volunteer Orientation
  • On-the-job training with Development staff.

Supervisors

  • Directly supervised by Development Special Events Associate and Development staff.
  • Also reports to Volunteer Services staff.

Please submit a cover letter, resume and official VLM volunteer application  to the Volunteer Services office. Be sure to specify “Development Internship – Special Events” on top of application. No walk-ins.

Volunteer Services Internship

Unpaid Internship, up to 15 hours weekly

General Statement of Duties

The Volunteer Services Intern will work closely with and assist the Volunteer Director and staff with the on-site management of volunteers. Assists in the oversight of volunteers while they are on duty and ensures that policies and dress code are followed. The Intern may also be called upon to assist with administrative record-keeping, as well as the recruitment, screening, placement, recognition, evaluation and retention of volunteers in the program.

Reports To

Volunteer Services Director and Volunteer Services staff

Qualifications

  • This position is open to students currently enrolled in an academic program of study through a college or university.
  • Preferred coursework in Organizational Psychology, Psychology, Management, Communications, Leadership or other related field.
  • Must be available for two semesters. Must also have the ability to work some hours during breaks and holidays. Some evenings and weekends required.
  • Desire to gain experience in supervising & coordinating volunteer activities.
  • Organizational ability, enthusiastic, friendly personality.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Ability to multi-task and adapt to fast-paced environment with multiple volunteer schedule changes.
  • Computer skills: Microsoft Word and other Windows programs. Familiarity with Volgistics database a plus.
  • Ability to interact positively within a variety of social, economic levels wherein volunteers may be recruited.
  • Ability to work with a minimum of supervision; excellent attention to detail, yet flexible.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Ensure compliance with volunteer position descriptions and policies.
  • Monitor volunteer performance, especially with regard to schedule and duties, reporting and assisting with disciplinary actions when necessary, and as directed.
  • Assist in supervision of volunteers working as interpreters; maintain communication with volunteers working in other areas.
  • Ensure that open volunteer spots are filled in a timely manner.
  • Assist as needed in screening applicants, determining suitability for program as well as best placement in conjunction with other staff.
  • Assist in orienting new volunteers into Museum routine; monitor attendance.
  • Assist as needed with administrative record keeping.
  • Attend departmental staff meetings.
  • Launder smocks and towels as needed daily.
  • Interpret the Touch Tank as directed (training provided).
  • Perform other duties as may be assigned.

Astronomy Internship

General Statement of Duties

Under the supervision of the Astronomy Manager, Astronomy Interns are responsible for the operation of the Abbitt Observatory, performance of planetarium programs for the public, and assisting with summer camps and other special astronomy events as assigned. As a member of the Astronomy team, you will work closely with education staff and volunteers to ensure quality experiences for our guests. This internship is designed to offer practical experiences for a person interested in a future career in either informal or formal education.

Internship Details

Number of available positions: 2
Interview Required: Yes
Minimum Time Commitment: 2 days a week for 8 weeks
Lodging Provided: No

Qualifications

  • Enthusiastic and strong interest in astronomy
  • Outgoing personality with strong presentation skills
  • Results oriented and productive in a fast-paced environment
  • Willingness and ability to learn in a self-directed manner
  • Exceptional interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Strong attention to detail, excellent management skills, ability to multi-task
  • Excellent oral and communication skills

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Operate solar telescopes in the Abbitt Observatory and educate museum guests about the Sun and the various events on its surface
  • Perform public planetarium programs on a variety of topics, including live sky shows
  • Serve as an astronomy resource for our guests, answering questions and providing more information as requested
  • Assist astronomy staff with summer camp activities as needed
  • Assist astronomy staff with star party events, including the operation of the museum’s telescopes for evening observing
  • Support, train, and coach volunteer ushers for the planetarium
  • Performs other duties as assigned

Essential Requirements

  • Availability to work occasional evenings and weekends.
  • Must be able to express or exchange ideas by means of the spoken word and perceive detailed information through oral communication as well as have the ability to make the discriminations in sound.
  • Physical requirements include medium work, exerting up to 50 pounds of force occasionally, up to 30 pounds of force frequently, and/or up to 10 pounds of force constantly to move objects.
  • Must be able to stand for extended periods of time and move about on foot to accomplish tasks.
  • Must be able to stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, reach, push, pull, lift, grasp, feel, and utilize repetitive motions.
  • Must have close visual acuity to operate a motor vehicle and perform activities such as: preparing and analyzing data, transcribing, viewing a computer, and extensive reading.
  • The position is subject to environmental conditions for activities occurring indoors and outdoors.

Required Application Materials

  • VLM Volunteer Application: https://thevlm.org/join/volunteer/applications/
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • 3 Personal References
  • Optional: Letter(s) of Recommendation

Submit application and materials to:

Volunteer Coordinator
Virginia Living Museum
524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd,
Newport News, VA 23601

Email: volunteer@thevlm.org
Fax: 757-599-4897

No phone calls or walk-ins, please.
Application Deadline: May 14, 2019

Ozone Garden Research Internship

Summary of Internship:

Under the guidance of the Education Department, the Ozone Garden Research Intern will be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the ozone garden, helping to establish a citizen science data collection system, and collect and analyze data in a research based project to be presented at the end of the internship. This internship is designed to educate about the importance of ozone, its relationship to plant and human health, and develop research and public communication skills about ozone.

Length of Internship:

Summer only from May/June to Labor Day; 12 hours a week on set schedule.

