The oyster culture program at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Laboratory is accepting applications for a 2021 summer internship. The oyster hatchery, one of the largest on the East Coast, produces oyster larvae, spat on shell, and oyster seed for restoration and aquaculture activities, as well as for research and education. The facility includes large larval tanks, a greenhouse for algal production, over fifty outdoor setting tanks, and a demonstration oyster farm.

Oyster aquaculture in Maryland is a burgeoning industry, with opportunities for innovative ideas and strong work ethics to make a meaningful difference. Since revision of lease laws in Maryland in 2009, the state has seen a strong increase in interest in aquaculture. With this increased interest has come increased demand for a workforce who is trained in the unique job-skills required of an oyster aquaculturist.

Oyster hatchery interns are expected to become part of the hatchery team and learn all aspects of oyster culture. This includes, but is not limited to, broodstock management, spawning, larval culture, algal culture, settlement, outplanting, deployment, sampling procedures, data collection, farm management, and facility maintenance. Interns will learn to set larvae, both on shell for restoration and bottom harvest, and on microcultch, to produce individual oysters for containerized water column production. Interns will set larvae and monitor efficiency and health of young seed. Interns will learn to operate downweller, upweller and nursery systems and to undertake basic troubleshooting techniques. Responsibilities will also include production of custom spawns destined for the commercial market.

This summer internship offers flexible start and end dates but at the very least interns should start no later than June 21, 2021 and end no later than October 16, 2021. Candidates should be able to work for a minimum of 12 weeks. Applicants must be able to lift at least 50 pounds and be committed to working in a wet, muddy, and humid environment. While this is not a traditional laboratory environment, you may learn several laboratory skills. Interns should be prepared with appropriate clothing and footwear for both types of work.

Applicants must be 18 years of age or older by the start of employment. Candidates should have an interest in aquaculture, fisheries, biology, environmental sciences or a related field. Stipend is $480.00 per week before taxes paid biweekly. While most of our work is conducted Monday-Friday 8am-4pm, occasionally irregular hours may occur.  Weekend work is expected and will include several weekend days per month. Time worked during weekends will be considered the following week. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, housing is in question and may not be offered.  If allowed, dormitory space will be limited. Commuters must have reliable transportation. Due to the rural nature of the campus area, personal transportation is encouraged for all participants.

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Application Form
  2. A copy of your most recent transcript that lists all courses you have taken to-date and the grades you have received. Both unofficial and official copies are accepted.
  3. A minimum of two (2) letters of recommendation from an individual capable of commenting on your academic qualifications and work ethic. These letters may be emailed directly to Stephanie Alexander or attached with your application form.
  4. A resume or curriculum vitae describing any relevant jobs, internships, volunteer work, scholarships and/or other activities that you have held or participated in and other skills or accomplishments that you wish to identify.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all materials have arrived on or before the deadline.

If you have any questions about this opportunity, need assistance filling out this application, or you would like to attend our prospective intern tour, please contact Stephanie Alexander at or (410)221-8310 or Julie Trommatter at or (410)221-8370.