July 22-29 Meet the Dolphin Tale Stars (Sawyer, Hazel & Phoebe) at Clearwater Marine Aquarium! See schedule and details.



Clearwater Marine Aquarium volunteer group


Clearwater Marine Aquarium (CMA) offers structured internships to current full-time or part-time college students (or recent graduates within 12 months of course completion) that will directly benefit their education and ultimately their career.

We offer full-time internships in the following areas:

How to Apply

aquatics icon

Aquarist/Water Quality

Aquarist/Water Quality intern position will assist the Animal Care Department with daily care and maintenance of the aquarium’s fish and invertebrate systems as well as performing water quality testing on all animal habitats. Time would be divided between Clearwater Marine Aquarium property and our nearby property Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure, where there are several aquarium exhibits.


Responsibilities include but are not limited to: exhibit cleaning, filter maintenance, algae and décor upkeep, water chemistry/record keeping using Excel, food preparation and feeding, animal observation, water changes, assisting in veterinary and husbandry procedures on fish and occasionally helping the Sea Turtle and Marine Mammal Departments.


Candidates should be pursuing a degree in biology, marine biology, aquaculture, chemistry, or other related field and possess the following qualifications:

  • Some background knowledge of marine aquarium keeping.
  • Broad knowledge of ecological and biological principles relating to marine habitats.
  • Desire to work closely with marine fish and invertebrates.
  • Ability to lift and carry 50 lbs.
  • Willingness to get wet and dirty in all weather conditions.

Donate heart icon

Community Relations

The Community Relations Internship is designed to help facilitate the visits of VIP guests while exploring opportunities to expand the reach of Winter’s Circle, the organization of individuals who have been inspired by Winter’s incredible tale.

Facilitating the VIP Experience

  • Collaborating with non-profit partners and general inquiries to process requests and plan VIP visits
  • Escorting VIP groups (some weekend availability desired)
    • Oversee animal interactions
    • Conduct specialized tours
    • Prepare gifts
  • Record Keeping and Video Recording of VIP Contacts

Correspondence Program

  • Sending Birthday/Get Well Soon cards and responding to fan mail
  • Exploring programs to connect virtually with VIPs unable to travel

Research Assistance

  • Community Events: involvement and sponsorship
  • Monthly Condition Awareness Program (Autism Awareness, Scoliosis Awareness, etc.)
  • Database/Technology opportunities to take the VIP program to a Global Level

The Community Relations Intern may assist with the public relations efforts of Clearwater Marine Aquarium as needed.

Desired Qualifications

  • Junior/Senior level student specializing in public relations, media, communications, or a related field
  • Work or volunteer experience with persons with special needs
  • Strong communication skills, especially regarding public speaking and written correspondence
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office programs
  • Ability to communicate in multiple languages, especially American Sign Language and Spanish, are highly desired
HR volunteer icon

Dive Team

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium Dive Internship is designed to give students a fresh perspective into the realm of scuba diving careers — in particular, those relating to commercial and aquarium diving. CMA offers a wide variety of animal habitats that our dive team maintains on a daily basis. Along with collaborations, Clearwater Marine Aquarium and Scuba Diving International (SDI), the opportunities are indeed limitless. This internship will provide undergraduates with the experience and opportunities necessary for a future in diving related fields.

A majority of the intern’s time will be spent working in teams to support and maintain CMA’s artificial marine habitats. Additionally, interns will have the opportunity to participate in varied experiences to include, but not limited to, team building recreational dives, certification classes (DAN O2 provider, fill station operator, etc.), basic commercial/scientific diving skills courses, dive operations management (which may include contacting vendors, writing documentation and organizing events and dive shifts).

After completion of the internship, interns will have gained valuable diving experience that will help them succeed no matter what direction they want to go in terms of diving careers, and they will also have gained an insight into the daily behind-the-scenes operations that help keep an aquarium running smoothly.


