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Maine State Aquarium (MSA)


The aquarium is closed
for the season,
reopening May 24, 2014

Directions here

194 McKown Point Road
W. Boothbay Harbor, Maine

(207) 633-9559

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MSA Home > Jobs & Volunteering

Maine State Aquarium Job & Volunteer Opportunities

Applications are PDF files and may require Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader software (download here free) to read or print.   Submit all applications to the address at the bottom of this page.

Please select a position, or scroll down the page:

Aquarium Educator | Seasonal Aquarist | Admissions Receptionist | Volunteer (Adult) | Junior Docent Volunteer

Aquarium Educator

Job Description: The position for Aquarium Educator at the Maine State Aquarium involves interaction with and education of the general public visitors to the aquarium. We are looking for candidates who have or who are pursuing degrees in natural sciences or education fields and/or have hands-on experience working with various age groups and in relevant fields. The individual must be comfortable speaking in front of an audience and communicating with a variety of ages. An interest or background in marine science is a must. The position involves daily presentations on topics relevant to the Gulf of Maine and its resources and involves the use of live animals and props for demonstrations. Staffing of two touch tanks in the aquarium gallery will require the individual to initiate dialogue with guests and provide assistance with handling of the touch tank animals. Educators will lead group tours through the Department of Marine Resources Fisheries Research Lab, familiarizing themselves with current research and scientists at the facility and leading groups through the laboratories and wetlab. Each educator will also be responsible for a summer project that will aid in the growth of exhibits and education of our guests including (but not limited to) the development and presentation of a Summer Science Festival class and facilitation of other existing programs-including overnight camps. Educators are expected to participate in off-site festivities as requested and oversee junior docent volunteers. The Aquarium Educator will also be asked to assist in “behind the scenes” daily maintenance of aquarium exhibits and collection of specimens, to assist in the reception area at the admissions desk/gift shop. Other duties may be required as necessary. This is a position requiring high levels of responsibility, flexibility, team-work, motivation and self-initiative, as well as the ability to get "wet" as the situation calls for it. Applicants must be able to lead groups through various terrain; lift and carry 50 lbs, climb tanks unassisted, work in slippery conditions comfortably, provide support and assistance to aquarists, handle specimens comfortably, learn required information quickly, and speak knowledgeably, and clearly to all guests. Familiarity with small vessels and fishing gear is a bonus. A valid driver's license is required for all employees- driving will occur. Mandatory training will be provided prior to the start of work. A Lead Educator will be selected each season based on level of experience and educational background which will require additional responsibilities as requested by Aquarium Director. Supervisory experience is preferred.

You MUST read the complete job description, requirements, and duties summary here (pdf file, 2 pages).

Wage: Wages are typically $8.00 to $10.00/hr, commensurate with education and experience. Work-study & internships accepted per school approval and organization.

Benefit: In addition to competitive wages and a positive working environment, staff will receive a 20 % gift shop discount, complimentary passes for immediate family members, interaction with research scientists and hands-on experience in a working research facility. Staff will also have the opportunity to participate in field trips and programs, as well as other opportunities that arise. Housing opportunities may exist for select individuals on a first-come basis. No health benefits are available. Staff will also receive 2 free non-uniform t-shirts to keep.

Hours per week: Approximately 40 per week, to include weekends and holiday work and occasional overnight participation.

Date begin: Mandatory training will be May 12-16, 2014. Staff who will be available will be hired prior to these dates to help get things ready for the season.

*There will be CPR/First AID training for those who are not able to get this certification prior to starting. This is a required certification for employment at the MSA. For those who have this certification, this will be a regular work day.

Date end: A) May-August schedule (students); B) May-October schedule (graduates, etc.) *Priority will be given to applicants with the best availability.*

Employer: Maine Department of Marine Resources, Education Division in conjunction with a state contracted employment agency.

