Animal Husbandry Intern - Joppa Flats

Location: Newburyport, MA
Sanctuary: Joppa Flats

The Animal Husbandry Interns (AHI) work as a team to train and manage the care, feeding and maintenance of onsite tanks and aquaria including a 110 gallon cold marine touch tank and a 50 gallon salt marsh tank, a 30 gallon freshwater pond tank, and various insect and temporary visitor tanks. The team is responsible for the bird feeders and bird baths on the property. The AHI team will also work with the staff to conduct seasonal collecting trips at the sandy beach, rocky tide pools, salt marsh and ponds for our onsite aquaria. The team will work with our master gardeners once a week to help maintain our butterfly and vegetable garden and assist with general landscaping. AHI interns will receive in the field training with our Biosurvey Project naturalist to learn about our long-term inventory of plant and insect species on the property. The team will also further develop our online insect guide and create signage and seasonal visual aids for visitors. There are multiple terms for this internship and upon mutual agreement, the internships can be extended season to season.

Spring Term: March through May 2019

Summer Term: May through August 2019

Commitment: 15-20 hours per week.

Days: Flexible weekdays with minimal weekend commitment. 



  • Maintain our 110- and 50- gallon cold marine aquarium tanks; care for and feed their inhabitants (coastal invertebrates and fish); perform necessary tank maintenance
  • Perform bi-monthly tank inventory counts
  • Assist with on-the-beach release and collecting trips
  • Upkeep the animal collection log and submit report at the end of the term
  • Perform weekly water chemistry tests (NH4, NO2, NO3, pH) and salinity checks
  • Set up temporary tanks for pond life, salt marsh life or for seasonal “guests” (tadpoles, insects, etc.)
  • Assist with the development of our plant and insect species inventory
  • Learn how to use online resources for species identification and record keeping
  • Create seasonal plant and insect training aids and activity sheets for visitors
  • Take photographs and videos of wildlife and plants and marine life for an online blog


  • At least 18 years of age or a senior in high school
  • Requires a Massachusetts driving license
  • Experience with tank maintenance, animal care, and feeding (salt water preferred)
  • Local knowledge of New England coastal ecology and rocky shore species a plus but not required
  • Knowledge of botany or experience gardening a plus
  • Demonstrates strong oral and written communication skills
  • Can work independently or as part of a team
  • Must pass a background records check (CORI, SORI and driver's) 

Compensation and Benefits

This is an unpaid internship. Applicants may request assistance with local housing and will be selected based on need.

Additional Comments

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

Mass Audubon is an equal opportunity employer.  We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees and applicants. Mass Audubon prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

How to Apply

Please email your cover letter and resume to:

No phone calls please.

Lisa Hutchings, School & Youth Education Coordinator and Teacher Naturalist
Job# 2110