Public Programs Internship

About the Organization

Heal the Bay is an environmental nonprofit dedicated to making the coastal waters and watersheds of Greater Los Angeles safe, healthy, and clean. To fulfill our mission we use science, education, community action, and advocacy.

Internship Overview

Heal the Bay Aquarium’s Public Programs Department is recruiting for two Public Programs Interns with an interest in marine science, environmental outreach, and working with aquatic animals for the 2022 Summer Session (June-August). The Public Programs Intern will work under the supervision of our Public Programs Manager and will work for approximately 10-20 hours each week, with a hybrid work approach of some in-office work at the Heal the Bay Aquarium in Santa Monica and some remote work. The intern must come into the office at least one day of the week between Thursday-Sunday to assist with outreach activities and public hours. The intern is expected to start the week of May 30, and must have access to a computer and internet to complete remote work, and reliable transportation for in-office work. 

There are required physical expectations that an individual must possess in order to successfully perform essential internship responsibilities, including:

  • Willingness to interact with and touch marine animals.
  • Willingness to occasionally get wet.
  • Ability to walk in the sand.
  • Ability to spend 2-3 hours outside, and willingness to work in variable weather conditions with potential exposure to heat, wind, and inclement weather both inside the Aquarium and outdoors on the Santa Monica Pier and Santa Monica Beach.
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 30lbs.
  • Ability to push and pull up to 30 lbs.

This is an excellent opportunity to work in a dynamic and unique work environment in the Aquarium, on the pier, and on the beach. You will be working directly with marine animals and interacting with community members as well as people from all over the world. You will gain Aquarium and nonprofit experience and be able to work for a reputable nonprofit that has been established for over 35 years. Heal the Bay Aquarium staff are experts in their field and have strong partnerships with multiple local agencies and aquariums throughout Los Angeles. Heal the Bay Aquarium is home to hundreds of organisms, native to the Santa Monica Bay. As Heal the Bay’s marine education facility, the aquarium strives to teach visitors about the importance of environmental stewardship and marine conservation.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Assist the Public Programs team with daily operations of public hours, including interpreting at touch tanks, leading animal feedings and presentations, working microscopes, and engaging visitors.
  • Assist with running our outreach cart on the Santa Monica Pier and engaging the public on our Aquarium Public Programs, Angler Outreach Program, Sustainable Seafood Watch, Beach/River Report Cards, and emphasizing ongoing Heal the Bay science and policy campaigns and initiatives.
  • Assist with running our Sand Crab Outreach Program; assist with data entry for monitoring data that’s collected.
  • Assist with the development of education and outreach materials such as researching and creating Aquarium exhibit signage, interactive displays, and themed weekend programming (e.g., Shark Week).
  • Create content for Heal the Bay Aquarium’s Instagram page.
  • Attend virtual bi-weekly Aquarium staff meetings and Public Programs team meetings.
  • Maintain a professional and enthusiastic attitude when representing Heal the Bay during Aquarium public hours and in public settings, meetings, events, and trainings, and while interacting with guests, volunteers, and staff.
  • Develop an independent project and present results at the end of the internship.


  • Recently graduated or currently enrolled in higher education program at a college or university in a degree program of Environmental Science, Marine Science, Communications, or related field.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Well organized and detail-oriented; ability to complete tasks promptly and completely with the ability to be flexible and multitask.
  • Ability to work well both independently and as a team.
  • Ability to respectfully communicate with visitors of all ages, ethnicities, exceptionalities, gender identities, religions, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Experience with public speaking, interpretation, customer service, and/or working with children is preferred.
  • Proficiency in Instagram and Canva is a plus.
  • Ability to pass a Live Scan background check.


This is an unpaid internship, but please contact your college or university about qualifying for college credit or scholarship opportunities. Interns will be given a parking pass to park by the Santa Monica Pier free of charge. At the end of the internship, interns will be able to request a letter of recommendation.

How to Apply

Submit a cover letter and resume to Nancy Cheng, Public Programs Manager, at by Friday, May 13, 2022 for application to be considered. Please use the phrase “Public Programs Internship Summer 2022” in the email subject line. 

Heal the Bay is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status and we strongly encourage applications from individuals that reflect the diversity of Los Angeles County. 

Heal the Bay complies with AB 1008, the Fair Chance Act, during the onboarding process. Once a conditional internship offer has been made the candidate will be asked to complete a Live Scan criminal background check. A thorough assessment of conviction history will be considered including: the nature and gravity of the criminal history, the time that has passed since the conviction, and the nature of the job the candidate is seeking. 

Heal the Bay requires all interns to obtain and maintain up-to-date COVID-19 vaccinations. Heal the Bay believes this is an important measure to protect the health and safety of employees, volunteers, family members and those who visit the workplace from COVID-19 infection. Interns must show proof of vaccination (vaccination card or website).