Intern candidates must be (at least) a certified Open Water Diver (must have completed OW training prior to start of internship), be currently certified in CPR/First Aid, successfully complete the AAUS swim skills assessment, be capable of lifting 50+ pounds, be able to work flexible hours and perform various physically demanding tasks under strenuous environmental conditions.

gif shop icon


As an intern you will play an important role in all aspects of the Education Department.  From assisting on eco-boat tours to helping with offsite programs in the community, you will be involved in a variety of activities that provides valuable experience for future career goals. As an intern in the Department you will have opportunities to assist Marine Specialists aboard our Dolphin Adventure Tour when identifying the local wild bottlenose dolphins through photo-identification, performing water quality testing, recording and logging behavioral observations, and analyzing photographs.

You will also assist our Marine Specialist in data collection aboard the Sea Life Safari eco-boat tour by pulling an otter trawl net, sorting and identifying marine specimens and collecting water samples. Other experiences include husbandry of our educational animal ambassador and resident stingrays, assisting with guided kayak tours, and assisting with other educational programs.

Upon completing the internship, all Education interns will have gained experience in public speaking, classroom presentations and management, science education instruction, research, data entry, and guest relations.

hospitality icon

Guest Experience

The Guest Experience is a vital component to operations at Clearwater Marine Aquarium and Winter’s Dolphin Tale Adventure. If guests don’t enjoy their visit, they may not continue to support our work. A friendly, well-informed team member can take the guest experience to the next level, and truly immerse guests into our mission. Guest Experience Interns work alongside staff and volunteers to ensure all visitors learn about the resident animals, rehabilitation efforts, and the amazing work done every day at Clearwater Marine Aquarium – and that they have fun in the process.

What Will You Learn?

  • PUBLIC SPEAKING: you will improve public speaking skills through repeated practice giving presentations on a microphone and leading behind the scenes tours. The ability to speak professionally is always in demand.
  • PUBLIC INTERACTION: No matter what field you ultimately pursue, communication is vital. You will learn to interact with guests of all ages and interests, to share information with visitors and colleagues alike, and to successfully resolve complaints with unhappy visitors.
  • HOW TO PITCH A PROJECT: there is always room for improvement in the guest experience! Interns work together to identify a project, then research all aspects of potential implementation before pitching their project to corporate executives.

What Should You Bring?

  • A positive attitude
  • Willingness to learn
  • Flexibility
  • Creativity

HR volunteer icon

HR & Volunteer Management

The primary role of the HR/Volunteer Management Intern is to assist with the design, implementation and management of the HR/volunteer program. You will assist with the HR Administrator/Volunteer Coordinator’s chief responsibility of managing the HR/volunteer program, which includes marketing and recruitment; scheduling and supervision. As a HR/Volunteer Management intern, the need to handle community relations is of key importance. You will assist with management of all volunteer program-related communications and special events, as well as other duties and tasks assigned. Candidates applying for this position should posses the following:

  • Exceptional organizational skills with reliability and consistency in work performance
  • Flexibility with a team player mentality
  • Ability to work with minimal to moderate supervision
  • An extreme focus on good judgment with a proactive approach to problem-solving
  • Ability to maintain a professional demeanor with great interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to multi-task with the capability to learn quickly and integrate efficiently
  • Maintain professional standards of performance, demeanor and appearance at all times
  • Exercise discretion and professional judgment at all times, maintaining the strictest of confidentiality
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and Outlook)

Applicants should be pursuing a degree in HR or Volunteer Management.

marketing icon

Marketing & Advertising

The Marketing & Advertising Assistant position at CMA will be a once in a lifetime experience for the student chosen to intern during this exciting time at CMA. In the midst of filming and promoting our new digital TV series, Rescue-Clearwater, there are opportunities to learn many different areas of the marketing world. This opening has potential to grow a student’s knowledge of marketing on a national level as well as participate in a cause-based capital campaign marketing effort. It is a ONCE in a lifetime internship where students will engage in the following educational experiences:

  • To have students employed in a fast paced, out of the box, creative marketing environment while developing practical marketing and communications experience
  • To challenge students ideas of conventional marketing practices to create unique and extraordinary results in a timely manner
  • To analyze the relationship between the students’ undergraduate academic preparation and the processes/activities employed by non-profit organizations
  • To provide students an opportunity to gain an insight into the marketing alongside a national media event in conjunction with an international marketing environment

