The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is offering four internships at its Aquarium during the 2021 summer. The Maria Mitchell Aquarium houses roughly 65-75 different marine species each year.

One of the most unique public aquarium internships in the country, this paid opportunity immerses interns all all facets of public aquarium operations, including exhibit design, collection and husbandry of 75+ marine species, plumbing and troubleshooting of filtration systems, program and tour leadership, volunteer management, retail in the giftshop, and more!

The ideal candidates have interest and experience with marine biology and environmental education. Many former interns are working the fields of outdoor education, public aquarium husbandry and education, aquaculture, K-12 science education, and marine biological sciences.

The interns, working as a team with the aquarium director, are responsible for virtually all facets of the aquarium’s operation, including animal husbandry, leading tours, managing and mentoring volunteers, leading public programs and field trips, designing exhibits, and running the gift shop. Aquarium interns choose a paid “elective” project to dive into their interests. This year, electives include marine plankton culture, invasive species surveys, signage design, animal photography, graphic design, and more! This is a fantastic, immersive experience for students interested in marine biology, or who are interested in aquarium careers.

Nantucket Island is a resort community that swells to over 60,000 people in the summer. There are 50 miles of beaches and over half the land area is conservation land. The mission of the MMA is to inspire people to experience Nantucket’s land, sea and sky. Programs and facilities focus on environmental education, ecological research, astronomy, and historic preservation. The Aquarium is the most visited of all MMA’s facilities.

Learn more about the Maria Mitchell Association!

Responsibilities and Tasks

  • Feed and care for display animals (up to 90 marine species including: fish, mollusks, arthropods, echinoderms, cnidarians, ctenophores, and more).
  • Provide engaging educational experiences to visitors during beach field trips and aquarium tours.
  • Plumbing, troubleshooting and repairing the tanks and filtartion systems.
  • Co-lead marine ecology field trips and beachcombing field trips several times per week.
  • Travel around the island to collect species for the aquarium using seining, hook & line, and snorkeling techniques.
  • Sell memberships and merchandise in the gift shop.
  • Engage in other MMA activities (astronomy, research, Nantucket history) and special events (Optional).

Key Requirements and Qualifications:

  • Educational background in marine science, biology, environmental science, or related field with at least two (2) years of college experience.
  • Some degree of marine science ecperience which may include, coursework, study abroad, internship, volunteering, etc.
  • Outgoing personality and enthusiasm for teaching science.
  • Strong interest in marine biology and outdoor education.
  • Experience working and interacting with the public, both adults and children.
  • CPR and First Aid Certified
  • Have strong verbal and written communication skills


Dates of Employment:  

Position runs May 23 – August 20, 2022 with the possibility of extended employment through October 15th.

Compensation: $15.00 per hour. This internship is 30 – 32 hours per week.


Dorm style housing available for $30/week. Housing is located within walking distance to the town center and is a short bike ride to beautiful beaches, bike and hiking trails, museums, and other great locations. If you live on campus, you will be expected to attend all dorm cleaning days as part of your housing agreement.