Objective: To provide in-service learning experiences in museum live animal care, education and exhibition activities.
- Internship Focus: Interns will be involved in the health, care, enrichment, and overall husbandry of the live animal collection at the Schiele Museum of Natural History. In addition, interns will help with the delivery of live animal content to museum audiences and support activities such as program development, exhibit development, program evaluation, data collection, and resource management that are required for a successful live animal program.
- Internship Duration: Internships correspond with academic semesters and are available during spring (January-April), summer (May-August) and fall (September-December). The summer internship requires at least 320 hours with a time commitment of 40 plus hours a week.
- Institutional Summary: The Schiele Museum of Natural History is the premier natural science museum in the Charlotte-Metro region and serves over 200,000 visitors a year. Museum interpretive operations deliver mission-based information to visitors and program participants through presentation activities and exhibit experiences. The Education Department, comprised of 8 staff and various supportive part-time or contract interpreters, delivers mission-based programs, events, classes, workshops and field experiences to over 80,000 participants annually, including all segments of audience: students on field trips, outreach programs, adults, families, and organized youth organizations. The James H. Lynn Planetarium, North Carolina’s second largest planetarium, provides public programs weekly to general audiences and for school field trips. Other interpretive operations include the Exhibits Department and Museum Live Animal Program.
- Internship Summary: The Museum Live Animal Husbandry Internship will provide an in-service learning experience that illustrates a career in live animal management. The animal collection consists of over 45 species of animals, including arthropods, snakes, turtles, lizards, fish, birds, small mammal species, and farm animals. Interns will learn the daily care of program and exhibit animals. They will be responsible for daily food preparation and feeding, cleaning of exhibits and behind-the-scenes areas, animal training and enrichment, and animal observation and record keeping. Interns will learn how to properly handle live animals during presentations as well as learning important skills for developing and presenting educational programs. Activities will center on the critical components of a successful live animal program: Animal Husbandry, Program Delivery, Permits and Regulations, Facility Management, Data Collection and Health Assessments. Upon completion of the program, the intern will have a better understanding of the proper management of live animals in a museum setting.
- Develop skills in animal husbandry. Interns will learn strategies to manage live animal facilities including but not limited to monitoring and maintaining the health, well-being and environment of animals through medical care and cleaning practices, providing proper diets and nutrition, exhibit maintenance, and supplying daily enrichment exercises for the animals.
- Gain an understanding of animal training techniques. Interns will assist and participate in specific training techniques used to prepare live animals for educational programming and handling.
- Participate in data collection and evaluation.
Interns will collect, record and evaluate data related to daily animal care and animal programing.
- Gain an understanding of permits, laws and regulations required of live animal facilities.
Interns will learn about the local, state and federal regulations required to maintain a live animal collection.
- Gain an understanding of live animal program presentation procedures.
Interns will participate in the development and delivery of live animal programs using a variety of formats, including verbal presentations, table displays, and hands-on workshops.
- Participate in evaluating and developing live animal programs. Interns will learn skills critical for the assessment of live animal programs, including their effectiveness in meeting goals from the NC Standard Course of Study. Participants will assist in developing new program materials, including but not limited to an emphasis on animal conservation.
- Explore strategies to incorporate live animals into museum exhibits. Interns will participate in animal exhibit planning sessions. The participant will work with staff to develop and implement live animal exhibits into current museum activities. Interns will also be involved in the improvement of exhibits including structure, visual appeal and overall function of the exhibit.
- Written & Verbal Evaluation of Activities.
Interns will reflect upon their experiences through a verbal evaluation and written documentation. During the last few weeks of the internship, interns will meet with the intern supervisor to review the internship experience. Interns will be asked to verbally evaluate themselves and the internship during this meeting. A written evaluation will be completed by the intern supervisor for each intern. This evaluation will review the intern’s performance, including strengths and weaknesses. The purpose of this evaluation is to aid interns in future endeavors by helping them grow as individuals. Completion of this documentation concludes the internship.
Housing is available on site at the Schiele Museum of Natural History. Food and transportation are NOT provided. Deadlines for applications: Summer – February 15th.