Undergraduate Training Experience

As part of its outreach and education role, the Marine Resources Department (MRD) of the Marine Biological Laboratory offers opportunities to enrolled college students whose academic institutions require participation in internship/co-operative opportunities for credit and/or graduation. This is generally a one-semester, unpaid, experience that can be arranged depending on most academic calendars.   We welcome prospective academic institutions to post these opportunities to their students.

Students are expected to participate in the training experience for 40 hours per week or as required by the individual’s home institution and will gain hands-on experience in aquatic animal care, husbandry, and culture. Daily duties include preparing animals’ diets, feeding animals, maintaining water quality in aquaria and holding tanks, recording animal health and water quality data in logbooks, and routine cleaning and upkeep of equipment and husbandry areas. Opportunities exist for students to observe and/or participate in laboratory procedures and animal necropsies, and to learn about the mechanical aspects of large and small water filtration and sterilization systems. Specifically, students may:

Assist culturing live food sources
Brine shrimp culture:

  • Learn methodology for mixing artificial sea salts
  • Learn production scheduling for cultured species
  • Investigate methods to enhance nutritional value of nauplii

Learn to perform basic water quality tests and manipulate various parameters required to keep aquatic species healthy

  • Assist collecting water-quality data to evaluate the health of both marine and freshwater biofilters and systems

Learn to operate seawater filtration systems

  • Calculate ozone dosages for seawater sterilization
  • Operate and maintain rapid-rate sandfilters

Maintain tanks and specimen holding environs

  • Learn proper cleaning techniques for tanks and aquaria
  • Learn disinfection methods
  • Quarantine sick and/or diseased animals


David Remsen
Manager, Marine Resources Department
MRC 316
7 MBL Street
Woods Hole, MA 02543