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DEP and FIU logoThe Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve has a staff of nearly 40 individuals working in various capacities including research, stewardship, education, coastal training, facilities and administration.

Many of the jobs here are salaried and benefitted either through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Coastal Office or Florida International University. Other Personnel Services (OPS) positions are also available and some are funded by the Friends of Rookery Bay and/or other partnering organizations. Available position details and applications are posted below. Visit for more opportunities elsewhere within our agency.


Rookery Bay Research Reserve offers internship opportunities under the following categories:
Paid internship: a continuing position, either full-time or part-time, with a stipend based on experience and work expectations. The stipend will vary may be reduced or eliminated if the reserve is providing housing.
Credit internship: a continuing position that provides students with school credit as approved by their academic institution for the number of hours as required by the institution, usually 135.
Project-based (ad hoc) internship: a position that may be made available for appropriate candidates whose interests align with staff needs to accomplish a specific project. Stipend or credit hours may be encumbered at the successful completion of a pre-determined project.

There are also a number of “unpaid” opportunities that may be available to interested parties who seek to gain experience as a volunteer. If accepted, the candidate is not considered an intern, but will be working to provide ongoing assistance or help with a specific project. Visit our volunteer section.

Current Opportunities

The current career opportunities are listed below with application instructions. Check back often to ensure you do not miss an opportunity that meets your interest. Thanks for your interest in becoming a part of the Rookery Bay Reserve team!


Communications Intern

Communications/Graphic Design Internship
Pay rate: college credit
Part-time: up to 16 hours per week, depending on college requirement

Job Description: Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is seeking a qualified student or individual to fill an internship opportunity for college credit. The internship will be in the Communications department and the student will be assisting the Communications Coordinator with various projects in the marketing and communications field. The student should be prompt, reliable, ambitious, a multi-tasker, and willing to commit to a regular schedule. The student should also be able to thoroughly follow direction from supervisors and complete tasks in a timely fashion. Professional attitudes are expected and a good work ethic is a must.

Responsibilities: The intern should have at least beginner to intermediate graphic design skills and will be assisting with various projects using marketing skills. Other tasks include: updating the media list, archiving news articles, managing inventory of literature and other documentation, assistance with social media and outreach, photography, videography and other communications and marketing-related projects. InDesign experience preferred.

Opportunities for learning and career growth: The student can expect to gain experience in the communications and/or marketing field and become comfortable collaborating with staff and presenting ideas for improved communications and marketing techniques as needed. The student will learn the ins and outs of the Communications department at the Reserve and will enhance their skills in graphic design, photo editing, outreach and customer service.

Location: Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve: 300 Tower Road, Naples, FL 34113

Click Here To Apply


Education Intern

Pay Rate: College credit

Hours Required: Up to 16 hours per week, depending on college requirement. This position requires morning and afternoon availability on one or more of the following days: Wed, Thu, or Fridays.

Position Description: This position is a part-time opportunity serving as the Education Intern at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples, FL. This position supports a variety of on and off-site educational programs delivered to audiences of all ages. The prospective intern need not be an education nor science major – art, English, computer majors, etc. could possess skills to aid the education department. Any student with an interest in education or the environment is encouraged to apply.

Requirements: Basic computer skills are required. Selectee must be proficient in Microsoft Office based programs, especially PowerPoint and Word. The intern is expected to arrive on time each day they are scheduled to work and successfully complete assigned tasks within a reasonable time frame. The intern should be prepared for work both inside or outdoors. Preferred skills include: ability to follow directions, ability to manage time appropriately, ability to communicate effectively and appropriately to a variety of age groups, ability to work independently and as part of a team.

Responsibilities: Primary duties include assisting with delivery of programs for 4th grade and 7th grade students. The Education intern will also deliver programs and presentations to the general public visiting the Environmental Learning Center, and have opportunities to participate in high school and college field trips. Based on student’s interest and availability other responsibilities may include: interactive surveys, photography and video production, aquarium assistance, and the handling of live marine animals. The intern will also be expected to observe/participate in field work with other departments to enhance their understanding of the variety of work that takes place within Reserve boundaries.

Opportunities for learning and career growth: The objective of this program is to provide the selected candidate the opportunity to improve their knowledge about coastal and estuarine ecosystems, to develop their public speaking skills, and to utilize their creativity in improving and developing programs and presentations order to assist education department staff deliver high quality, positive and rewarding experiences to visitors to the Reserve.

Start Date: Synonymous with school term

Required Trainings to attend: TBD

To Apply: Email resume and cover letter toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Environmental Specialist II - Aquarist

Position: Environmental Specialist II (OPS)
Working title: Aquarist

Position #: 37979059
Pay rate: $14/hr.
Part-time: 20-25 hours/week

This is a part-time OPS position with no benefits located at Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples, Florida.

Job Description:
Applicant will have proven experience in aquarium life support and system maintenance.

Job Duties:
• The aquarist is directly responsible for the health and wellbeing of the collections assigned to his/her care.
• Maintain and monitor aquarium water quality parameters including salinity, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites. Monitoring includes both onsite duties as well as use of Neptune Apex Controllers for remote monitoring.
• Test and maintain the Neptune Apex Controllers.
• Perform water changes and add supplements and chemicals as required.
• Clean and maintain all aquaria components, e.g., filtration, protein skimmers, refugia, acrylic, inserts, habitats, and walls. Siphon clean aquarium substrates.
• Inspect, maintain, repair/replace plumbing, pumps, lights, and miscellaneous equipment.
• Diagnose and treat quarantined/diseased fish.
• Maintain logs for maintenance, supplies, treatments, etc.
• Update and follow quarantine protocols.
• Safely and properly handle and dispose of chemicals/medications/expired animals.
• Collect and acclimate new specimens for educational displays.
• Work with staff to maintain a locally appropriate collection of marine/estuarine aquarium inhabitants.
• Train/educate/work with volunteers/interns.
• Prepare for and assist with storm/hurricane readiness and recovery.
• Provide 24-hour - 7day/week on-call emergency services.

Minimum Qualifications:
• Strong interpersonal communication skills
• Team oriented philosophy
• Experience working with marine/estuarine fish and invertebrates
• Ability to perform manual work, which is at times physically demanding and strenuous, involving the care and maintenance of the animals and exhibits under his/her care.
• Must be able to lift 50 pounds frequently.
• Must possess a valid driver’s license.
• Ability to acquire and maintain FWC/FMSEA Certificate within 6 months of employment

Preferred Qualifications:
• 2 or more years of experience in aquarium life support maintenance.
• BS in Biological Sciences

Deadline to apply: Open until filled
Location: Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve: 300 Tower Road, Naples, FL 34113
Click here to apply

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