Arizona Sonora Desert Museum- Aquatic Interpreter Intern

Some internships may be closed. Please refer to the organization’s web page for up-to-date postings and opportunities.

Overview of position

Interns in this position complete an Aquatic Interpreter training that has an emphasis on establishing leadership skills. These interns perform tasks related to the interpretation of the Museum’s Stingray Touch exhibit and - while helping to ensure positive guest experiences - they provide guidance and support for their Aquatic Interpreter team members.

Primary Specific Tasks:

1. Check the daily/shift Stingray sign-in board to see if AIs have arrived on time and signed in

2. Assist with tasks, related to Aquatic Interpreter responsibilities

                a. Helping to manage entry into the exhibit (along with engaging those standing in line)

                b. Explaining instructions related to touching and feeding experiences

                c. Assuring the safety of both the aquatic animals and guests during touchings/feedings

                d. Engaging guests with interpretive facts and stories related to the aquatic collection

3. Identify stations at exhibit - Greeter, Orientation, Rover

4. Observe Aquatic Interpreter in each station

5. Provide guidance with proper interpretive techniques

6. Model good interpretive skills; knowledge of natural history and positive visitor engagement

7. Schedule rotation of the 3 stations

8. Discuss weekly newsletter with AIs

9. Schedule and relieve the AIs for 15 minute breaks

10. AM Shift opening – Unlock exhibit/remove jump nets and store/open interpretive table

11. PM shift closure – insure the jump nets are properly positioned and the exhibit is locked

Intern schedule: This is an in-depth program, requiring a 16-24 hour per week commitment. Interns must be flexible with their schedule and have the ability to work weekdays, weekends and holidays. It is an unpaid position and there is no housing provided. Aquatic Interpreter Interns make about a 28 week commitment and internship sessions typically correspond with the following terms (but can be flexible):

  • Fall (October-April)
  • Spring (April-October)

Hours: Hours change based on the time of year. During October – April, shifts are generally from 8:30am-1:00pm and from 12:30pm-5:00pm. During April – October, shifts are generally from 8:00am-12:30pm and from 12:00pm-5:00pm. Shifts are from 5:00pm-10:00pm during Cool Summer Nights (which occur from May – August). Shift times are adjusted in February and March to reflect the Museum’s hours of operation. 

Qualifications: Applicants must currently be enrolled in a college or university (or have graduated in the last year) and have at least one year of study in a related field. Applicants should have a friendly outgoing personality and an eagerness to demonstrate positive leadership skills to assist with coaching fellow Aquatic Interpreters. Applicants must be willing to endure (shaded) conditions throughout the year. Standing for long periods of time is an aspect of this position.

Benefits to the volunteer: This is a unique internship opportunity that provides the tools towards developing leadership skills while gaining hands-on experience with marine animals at an AZA accredited facility. Aquatic Interpreter Interns get the chance to expand upon their public speaking skills while gaining interpretive knowledge of species related to the Sea of Cortez. 

For more information, email Allison Miller at

Semesters Available



Tucson, AZ

Location Area