Woods Hole Science Aquarium Programs
We offer a number of programs to involve the public, students, and aspiring scientists.
Our volunteers help us take care of the animals by preparing food, feeding animals, cleaning tanks, and helping our aquarists on other projects. Experience is not necessary – we train our volunteers – but you must be interested in marine animals or aquarium operations, willing to get your hands dirty, and available for 3-4 hours one morning or afternoon per week for a period of at least four months.
Caring for Injured Animals
Woods Hole Science Aquarium helps rehabilitate sea turtles that are injured or sick. Most of them arrive here after washing ashore on Cape beaches in the late autumn, when sudden temperature changes can cause "cold stunning." These animals are not on display. They spend recover their health and body weight in the Aquarium’s off-exhibit rehabilitation tanks until they are healthy enough to be returned to the wild.
The Aquarium has provided a permanent home for seals that are unable to live in the wild since the late 1980s. Our seals typically come to us through the NOAA Fisheries Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program and are animals that cannot be released to the wild.
Aquarium staff offers guided collecting walks in local marshes several times a week in summer months. The public may sign up for collecting walks in the Aquarium lobby.
High School Interns (Summer)
The Aquarium's summer high school intern program attracts young people from around the country who are interested in animal care, working on special projects, attending seminars and training sessions, serving as naturalists on public collecting walks, and going on field trips to other local science labs and aquaria.
The program is on hiatus in 2020. We look forward to accepting applications in 2021.
College Interns (Summer)
Most summers the Aquarium is able to host one or more college interns. These internships are paid positions in the Aquarium or in one of the Northeast Fisheries Science Center's research laboratories, available on competitive basis to undergraduates.
The Aquarium staff does not run school-year programs, but we are open to working with teachers or students who want to establish a school-year intern experience. Students, teachers, or counselors who want to explore a school year experience should contact Academic Programs Director George Liles.