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Although a portion of the responsibilities will be clerical, a large portion of the internship will be determined by the candidates specific skill set
  • Assist in all aspects of social media marketing
  • Assist in the development & completion of our brand new web site
  • Help develop and implement donation campaigns
  • Assist in the promotional campaign efforts for Rescue-Clearwater
  • Research & update daily digital marketing analytics
  • Assist in our email marketing efforts
  • Other duties and tasks as assigned in a marketing/development context

marine mammals fluke icon

Marine Mammals

The Marine Mammal Training internship at Clearwater Marine Aquarium is designed to give students an inside look into what it takes to care for marine animals, with emphasis on Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and North American river otters. We use training as a way to stimulate our animals since they can never rejoin their counterparts in the open ocean. Our animals are trained for medical management behaviors, like blood draw, gastric and fecal samples, and even ultrasound. We also train mentally stimulating behaviors like mimicking and match-to-sample behaviors to challenge their intelligence and the ‘fun’ aerial behaviors such as bows, somersaults and speed swims to give them the same physical workout they would receive in the wild. During your internship, you will learn how to prepare diets, maintain exhibits, provide enrichment and mental stimulation, keep behavioral records, and give public presentations to educate our visitors about these amazing animals and environmental conservation. You will also learn how trainers use principles such as positive reinforcement, classical conditioning and shaping to train these animals. Due to the fact that internships are custom designed to each individual’s skill level, you may or may not have the opportunity to assist trainers in behaviors, or even maintain some established behaviors by the end of your internship. Candidates should be able to perform physically demanding duties and be enrolled in a four-year college program in psychology, biology, marine biology or another related field and have some hands-on animal experience, such as volunteering at an animal shelter or completing other marine mammal internships at other facilities. SCUBA, First Aid and CPR certification is also a plus.

nonprofit icon

Non-Profit Management

Do you want to learn more about non-profit management? If so, spend some time interning with the Development Director and Marketing Manager learning the insand outs of the non-profit world. Some of the duties will include: data entry, donor software management and list maintenance, donor recognition, donor level benefit assigning, special event coordination, off site representation, hotel marketing, advertising pitches and general administrative duties. Candidates should be pursuing a degree in management, development or marketing.

stranding team boat icon

Rescue Team

The Stranding Team Internship program at Clearwater Marine Aquarium provides interns with a unique opportunity to gain hands on experience in the response of live and dead dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and North American river otters. The Stranding Team seeks enthusiastic, dedicated, and hardworking individuals who are interested in promoting wildlife conservation through stranding efforts.

• Strong writing, communication, and organizational skills
• Enrolled or a graduate from a four-year college program pertaining to the field
• Physically capable of lifting up to 50lbs
• Flexible hours (e.g., possibly working on weekends and after hours)
• Previous experience in animal care or the marine science field is preferred

Duties and Responsibilities:

• Responding to stranding events through first response, triage, crowd control, monitoring, transport, data collection, rehabilitation, release, carcass recovery, and/or necropsy as well through following sanitation and quarantine protocols. It is important to note that stranding events are variable and are thus not guaranteed.
• Monitoring the 24-hour Emergency Stranding Hotline
• Narrating for workshops, aquarium presentations, and outreach events
• Assisting with the maintenance of stranding facilities, equipment, and supplies
• Participating in the care of resident aquatic mammals through diet preparation and conducting ethograms
• Completing assigned internship projects (e.g., developing presentations, leading outreach events, etc.)

sea turtle nesting icon

Sea Turtle Nesting (Summer Internship ONLY)

The Sea Turtle Nesting internship is designed to give college students, or recent graduates, an opportunity to perform field research that is reported to government agencies. Interns will be trained to patrol 26 miles of beach, using CMA vehicles, and identify crawl tracks that nesting adult female sea turtles leave behind on the beach. Interns will also be responsible for scientific data collection, verifying new sea turtle nests (locating eggs), marking new nests, responding to nests that washover/washout, caging nests, excavating nests after they hatch, nighttime nest observations, hatchling releases and public education. Candidates should:

• Be currently enrolled in, or recently graduated from, a four-year college program in biology, marine biology, environmental science, ecology or another related field.
• Have a valid driver’s license.
• Perform physically demanding duties (i.e. able to lift up to 50lbs, able to work 10 hour shifts primarily active and on your feet).
• Be comfortable working early in the morning and late at night, as you will participate in both shifts (not concurrently).
• Be comfortable working in extreme weather conditions (heat, rain, wind, etc.).
• Be able to work well in both a group an individually.
• Have excellent communication skills, both oral and verbal.
• Possess a positive attitude and a willingness to learn and collect accurate data.
• Previous sea turtle experience is a plus, but not necessary.
• Previous experience operating 4-wheel drive vehicles or ATVs is a plus, but not necessary.

sea turtle icon

Sea Turtle Rehabilitation

The Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Internship offers college students and recent graduates an engaging hands-on experience, learning and caring for sea turtles undergoing rehabilitation and those declared permanent residents. We are seeking adaptable, positive individuals that can contribute and collaborate on our conservation efforts with fellow staff, interns, and volunteers.


  • Currently or recently enrolled in a four-year college program in veterinary science, biology, environmental science, or related fields.
  • Able to perform physically demanding duties (i.e. lift up to 50lbs, work 10 hour shifts primarily active and on your feet).
  • Able to work in adverse weather conditions (heat, humidity, direct sunlight).
  • Commit to a set four-day per week schedule, including holidays.
  • Experience with animal care is beneficial but not essential.


  • Assist in the care of resident sea turtles including: food preparation (handling fish, shrimp and squid), feeding, behavioral training and enrichment, exhibit maintenance, cleaning and sanitizing working areas, animal records and routine medical care.
  • Assist in the rehabilitation of sea turtles including aspects of medical care relating to admittance, treatment, and release.
  • Responsible for daily facility maintenance and care. May be required to work in sometimes slippery environments or use narrow walkways.
  • Follow all Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) requirements for all aspect of sea turtles.
  • Give presentations to the public regarding resident and rehabilitating animals, general sea turtle knowledge, and human interaction impacts.
  • Complete internship projects and group tasks as assigned.

HR volunteer icon

Summer Camp

The Summer Camp Intern position is offered only during the Summer term (May-August) in addition to the Education Intern opportunity. In this opportunity, interns will assist with our summer camp programs by leading classroom activities and participating in snorkeling trips and kayaking adventures with a variety of ages ranging from pre-kindergarten through high school.

Throughout the internship you will learn classroom management, develop your own marine science based lesson, and eventually lead a camp. Not only will you gain experience in teaching, but you will be able to expand your knowledge of marine science and our local ecosystem. For more insight onto what our camps are focused on, check out the camp brochure on our website.

video assistant icon

Video Assistant

The video assistant intern position will aid in maintaining A/V equipment; assist with video shoot set up/breakdown, camera operation, and video production. May assist in the following: Monitoring and maintaining AV equipment, Archiving video footage Set up, run and breakdown AV equipment for special events, Set up and breakdown filming equipment for film shoots, Run second camera for film shoots, Film/document/archive events at CMA, Video editing, training/projects. Applicants for the Video Assistant internship should be comfortable working in hot/humid outdoor conditions, Able to work flexible hours,  Able to lift 50lbs. Previous video experience is preferred.


CMA offers internships during the spring, summer, and fall each year.

SPRING: January – May*
Applications Due: October 1

SUMMER: May – August*
Applications Due: February 1

FALL: August – January*
Applications Due: June 1

*Start and end dates are flexible to accommodate your school schedule.


Internships are unpaid, and housing is not provided. Internship candidates must be available to commit to full-time hours for a period of 3-5 months depending on the season. International applicants are welcome.

Internship Application CLICK HERE

If you have any questions about the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Internship Program, please contact Kerra Hubbard at [email protected] or 727-441-1790 x258.

Thank you for your interest in our facility and good luck!


Spectrum Duke Energy Coca-Cola Bay Star