Natural Science Museum Internships And Pop-Up Science

Applications for Summer 2020 will open December 2019

Click here to complete the application.

Application Deadline is February 1st, 2020, 11:59 PM.

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association (MMA) is offering three museum positions through its Natural Science Museum during the 2019 summer. The students will learn to operate a small science museum, care for biological collections, assist with educational programming, do animal husbandry, and learn about the plants, animals, birds, and geology of Nantucket Island.  This position is a unique work opportunity for students who are looking for experience with museum collections, and environmental education. Opportunities to volunteer for biological field research are available.

Additionally, at least one of the interns will be responsible for the Pop-Up Science program. The intern will do research and further develop the program and experiments. The intern will arrive on a bike with an attached attractive branded cart in which all the components of the pop-up science are contained within. The cart may “pop up” at the Atheneum, Handlebar Cafe, Haul Over, the MMA Aquarium, or a downtown park.  The programs will be held roughly four to five times a week, weather permitting and will include, for example, animals from the aquarium and/or the MMA collections, presentations with acid and base testing and art, constructing three-dimensional bubbles, magnetic car races, and more. A card with experiments that can be done at home will be distributed at the pop-up science cart. During the presentations and hands-on education portions of the program will talk about ocean acidification, sea-level rise, and plastics in the ocean. TThe MMA will give small prizes as a reward for engagement.  Along with inspiring an interest in science, the intern will become ambassadors for the downtown and all that it has to offer. The intern must be comfortable sharing information with children and adults.  A person that is confident and enthusiastic is preferred.

The ideal candidates have interest or experience with entomology, ornithology, or botany and experience with biological specimens is a plus but not required.

Nantucket Island is a resort community that swells to over 60,000 people in the summer.  There are 50 miles of beaches and over half the land area is conservation land. The mission of the MMA is to help people experience Nantucket’s land, sea, and sky. Programs and facilities focus on environmental education, ecological research, astronomy, and historic preservation.

Responsibilities and Tasks

  • Actively participate in the daily operations at the Natural Science Museum, including animal care, leading guided tours of the facility, public programs, exhibit preparation, maintenance of the facilities and grounds, and gift shop sales.
  • Opportunities to volunteer to work with researchers to carry out fieldwork or to work on some of the following research projects: on-going American burying beetle reintroduction, snake biodiversity, invertebrate biodiversity, bat detection, and plant specimen preparation (Optional).
  • Assist with site-based programming offered by the MMA for children and adults (Optional).
  • Engage in other MMA activities (astronomy, field trips, Nantucket history) and special events (Optional).

Key Requirements and Qualifications

  • Educational background in biology/ecology or related field with at least two (2) years of college experience.
  • Willingness to learn new skills.
  • Interest in learning or experience working in museums and with museum collections, and in the preparation of scientific specimens.
  • Experience working with and interacting with the public, both adults and children.
  • Comfortable with non-venomous live reptiles, amphibians, and insects.
  • Sell memberships and items in the gift shop.
  • CPR and First Aid Certified.


  • Self-motivated with the ability to work independently and with a team.
  • Able to work in a flexible and dynamic work environment.
  • Ability to plan ahead, organize and prioritize with attention to detail.
  • Clear communication both verbally and written.
  • Teamwork and community leadership


Internship compensation is paid, 3/4 time position with optional employee housing. This position is scheduled from May 25 to August 29, 2020, with preference given to candidates who can work through September 5, 2020. There is a required orientation and training from May 25, to June 2, 2020. Paid Internship extension is possible through Sept. 21, 2020. Interns are responsible for becoming CPR and First Aid trained but the MMA will reimburse the cost of the training course up to $50.

Application Process

Inquiries may be sent by e-mail to Kim Botelho or by fax to 508-228-1031. For questions, call 508- 228-9198.

The Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/V/D.

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