[Coral-List] internship positions available at reefHQ

Kirstenm kirstenm at gbrmpa.gov.au
Sun Sep 7 20:43:04 EDT 2003

*ReefHQ -Curatorial internships 2004*

As part of its education and outreach role, reefHQ offers up to four 
curatorial internship positions to suitable applicants for 2004. Each 
internship position carries one specialist research and development 
project, which will be the core duty of the candidate. For the 2004 
intake we seek responsible individuals with an interest in developing 
techniques for the culture of reef fish and gastropods respectively. 
However, interns may also assist reefHQ staff with animal husbandry 
responsibilities of all exhibits, including feeding of fish, turtles, 
corals, maintenance of aquariums systems and other routine duties 
related to animal care. This program is designed for individuals 
intending to undertake a technical or professional career in marine 
science, aquaculture or a closely related discipline. Many of the skills 
acquired will have application in a range of marine scientific 
disciplines and will be an advantage to recent graduates seeking 
industry experience.

The ReefHQ work environment

Reef HQ, formerly the Great Barrier Reef Aquarium, is the aquarium and 
education section of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, which 
is a statutory department of the Australian Government empowered with 
the task to care for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Reef HQ 
consists of a 2.5 million litre living coral reef exhibit, the largest 
in the world, a 750,000 litre predator exhibit, 24 smaller aquaria, an 
extensive interpretive facility including a 75 seat theatre and a 
classroom for school groups, a large mechanical workshop, display 
preparation areas, support aquaria, diverse marine research facilities, 
laboratory, staff offices and a gift shop.

Internship specifics

Interns will work in the Curatorial Unit at the Reef HQ, which is 
responsible for maintaining the live exhibits at the aquarium. Interns 
will be exposed to practical and theoretical marine biology areas and 
fields. Interns will assist in current research involving specimen 
handling and collection, coral reproduction, physiology and 
identification, experimental design, sampling techniques, data analysis 
and basic laboratory techniques. Interns will also acquire aquarist 
experience by assisting trained aquarists in animal husbandry 
techniques, feeding, water quality analysis and more.
Daily duties to be performed include preparing animals' diets, feeding 
animals, maintaining water quality in aquaria and holding tanks, 
recording animal health and water quality data in logbooks, and routine 
cleaning and upkeep of equipment and husbandry areas.

Eligibility for Curatorial Internships

A background in university-level science at Bachelor level (3 years) in 
the field of aquaculture, marine biology or related fields and previous 
experience with marine animal care and handling is a must. Diving 
qualifications (advanced open water or higher) are highly desirable. 
Familiarity with wet lab, water testing, and microscopy procedures are 
highly desirable. Experience at a marine lab or with home aquaria would 
also be of value. Interns must be able to work 3 consecutive months with 
a possibility of extending the internship to 6 months (if agreeable to 
reefHQ and the candidate).  Interns must be in good physical condition 
and able to commit to 5 full days (generally Monday to Friday 9am-5pm), 
however, must also work on weekends if required. Interns must provide 
their own housing and transportation while participating in the program. 
While the internships are unpaid, the opportunity for skill and 
knowledge development is unparalleled. Moreover, where possible reefHQ 
is willing to cooperate with colleges and universities to obtain course 
credit for each student.

There is a two-phase application process: a mail-in application and an 
interview. To apply for the two available positions, please provide the 
following materials:

1.    Cover letter including:

·    Name and contact information (address, email, phone)
·    University name, address, and your academic program
·    Previous experience in fish/ and or gastropod culture or marine biology
·    Your specific interests in marine biology and aquaria in particular
·    Tentative schedule of availability

2.    Current resume including three academic or professional references 
with contact information

3.    A letter of support from a current faculty member who is familiar 
with your internship-related interests

Please note that applications will be evaluated based on academic 
skills, experience, motivation, and relevance of the applicant's 
interests to our focus program.
Candidates successfully reaching phase two will be notified within one 
month of the application reaching reefHQ and a (phone) interview will be 

Applications close on 31 October 2003 and a start of the program is 
envisaged for between March and June 2003.

Please email info at reefhq.gov.au to determine the status of your application.


Kirsten Michalek-Wagner


Dr. Kirsten Michalek-Wagner 
Coral reef ecosystems biologist
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
2-68 Flinders Street, Townsville, Qld. 4810

phone: 07 4750 0876
fax:   07 4772 5281
email: kirstenm at gbrmpa.gov.au

"For myself, I am an optimist.  It does not seem to be much use being anything else." Sir Winston Churchill


More information about the Coral-List mailing list