Deadline for Applications: Feb 14, 2014 by 5pm EST (received). All final hiring decisions will be made by March 15, 2014. Interviews will be conducted for qualified applicants January 6 - March 7. On-site interviews are preferred. Telephone or Online interviews will be conducted on an as-needed basis only for out-of-state applicants, or in the event of severe inclement weather.

Note: Applicants will be hired throughout the interview season. Earlier applications and interviews will get first refusal on positions, as qualified candidates are chosen.

For an application, please download the MSA Employment Application (pdf file, 1.7 MB) or request materials from the address below. The applicaton may be filled out electronically and e-mailed, or printed, filled out, and mailed, with other documentation.

 

Seasonal Aquarist

Job Description: The position for Summer Aquarist at the Maine State Aquarium involves daily maintenance and care of the Aquarium facility, animal holding and exhibit areas. We are looking for candidates who have or who are pursuing a degree in aquarium science, marine science, or biology and who have a strong background in aquarium, biological, chemical, and physical sciences. Applicants with experience in wildlife biology, veterinary sciences, or captive care are strongly encouraged to apply. Individuals must be comfortable handling and caring for aquatic species and be comfortable speaking in front of large audiences and communicating with all age groups. The position will involve daily monitoring of aquarium systems and animals; cleaning and maintenance of exhibits and background areas; diet preparation and feeding; collection and observation of animals; assisting with diagnosis and treatment of specimens; and design and aquascaping of exhibits. Summer Aquarists will also be asked to give daily presentations and assist with facilitation of programs as well as assist in other areas as needed or required-including assisting Education staff with touch tank areas and management of volunteers. Aquarists will be responsible for giving behind-the-scene tours and teaching other programs (including overnight camps), as well as participating in off-site festivities as scheduled. This position requires candidates with responsibility, flexibility, team-work, motivation, self-initiative, ability to lift and carry 50 lbs ; climb tanks unassisted, work in slippery conditions unaided, willingness to "get wet" as situations call for it, strong work ethic and the ability to conduct themselves in a professional and mature manner, as well as an enthusiasm to educate and learn! Applicants must be able to speak clearly, knowledgeably and comfortably to guests and learn required information quickly. Familiarity with small vessels and fishing gear is a bonus. A valid driver's license is required for all employees-driving will occur. Mandatory training will be provided before the start of work. A Lead Aquarist will be chosen each season based on level of experience and educational background which will require additional responsibilities as requested by Aquarium Director. Supervisory experience is preferred.

You MUST read the complete job description, requirements, and duties summary here (pdf file, 2 pages).

Wage: Wages are typically $8.00 to $10.00/hr, commensurate with education and experience. Work-study & internships accepted per school approval and organization.

Benefit: In addition to competitive wages and a positive working environment, staff will receive a 20 % gift shop discount, complimentary passes for immediate family members, interaction with research scientists and hands-on experience in a working research facility. Staff will also have the opportunity to participate in field trips and programs, as well as other opportunities that arise. Housing opportunities may exist for select individuals on a first-come basis. No health benefits are available. Staff will also receive 2 free non-uniform t-shirts to keep.

Hours per week: Approximately 40 per week, to include weekends and holiday work and occasional overnight participation.

Date begin: Mandatory training will be May 12-16, 2014. Staff who will be available will be hired prior to these dates to help get things ready for the season.

*There will be CPR/First AID training for those who are not able to get this certification prior to starting. This is a required certification for employment at the MSA. For those who have this certification, this will be a regular work day.

Date end: A) May-August schedule (students); B) May-October schedule (graduates, etc.) *Priority will be given to applicants with the best availability.*

Employer: Maine Department of Marine Resources Education Division in conjunction with a state contracted employment agency.

Deadline for Applications: Feb 14, 2014 by 5pm EST (received). All final hiring decisions will be made by March 15, 2014. Interviews will be conducted for qualified applicants January 6 - March 7. On-site interviews are preferred. Telephone or Online interviews will be conducted on an as-needed basis only for out-of-state applicants, or in the event of severe inclement weather.