Qualifications for this Internship:

  • The position is open for currently enrolled  high school and college students
  • Interest in learning biology, botany, plant pathology, atmospheric sciences or related fields
  • Motivation to learn about and perform further research on ozone and bioindicator plant species
  • Must be willing to actively engage guests of all ages through citizen science projects
  • The majority of this internship will take place outdoors during the summer – an ability to be outside, in the summer heat is required
  • Willingness to get your hands dirty  maintaining the garden
  • Must be organized, able to stick to a weekly schedule, and able to work with minimum amount of supervision
  • Basic skills using Microsoft Office Products, mainly Word and Excel

The Intern will gain the following experience:

  • Learn basic plant identification
  • Learn to identify and quantify ozone plant injury
  • Learn how to communicate scientific data to the public and engage in citizen science related work
  • Develop a research project from start to finish including: background research, data collection, compiling and analyzing data, and presenting completed research project
  • Develop research skills as well as presenting and communication skills

Duties:

  • Help maintain the health of the garden by keeping up with weekly watering, weeding, and pruning
  • Develop a schedule for weekly plant and ozone data collection
  • Compile and analyze collected data
  • Create and communicate a research project about data results
  • Help develop citizen science data collection system
  • Develop a schedule for weekly citizen science data collection
  • Compile and analyze citizen science data collection
  • Create a useful display of citizen science data collection for guests to view and interpret
  • Understand and utilize evaluation sheets to assess pros and cons of the citizen science data collection process
  • Attend bi-monthly meetings with supervisor to talk about progress with the garden, the research, the citizen science and overall value of the internship
  • Create a presentation based on data collected throughout the internship to be presented at the end of the internship

Expectations:

What expectations do you have of the interns in your department? (Example: managing events, teaching training classes, must work 100 hours on-site, etc.)

  • To maintain a schedule for research and citizen science data collection
  • Develop an end of the internship presentation based on analysis of data collected throughout the semester
  • Be proficient at collecting citizen science data, and  displaying that data in a format that is easy to understand for our guests

Culminating Project:

A research based project of the Interns choosing will be presented to the Education Department and others at the end of their internship.

Evaluation and Feedback:

An evaluation of the intern’s progress will take place at the halfway mark of their internship as well as at the conclusion of the internship. The museum’s standard Intern Evaluation form will be used.  The intern will also have the opportunity to provide feedback to the Education Department through bi-monthly meetings. These meetings will also assess the progress of the intern’s research project and evaluate any successes and/or challenges of the current citizen science data collection method.

Application Instructions: Please submit an official VLM volunteer application (available at www.thevlm.org), along with a resume, cover letter and unofficial transcript.  Application materials should demonstrate some prior knowledge of plants. Deadline to apply: May 5, 2019.

Ozone Garden Interpreter Internship

Summary of Internship:

Under the guidance of the Education Department, the Ozone Garden Interpreter Intern will be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the ozone garden, as well as develop ozone related educational activities that are engaging and promote conservation. This internship is designed to educate about the importance of ozone and its relationship to plant and human health, as well as provide experience in informal education and interpretation.

Length of Internship:

Summer only from May/June to Labor Day; 12 hours a week on set schedule.

Qualifications for this Internship:

  • The position is open for currently enrolled high school and college students
  • Interest in learning biology, botany, plant pathology, atmospheric sciences, education or related fields
  • Interest in education and interpretation
  • Have an outgoing, self-motivated personality
  • Must be willing to actively engaged guests of all ages through hands-on activities
  • The majority of this internship will take place outdoors during the summer – an ability to be outside, in the summer heat is preferred
  • Willingness to get your hands dirty  maintaining the garden
  • Must be organized, able to stick to a weekly schedule, and able to work with minimum amount of supervision
  • Basic skills using Microsoft Office Products, mainly Word and Excel

The intern will gain experience in the following areas:

  • The opportunity to learn basic plant identification
  • Ability to identify and quantify ozone plant injury
  • Learn how to positively engage guests in a variety of hands-on activities while explaining different science topics
  • Develop new activities, test them on guests at the garden, evaluate their pros and cons and present results at the end of the internship
  • Develop science communication and interpretation skills

Duties:

  • Help maintain the health of the garden by keeping up with weekly watering, weeding, and pruning
  • Actively engage visitors with current ozone garden activities and utilize evaluation sheets to assess pros and cons of each activity
  • Develop new ozone garden related activities
  • Test new ozone garden activities and utilize evaluation sheets to assess pros and cons
  • Attend bi-monthly meetings with supervisor to talk about progress with the garden, the current activities, the new activities and overall value of the internship
  • Create a presentation based on evaluation of the activities to be presented at the end of the internship

Expectations of Interns in this Internship:

  • Proficient at interpreting ozone information to guests
  • To increase guest interest in the garden through hands-on activities
  • To develop a new activity for guests to better interact with the garden

Culminating Project:

The intern will create a new activity that will be presented or demonstrated to the Education Department and other staff members at the end of the internship.

Evaluation and Feedback:

An evaluation of the intern’s progress will take place at the halfway mark of their internship as well as at the conclusion of the internship. The museum’s standard Intern Evaluation form will be used.  The intern will also have the opportunity to provide feedback to the Education Department through bi-monthly meetings. These meetings will also assess the progress of the intern’s new activity and evaluate any successes and/or challenges of the current activities.

Application Instructions:

Please submit an official VLM volunteer application (available at www.thevlm.org), along with a resume, cover letter and unofficial transcript.  Application materials should demonstrate some prior knowledge of plants. Deadline to apply: May 5, 2019.

 


Application Instructions

Submit cover letter and resume to:

Volunteer Coordinator
Virginia Living Museum
524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd,
Newport News, VA 23601

Email or fax: 757-599-4897.
No walk-ins.