"I feel privileged to have been an intern at the Indianapolis Zoo. Everyone has been so kind and willing to share their knowledge with me! I will cherish this experience and am very grateful for the opportunity."
—Cara W., Oceans Aquarist Intern
Internship opportunities vary by semester and are generally offered in these areas:
Join our multi-disciplined team of educators, scientists, and conservationists to develop and implement a far-reaching series of programs that will have a measurable, significant and positive impact on wildlife and wild places around the planet, and help transform the City of Indianapolis into a community that embraces environmental stewardship as a core value. Conservation Education Program interns assist with education overnights and a wide variety of visitor programming.
Conservation Education On-Grounds Interpretation
On-grounds interpretation interns take part in guest experiences on grounds, such as Animal Chats, Dolphin Presentations, informal interpretation in the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center and roving throughout the Zoo, as well as participate in day to day preparation and organization of experiences and assist with creating programming.
Conservation Education Program Evaluation
Evaluation interns administer summative evaluations and analyze data for the Zoo's hands-on carts used in the Volunteer Naturalist program.
Encounters — Birds
Flights of Fancy, A Brilliance of Birds contains birds from around the world. Interns are given the opportunity to work with a variety of species, including budgies, cockatiels, lorikeets, helmeted guinea fowl, and Chilean and Caribbean Flamingos.
Marine Mammals/Carnivore Area
Working with one of the most diverse marine mammal collections in the U.S., this internship is ideal for individuals wishing to learn more about proper husbandry for keeping marine mammals and large carnivores in captivity. Interns in these areas of the Zoo may encounter Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, California sea lion, harbor seal, Pacific walrus, polar bear, Alaskan brown bear and Amur tiger. SCUBA and CPR certifications preferred.
The Zoo's aquarium houses one of the nation's largest shark touch tanks! Interns may have the opportunity to work with numerous species including smooth dogfish sharks, a wide variety of reef fish, moray eels, jellyfish, seahorses, and penguins to name a few! SCUBA Certification is preferred but not required.
Oceans Water Quality Lab
The water quality lab monitors the water quality for all exhibits throughout the zoo that include water features. Interns work with the water quality lab supervisor, and assist with the collection and analysis of water samples and maintain daily water quality records. Opportunities to assist in animal related activities and perform routine exhibit care are also available. SCUBA Certification is preferred but not required.
Veterinary Hospital Animal Care/Nutrition
Pre-Veterinary majors have the chance to assist the veterinary hospital keepers in providing care for the hospital patients and quarantine animals. Interns also assist the Commissary Staff in daily diet preparation, delivery and inventory management.
Plains/Forest Primates Area
This internship offers a unique experience working side-by-side with keepers. Species interns will encounter in the Plains area include African lions, African wild dog, cheetahs, Grant's zebras, greater kudu, Guinea baboons, reticulated giraffes, and white rhinoceros. Species in the Forest Primates area include several types of lemurs and white-handed gibbons.
Looking for some hand-on experience in human resources and non-profit management? This is the internship for you! Human resources interns assist with all aspects of human resources, from recruiting and training to administrative functions. Work closely with the human resources and volunteer services staff in this dynamic setting. Learn about the fast-paced world of human resources in an environment that is one of a kind!
The Institutional Advancement Department creates and implements the Indianapolis Zoo's fundraising efforts. This internship position will provide substantial experience in non–profit development and management, grant writing, event planning, researching donor prospects, and solicitation strategizing, in addition to gaining valuable office experience working in one a zoo ranked among the Top 10 in the nation. Individuals with great attention to detail, previous experience with special events and team players are encouraged to apply.
Marketing/Special Events interns will work closely with the events and advertising manager in minor planning of special events and to implement comprehensive advertising plans.
Occupational Safety and Health
The Indianapolis Zoo is dedicated to the elimination of staff and guest injuries and illnesses through the implementation of the Zoo Safety and Health Programs, as well as maintaining compliance with all applicable federal, state and local regulations. Occupational safety and health interns will be asked to help lead this effort through performing safety and health inspections and assessing the grounds for safety and health hazards.
Help promote awareness of the world-class Indianapolis Zoo! Working with the media, the Zoo's social media strategies, video, press releases, and overall participation in the Zoo's public relations efforts is a sampling of the adventures that await you as a member of the public relations team.
Join this fast-paced department and take part in all aspects of volunteer management. Help recruit, select, train, motivate, and supervise our great group of nearly 600 individuals between the ages of 14 and 95. You will gain administrative and organizational skills, learn about non-profit management , and have fun, too!
Veterinary Student Externship, Preceptorship or Off-Campus Block
Veterinary students will observe and assist the veterinarians with clinical cases, treatments, immobilizations, surgeries, necropsies, and medical record keeping. The student will be required to complete and present a project during the externship. Externships are 40 hours per week for 4-6 weeks as per fourth year vet student requirements. Arrangements for externships must be made far in advance. This opportunity is available year round for enrolled vet students; vet techs do not qualify for the externship. Click here to apply!