Winter Cold Stun Season Internship

The internship at The Sea Turtle Hospital @ UF Whitney Lab is designed to be a career learning experience. Interns will gain first-hand experience in data collection, sanitation procedures, food preparation, and sea turtle husbandry.  Students interested in interning at the hospital should be working towards a degree in marine biology, veterinary medicine or a related field. Recent graduates seeking experience in these fields are also accepted.

Our winter or cold stun season can be one of our busiest times of year for receiving, admitting, or triaging stranded sea turtles. While cold stun events similar to Texas or New England are uncommon in our area, we do receive very cold turtles and sometimes feel the pressure from surrounding areas that do receive cold stun turtles. This busy time is an awesome opportunity to learn about sea turtle health and strandings in short order.

Interns will work within all areas that make up the Sea Turtle Hospital, to gain in-depth knowledge of sea turtle husbandry and medical treatment through a unique phase-training program. This allows the individual to become familiar with husbandry and medical procedures used at the hospital. Interns assist our staff with husbandry and treatment of all sea turtle patients in residence.  Interns also help with lab procedures, sample processing, and record keeping.

Interns will participate in professional development activities, such as staff meetings, in-house training, seminars, evaluations, and resume-building experiences.  Interns will be responsible for completion of an independent project and will present on it at the end of their internship.

Interns also participate in hospital activities, the development of educational and interactive displays, and community programs.  Interns will be exposed to all areas of the hospital and leave with a well-rounded knowledge of not only how the hospital operates on a daily basis, but also with an extensive knowledge of conserving our marine ecosystems.

  • Individual food preparation
  • Maintenance of animal enclosures (scrubbing, water changes, water/air monitoring, filter maintenance, water quality) under supervision.
  • Help maintain life support systems
  • Clean food-prep and other back-up areas
  • Assist in care for animals undergoing rehabilitation
  • Assist in rescue and salvage responses
  • Participate in post-mortem work and necropsies
  • Assist in weekly sea turtle physicals
  • Record-keeping
  • Complete an independent project
  • Assist and lead public behind-the-scene tours of the hospital (under supervision)
  • Currently enrolled in or graduated from college or university
  • Must be available to work from January 5 through April 15 (dates may slightly vary pending an individual’s school)
  • Interns should demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Students that are adaptable, responsible, hardworking, willing to learn, and have attention to detail are encouraged to apply
  • Must be able to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Interns should expect to work 40 hours per week which will include early morning and/or late night.
  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds
  • Must be able to stand for long periods of time
  • Must be able to work in the field during mid-summer months in Florida

 If an intern plans to receive school credit for an internship, they must notify staff prior to the internship start date, and it will be the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required paperwork is completed and submitted.


Send your resume, cover letter, and three letters of reference to or The Sea Turtle Hospital @ Whitney Lab, Attn: Catherine Eastman 9505 N. Oceanshore Blvd, St Augustine, FL 32080.  Applications must be received by November 1 for the winter cold stun intern program.

Applicants will be notified through email if invited for the interview phase. Interviews are scheduled onsite or Zoom per applicant’s request.

This is an unpaid internship. Housing and living expenses are not included. All interns are responsible for their own housing, transportation, and meals. One uniform shirt will be presented at the start of the internship program. Onsite housing is available for a discounted fee of $750 per month.