Note: Applicants will be hired throughout the interview season. Earlier applications and interviews will get first refusal on positions, as qualified candidates are chosen.

For an application, please download the MSA Employment Application (pdf file, 1.7 MB) or request materials from the address below. The applicaton may be filled out electronically and e-mailed, or printed, filled out, and mailed, with other documentation.

 

Seasonal Admissions Personnel

Job Description: The Maine State Aquarium is hiring full & part-time positions for Admissions Receptionist. The Admissions Receptionist position is a season long position (May –October) requiring aquarium office and administrative support performing varied tasks both in the admissions/gift shop space and in administrative offices. The right candidate will be responsible for the operations of the Aquarium Gift Shop, including but not limited to: gift shop sales, admission & program fees, inventory management and organization, seasonal memberships, group registrations and sign-in, staff timekeeping, closing procedures and cash-outs, bathroom cleaning, and other duties as applicable and as needed by administrators. Strong work ethic, responsibility, flexibility, organization, and customer service skills are necessary.
Previous experience is a must, management experience is preferred.
Part-time position (Memorial Day to Labor Day) is also available.

Job description, requirements, and duties summary (pdf file, 2 pages)

Wage: Starts at $8.00/hr to be determined based on experience.

Benefits: In addition to competitive wages and a positive working environment, staff will receive a 20 % gift shop discount, & complimentary passes for immediate family members. Staff will also have the opportunity to participate in field trips and programs, as well as other opportunities that arise. No health benefits are available. Staff will also receive 2 free non-uniform t-shirts to keep.

Hours per week: Approximately 40 per week (5 days), to include evenings, weekends and holiday work and occasional overnight participation. Part-time position is 16 hours (2 days) weekly, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Date begin: Mandatory Training will be May 5-9, 2014.

Deadline for Applications: March 7, 2014 by 5pm EST (received).
No telephone interviews will be conducted for this position. On-site interviews are required.

For an application, please download the Receptionist Application, pdf file, 1 MB or request materials from the address listed below. The applicaton may be filled out electronically and e-mailed, or printed, filled out, and mailed, with other documentation.

 

Volunteer Positions

Needed from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day weekend, with some needs in Sept.

Overview (brochure) of volunteer programs at Maine DMR - pdf file, 2 pages, 394 kb.  PDF files may require Adobe Reader software (download here free).

 

Aquarium Volunteer (Adult)

Job Description: The position for Aquarium Volunteer at the Maine State Aquarium involves interaction with and education of the general public visitors to the aquarium. The individual must be comfortable speaking in front of an audience and communicating with a variety of ages. The position involves answering questions on topics relevant to the Gulf of Maine and its inhabitants, and involves the use of live animals and props for demonstrations, as well as answering general information questions about the local area, and the Department of Marine Resources. Staffing of two touch tanks in the aquarium gallery will require the individual to initiate dialogue with guests and provide assistance with handling of the touch tank animals and other hand’s on activities. Volunteers may get the opportunity to assist “behind the scenes” helping with daily maintenance of aquarium exhibits. This may include participating in water quality monitoring, exhibit cleaning, feeding and collecting of specimens, and may also be requested to assist in the reception area at the admissions desk/gift shop. Volunteers assist our Educators with general daily activities and presentations, including set-up and clean-up each day and maintenance of the facilities. In addition volunteers can assist with a variety of education projects, either to enhance the existing programs & exhibits or to help create new ones. We are always in need to extra hands and help in a variety of areas around the facility. In addition to aquarium hours, we have had volunteers teach classes or additional activities, develop materials, organize files and photographs, assist in landscaping (on Burnt Island), help set-up and break-down events, assist in the seasonal set-up and break-down of the aquarium, collect animals, assist at events and fairs, and many other activities. There is something for everyone and groups are encouraged to inquire!

