James W. Babcock Internship Program

Named after longtime board member James W. Babcock on the occasion of his retirement, the internship was established to honor his dedication to conservation education. This six-week unpaid internship program gives an American undergraduate or graduate student the opportunity to take part in research and monitoring activities within a range of marine conservation projects, to gain experience in hands-on animal husbandry, or to participate in the delivery of classes and field trips focusing on conservation at the BAMZ. Interns must bear the cost of travel to and from Bermuda. The ACP will pay for meals and accommodations and provide a monthly public transportation pass for each intern.

Availability and Expectations

  • One (1) internship will be offered in any calendar year.
  • Positions are available in the Aquarium and Zoo, in programs concentrating on Conservation Research, in Marine Operations, or Education. Interns are expected to focus on one of these areas.
  • Interns must commit to an uninterrupted six-week internship with a five-day work week.
  • Interns must be registered in an upper division undergraduate standing (i.e. Junior or Senior) or in a graduate program at a U.S. university.
  • Students expecting to do research for credit towards a degree during their internship must work with their university advisors and program supervisors in Bermuda before arriving in Bermuda to determine exact requirements, particularly with regard to the type of data collection and analysis that is expected.
  • Internships are unpaid

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY IN THE AQUARIUM AND ZOO​

With access to over 200 species of colorful fishes and delicate invertebrates in numerous naturalistic displays, Aquarium interns at the BAMZ explore Bermuda's diverse marine communities from the deep ocean and spectacular coral reefs to shallow coastal waters.  The 140,000-gallon North Rock Exhibit showcases live corals and large predatory fish including sharks, there is also a shallow reef lagoon featuring smaller reef fish and juvenile fishes.

The Zoo displays over 300 birds, reptiles, and mammals from oceanic islands and has a tradition of successful captive management of endangered island species.  An emphasis on conservation including captive breeding programs for endangered species destined for reintroduction to the wild and public education forms the focus of this unique zoo facility. The fragile nature of island ecosystems is carried in the theme for free-flight immersion exhibits like the Caribbean, Australasia and Madagascar exhibits.

Internship Opportunities
Aquarium and Zoo husbandry interns have the opportunity to take part in daily operations at BAMZ and develop an understanding and appreciation for animal care responsibilities through hands-on involvement. The typical husbandry internship includes

  • Experience in all aspects of the daily care of exotic animals and plants including animal handling and treatment;
  • Behavioral observations and animal behavioral enrichment;
  • Diet preparation and feeding including food culture methods;
  • Maintenance of daily records including animal activities, food consumption, and special projects;
  • Life support maintenance and water quality monitoring;
  • Exhibit enhancement, which may include the collection of marine specimens, horticulture and or fabrication of exhibit furnishings;
  • Interpretative talks to visitors and special interest groups; and

Wildlife rehabilitation, primarily with birds and sea turtles.

CONSERVATION RESEARCH

Under the umbrella of BZS Conservation Research projects are conducted in conjunction with other organizations. Our conservation and research programs focus on Bermuda and are funded primarily by the Bermuda Government, U.K and U.S. Governments and private donations.

See our Conservation Projects page for more detail on each of these programs.

Internship Opportunities
Interns will gather and analyze biological information necessary for the sustainable use of Bermuda's living resources. In addition to field-based studies including sampling and monitoring, animal capture and marking, interns may become involved in laboratory or database work.

MARINE OPERATIONS

The Marine Collections and Quarantine Facility
The Marine Operations Department is responsible for the collection and quarantine of marine specimens for exhibit displays. The collection of specimens is usually achieved using seine nets along coastal areas or SCUBA diving offshore in depths of 20 to 50 feet. The goal of quarantine is to identify and treat fish diseases before a specimen is put on display. Fish are fresh-water dipped and moved to a sterile tank every five days for 30 days to interrupt the lifecycle of any parasites. Adapting these specimens to a captive environment and diet is also critical and requires patience and careful observation.

Internship Opportunities
Interns assist with daily operations, which may include quarantining marine specimens, boat maintenance, and maintenance of the life support systems. They will also assist with the collection of specimens for Aquarium exhibits. SCUBA certification is mandatory.

EDUCATION

Education is one of our highest priorities. The Education Team supports the BAMZ mission, “to inspire appreciation and care of island environments” by providing classes, courses, resource material, interpretation and special programs. The BAMZ Education Team is responsible for the Schools Program, interpretation of exhibits, member and public nature encounters, and publication of educational materials. Approximately 6,000 school children attend BAMZ classes throughout the school year or day camps in the summer.  

Internship Opportunities
Education interns assist in the delivery of classes and field trips (both snorkeling and land-based) to Bermuda school children. Education interns also assist in the delivery of Nature Encounters to small groups of children or adults at weekends and help with interpretation of our exhibits.

