Internship & Externship Opportunities
Animal Management Areas
Animal Science students will develop an understanding of the goals of zoo ungulate conservation programs and basic principles of exotic ungulate management in zoos. Duties may include food preparation, cleaning habitats and barns, habitat decoration and maintenance, social animal management (animal observations), record keeping, making environmental enrichment items and projects (horticulture work, grounds clean-up, research projects, facility/equipment maintenance, developing new graphics or educational materials, data analysis). Interns/Externs will be restricted to tasks that do not require manipulation or handling of the animals.
Interns/Externs in the Bird Department will work with a diverse collection of birds and look at captive management/conservation programs. Opportunities will include maintenance of bird exhibits, feeding and watering birds, assisting in record keeping, animal observations, diet evaluation and environmental enrichment. Interns/Externs will be monitored by a full-time keeper and will have opportunities to work directly with the birds.
Interns/Externs in the Children’s Zoo will be introduced to the goals of conservation education and the basic husbandry principles of small mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Duties include the care and cleaning of collection, interacting positively with and educating Zoo visitors, providing enrichment to the animals and supervising the animal contact areas in the Children’s Zoo.
Interns/Externs in the Herpetology unit will work with staff and animal collections to develop an understanding of captive management/conservation programs for herps (reptiles and amphibians). Routines may include food preparation, cleaning exhibits and off-exhibit enclosures, record keeping and projects (redecorating, yard work in outdoor exhibits, writing graphics, data collection, conservation of animal behavior, etc.). Interns/Externs will not work with venomous reptiles or large crocodilians.
Interns/Externs will work closely with invertebrate staff. They will learn husbandry techniques for certain non-venomous arthropods; collect live specimens throughout summer and curate dead insect collection. Interns/Externs will also work in the Butterfly Wing as well as the display hall and outside garden area. The Monsanto Insectarium offers many new experiences to interns/externs who are selected.
Institute for Conservation Medicine
The Saint Louis Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Medicine takes a holistic approach to research on wildlife, public health, and sustainable ecosystems to ensure healthy animals, and healthy people. Research in the Institute focuses on those diseases known to affect threatened wildlife, with an emphasis on health challenges at the wildlife, domestic animal, and human interface. The internship with the Institute will provide students exposure to scientific research through database management, laboratory diagnostics, and field veterinary medicine.
Interns/Externs in the Primate Department will be introduced to the goals of primate captive conservation programs and the basic principles of primate husbandry. Duties may include diet preparation, exhibit and cage cleaning and decorating, making environmental enrichment items, and behavioral observations. Interns/Externs must have a negative TB test.
Non-Animal Related Areas
Architecture and Planning
The intern/extern in the Architecture field will have many responsibilities, including, but not limited to: programming, site analysis, concept design, specifications and materials research, construction document preparation, bidding and contract negotiation, estimating, and construction administration. A wide range of projects are being developed including landscaping, exhibits, educational facilities, food service facilities, gift shops and site amenities.
The registrar intern/extern assists the registrar with ongoing animal records management projects. Most, if not all, projects are focused on quality control and data clean up. Some routine work is required and includes prepping animal transaction files for microfilming, completing data entry functions in several databases and cross-checking documents for accuracy. The above-referenced intern/externship provides a bird’s eye view of the animal division’s administrative functions. The registrar intern/extern must be computer literate with a proficiency in Windows, Internet and CD-Rom technology.
The Audience Research intern/extern will conduct at least one complete evaluation/research study, which may include interviewing Zoo visitors, data entry, data analysis and report generation. The intern/extern will also assist the Audience Research Coordinator with other duties and gain skills in all aspects of Audience Research.
The Development intern/extern assists the Development office staff with an ongoing capital campaign and data management. Projects may include data entry, assisting with mailings, and filing. Occasional assistance with donor related events may be needed. The above-referenced intern/externship provides a bird’s eye view of the Development office’s administrative functions. The Development intern/extern must be computer literate with a proficiency in Microsoft Office and have filing experience.
The outreach intern/extern assists outreach instructors in delivering educational programs at sites away from the Zoo. Duties include assembling educational materials for programs, and completing projects to improve outreach programs. The outreach intern/extern is also given the opportunity to shadow educational programs in other areas of the department so that he or she can acquire a full understanding of Zoo Education. Interns and externs are given their own projects to complete based on their interests, such as designing a new program offering. Interns/Externs must have some teaching experience and an interest in informal science education.
The finance intern/extern assists the Manager of Revenue Operation in maintaining multiple Excel spreadsheets, such as late night reporting that calculates revenue and expenses earned during the season; maintain a daily worksheet that tracks voids, deletes and no sales for all business operation locations. The intern/extern also assists with some cash room functions such as making banks and checking cash room reports regularly. The finance intern/extern must be computer literate with a proficiency in Windows and Microsoft Outlook.
The primary function of the Hospitality Management intern/extern is to assist Special Events Office staff. Duties include clerical support, assisting with pre-event planning, event production and execution, mailings, data entry, volunteer coordination, event promotions, phone coverage, inventory and other clerical duties as assigned. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, customer service experience, ability to handle and prioritize numerous tasks, and the capacity to work independently are important, and computer literacy, general knowledge and use of Microsoft Excel and Word a must. This intern/externship will have a flexible schedule which may require working evenings and weekends.
The Human Resources intern/extern assists with all aspects of the Human Resources Department. The intern/extern participates in the recruitment, interviewing and staffing of full-time, part-time and seasonal positions for all areas of the Zoo. The intern/extern learns how the Zoo administers its policies and procedures, including how it conducts disciplinary investigations and meetings. The intern/extern becomes more familiar with how to research, comprehend and apply employment and labor laws. The intern/extern helps with administrative tasks, such as filing and data entry as assigned.
Safety & Risk Management
The Saint Louis Zoo is like a small city with all of the challenges of a city with a population of 3 million. This experience will give the student an exposure to a very diverse industry yet being very specialized. This will provide students a new angle on safety and risk management that includes attending meetings and events, performing safety inspections, and providing safety consultation. Responsibilities will include data entry into an excel spreadsheet, providing and assisting in selecting proper PPE for various trades, contacting vendors for pricing and availability of safety related items, and participating in various drills (fire, tornado, escaped animal, etc.) and actual emergency situations.