Benefit: This is a volunteer position in a fun, educational environment with great people. Our volunteers enjoy a 10% discount in our gift shop as well as opportunities to participate in special aquarium events and presentations. Volunteers also get complimentary Seasonal Pass, which includes immediate family members (only), a free t-shirt, and a certificate for all completed hours at the end of the season.

Hours: We ask that volunteers commit to at least one 2-hour shift per week, or at least 8 hours total per month.

Dates needed: May through September, 2014. June, July, and August are critical volunteer months, especially around local events and holidays.  There will be a training session Saturday, June 28th 2014. Ongoing seasonal training may also be available for adult volunteers.

Applications are accepted January 1 through June 1st of each season. You can download the Volunteer Application, pdf file, 115 kb or request an application packet from the address listed below.

 

Junior Docent Volunteers (Ages 14-18)

Job Description: Why are lobsters different colors? How do sea stars move? How many rows of teeth do sharks have? These are just a few questions that our Junior Docents will be able to answer. Using natural objects and live animals, our docents will educate the aquarium visitors about marine invertebrates, different Gulf of Maine fish species, and other interesting native marine wildlife. The position for Junior Docent at the Maine State Aquarium involves interaction with and education of the visitors to the aquarium. The individual must be comfortable speaking in front of an audience and communicating with a variety of ages. The position involves daily interaction with school groups and the general public, helping to provide assistance handling the animals and providing information at our two touch tanks and other exhibits. The Junior Docent will also have opportunities to work “behind the scenes” assisting with daily maintenance of aquarium exhibits and care of animals. They may have the opportunity to participate in special Aquarium events, field trips, and special programs. Each docent will also be assisting our educator staff when giving public presentations, helping to set-up and clean-up as necessary, as well as helping with general maintenance duties each day to keep the facility in positive shape for our guests. They will each be required to complete an assigned project during their volunteer time at the Aquarium which may include the development and presentation of a marine related topic.

Qualifications: Public speaking experience and strong interest in marine biology is essential. We are looking for high-school students who are 14-18 years old, with strong and positive communication skills. The ability to work in a busy environment with lots of different people is a must, as well as being able to work in a friendly and professional manner. The right candidates will be able to work successfully alone and as part of a team, will have a strong desire to learn, and are highly motivated individuals.

Benefit: This is a volunteer opportunity with credit towards community service hours. The experience is fun, educational, and enables students to gain valuable experience at a small aquarium, shadow educators and aquarists, and make positive contacts for references. Our docents also receive a discount at our gift shop, free t-shirt, and complimentary admission for immediate family members. Docents who have completed minimum hours and required service project will receive certificate & evaluation, community service credit, and service gift.

Youth volunteers who are not interested in the Junior Docent program (with all requirements) may still apply to volunteer for hours only, but must attend mandatory training.

Docents who do not meet service requirements or who do not meet expectations during their service period and who are asked to leave the program will not receive credit for any service hours.

Hours per week: Docents are expected to commit to at least one 2 hour shift per week, or two eight hour shifts per month, for a total commitment of at least 32 hours throughout our season, May-September. July and August are our busiest months and will be where we need the most help.

For an application, please download the Junior Docent Volunteer Application, pdf file, 118 kb or request an application packet from the address listed below.

Application deadline: May 30th, 2014 - received by 5pm, EST.

Training: MANDATORY TRAINING (FOR ALL ACCEPTED APPLICANTS) will take place Saturday, June 28th 2014. Please plan accordingly as new junior docents are required to attend this training date - no exceptions.

 

Please submit all application materials to:

Aimee Hayden-Roderiques
Maine State Aquarium
P.O. Box 8
194 McKown Point Road
West Boothbay Harbor, ME 04575

For more information, applications or questions, please contact Aimee at (207) 633-9542 or by email at aquarium@maine.gov.