The preceding outline is intended to provide an idea of the work involved. Availability depends on BAMZ requirements at the time of the internship.

APPLICATION

Applications must be submitted by March 15 and include:

  • The completed application form;
  • A résumé with two references;
  • A transcript from the school’s registrar (it does not have to be an official copy); and

A letter of interest stating your reasons for participating and desired personal outcome.

These documents, including the completed application form should be e-mailed to:
Lynda Johnson • Atlantic Conservation Partnership
acp@gov.bm or development.bzs@gov.bm

FAQs

When will I know if my application is successful?
Successful candidates will be notified by e-mail before April 10. Once accepted, it is the student's responsibility to contact the assigned supervisor and discuss the internship.

Will late applications be accepted?
No. Complete applications should be postmarked by the deadline or e-mailed by 11.59 p.m. on the date of the deadline.

Who oversees the program?
The Development Office in Bermuda will oversee the program application process. Interns will be assigned a staff supervisor.

Bermuda is an international destination what documents are required for travel?
A valid passport and a return airline ticket are required. Bring the letter that confirms you are studying at the Aquarium. On the airplane you will receive an immigration form. In addition to your passport number, date of birth etc., you need to check the box that says you are on vacation and include your local address. You will be met at the airport.

Can I volunteer before or after my internship?
No. Entry into Bermuda is for the stated period of your internship. You will receive a Letter of Permission from the Department of Immigration detailing your arrival and departure dates. You can extend your stay in Bermuda by a few days to vacation before or after your internship (you will have to source your own accommodations for any days beyond your internship period).

What currency is accepted in Bermuda?
The US dollar is accepted throughout the island and is on par with the Bermuda Dollar. Credit cards are accepted island-wide.

What about accommodations?
Interns will be housed at BIOS (Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences). Interns are responsible for the cost of air travel to and from Bermuda, while ACP will pay for 2 meals per day, accommodations and provide a monthly public transportation pass.

What hours will I work?
Your exact hours will be determined by your supervisor and will vary according to staff timetables.

Do I have to be SCUBA certified?
SCUBA certification is not a requirement for an internship unless specified by your supervisor. However, interns who do intend to dive must provide proof of certification and pass a local dive checkout. Note: Persons who suffer from asthma or diabetes will not be allowed to SCUBA dive in Bermuda. Additionally, interns who have had incidents of childhood asthma, but have had no recurrence as an adult are required to provide medical certification before being allowed to undertake a checkout dive in Bermuda.

What else should I know before coming to Bermuda?

  • ​Water is a most precious commodity in Bermuda and we depend on rain to fill our tanks. Be prepared to take short showers and turn off water when brushing your teeth or shaving.
  • Bermuda is a semitropical island. The Gulf Stream that flows between Bermuda and North America keeps the climate temperate. There is no rainy season as such. Showers may be heavy at times and unpredictable, so bring a waterproof jacket or umbrella. The weather is cooler from mid-December to late March with an average temperature of 70°F falling to low 60°F. Summer temperatures prevail from May to mid-November. Relative humidity can be high, rising to 70%- 90%. Average sea temperatures are in the low 60s in January rising to mid-80s in July/August.
  • If you intend going out in the evenings the bus service out of the main town, Hamilton, runs until 11:00pm to many destinations. However, you should ensure that you have sufficient money for a taxi fare.

Talk to your service provider before coming to Bermuda to ensure your cell phone will work while on the island. If you have a SIM card it is possible to purchase a new card locally and set up a prepaid account with a local provider. Prepaid Bermuda calling cards are available at BAMZ in denominations of $10 and $25. If you wish to make use of these, please bring cash for the required amount. Do not purchase calling cards in the US-they will not be accepted in Bermuda.

What should I bring with me?

  • You will be issued two volunter shirts and are expected to wear them while at BAMZ. Navy blue shorts/trousers are recommended for work.
  • Covered shoes with non-skid soles, preferably water resistant
  • Lightweight sweater or windbreaker
  • Rain jacket or slicker - it does rain in Bermuda quite often.
  • Swimsuits, beach towels, mask, snorkel, flippers, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat and cover-up
  • If you intend to SCUBA dive, bring your own regulator, BCD and proof of certification.  Underwater camera/dive light optional. A wetsuit is essential; a 5ml full length wetsuit is recommended for summer diving; 7ml for winter. Cloth collecting gloves.
  • A lap top computer is recommended
  • Notebook - You will need to keep a daily journal.
  • Personal hygiene needs (toothpaste, shampoo, motion sickness patches, etc.)
  • Prescription medicine. (As needed)

Something you should know…
“WILD Tales” is our quarterly newsletter. A review of your internship will be included in this publication. We will also include a photograph of you with any article.