The Oklahoma Aquarium offers students the opportunity to get involved with our day-to-day operations and work with staff. Students who participate in our intern programs will receive course credit for their time spent working at the Oklahoma Aquarium.
General Program Requirements and Expectations (please also read specific requirements for the position you are applying):
- Currently enrolled in a college or vocational program
- Good standing with your school
- Must receive course credit for internship hours completed
- Adhere to dress codes and all other rules established to all Oklahoma Aquarium employees and other staff
- Congenial working environment
- Course credit
- References and recommendations
- Opportunity to work in a world-class aquatic facility with animal caregivers
Duties include, but are not limited to: animal husbandry; systems maintenance; plumbing; necropsy; collecting of local specimens; cleaning; information research; fish disease treatment; and special projects as they arise.
Position specific requirements: biology major, 2.5+ GPA; coursework in any of the following: biology, chemistry, botany, aquaculture, vertebrate zoology, and/or invertebrate zoology; typically four hour shifts (available shifts are seven days a week from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) but must have some flexibility with schedule. Please also list three references that we may contact (full name, phone number, and email).
Promote our marvelous and mysterious aquatic life to locals and travelers from around the world. Duties include, but are not limited to: promoting and distributing our stories to local and national media, coordinating with advertisers and vendors, writing social media content, updating our website, building our newsletter subscriber list, and more.
Specific program requirements: Interest/major in marketing and/or journalism; 2.5+ GPA; coursework and experience in writing and/or advertising; computer skills in Word and Excel; excellent communication skills; work four to six-hour shifts. Please also list three references that we may contact (full name, phone number, and email).
Create and develop small to large-scale events in one of Oklahoma’s most premiere venues. Our event spaces showcase the watery wonders found deep within our oceans and rivers, and highlight the beauty of our natural world. Duties include, but are not limited to: event planning, decorating, assisting the event’s team, preparing material for display, reaching out to local vendors, and more.
Specific program requirements: Interest/major in event planning and/or marketing; 2.5+ GPA; experience in public speaking; computer skills in Word and Excel; excellent project management skills; work four to six-hour shifts, but also have flexibility with schedule (including some weekends and evenings). Please also list three references that we may contact (full name, phone number, and email).
Teaching students and visitors about our conservation efforts and aquatic life is an important part of our mission. Duties include, but are not limited to: researching animal information, writing animal fact sheets, assisting with program development, presenting to school groups, writing curriculum, preparing educator workshops, and more.
Specific program requirements: Interest/major in biology and/or education, 2.5+ GPA; experience in public speaking; computer skills in Word and Excel; excellent written communication skills; work four to six-hour shifts, but also have flexibility with schedule (including some weekends and evenings). Please also list three references that we may contact (full name, phone number, and email).
Be prepared to get wet! Assist biology staff in maintaining superb water quality for our fish. Duties include, but are not limited to: daily collection and testing of water quality, chemical calculations, cleaning of lab and aquarium systems, building, and working on weekends as needed.
Position specific requirements: Science major (biology, chemistry, etc.), 2.5+ GPA; coursework in biology and inorganic chemistry; preferred knowledge and understanding of volumetric weights and measurements; knowledge of sterile lab procedures; work four hour shifts (available shifts are from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Monday-Friday) but some flexibility is required. Please submit two letters of recommendation (full name, phone number, and email).
- Download the intern application and release of liability.
- Completely fill out the application and have your faculty sponsor/adviser sign it. Applicants must receive credit from their school to participate in this program.
- Attach brief responses to the statements found on the application.
- Enclose a transcript from your school.
- Incomplete applications will not be considered.
- E-mail all necessary information to: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Look Into Your Future
Want to be a marine biologist? With the Oklahoma Aquarium in our community, you can explore the possibility of that career without having to leave home for the coastal regions. Working at an aquarium is fun, but it is hard work. The following information may be helpful in making the decision to pursue an aquarium career.
Bachelors degree required. Each has its own area of expertise (cold water, sharks, freshwater, etc.). Job requires flexibility. Biologist responsibilities include but are not limited to:
Appropriate water chemistry is crucial to the well-being of the animals. The water must be cleaned and circulated constantly in order to prevent toxic chemicals (ammonia from decaying food, waste, etc.) from building up and to oxygenate the water. We use floss bags and floss pads to help remove gunk from the water. These must be cleaned often. Usually we think of bacteria as a bad thing, but in the case of tank systems, there are certain bacteria that you need to have in the water. The bacteria helps convert toxic chemicals into less-toxic substances. Bacteria is added to the water in a bioball tower. he bioball tower is filled with blue spiky balls that allow surface area for bacteria to grow.
Each type of animal has specific dietary needs. Some eat dried food (algae, blood worms, etc.), while some of our animals eat fresh food like rotifers, shrimp, or mussels. The sharks eat salmon and bonita, and are fed three to five-percent of their body weight per week.
Good record keeping skills are essential to the health of the animals.
Tanks must be cleaned often. Sometimes this involves diving in the tanks to scrub algae, scrubbing the shell of a slipper lobster with a toothbrush, or vacuuming the substrate.
Water samples are taken from each tank each day and tested for various aspects (salinity, pH, etc.) Adjustments and new water are made as needed. We have a person on staff that does nothing but test the water quality of all of our tank systems.
There are many other aquarium careers beyond biology. Other possible aquarium careers include: administration, catering, education, events, marketing, guest services, life support, and maintenance. The biggest requirement for any aspect of aquarium work is passion! If you share our passion, then we invite you to explore the possibilities found at the Oklahoma Aquarium.