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Join Our Team

Join Our Team

At the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, we are consistently seeking qualified, talented, and dedicated individuals for a variety of paid, volunteer, and internship positions. Find the position you seek within the categories below.

Full-Time/Part-Time Positions

If you are interested in becoming a part of our team, complete an application form below. Applicants may drop off their application at either box office location or email completed application to apply@rivermuseum.com.

employment application
When specific employment opportunities are available, they will be listed to the right.

Volunteer Positions

The very nature of volunteering means choosing to work without being paid for it. As a result, people choose to spend their time on issues they feel strongly about. If you have a passion for animals, history, education, or conservation, the National Mississippi River Musuem & Aquarium, Dubuque Historical Society, and Mathias Ham Historic Site are for you!

Volunteers receive a number of benefits including free individual admission. Flexible schedules are available. To apply, complete the volunteer application below. Some positions may require you to upload a cover letter and resume. For more information, contact Kristen Leffler at 563-557-9545 x221 or volunteer@rivermuseum.com.

volunteer APPLICATION 

Blacksmithing

Blacksmith volunteers work in either the boat shop or the blacksmith shop to help with electrical, woodworking, blacksmithing, building, and repair projects for the Museum & Aquarium. Volunteer blacksmiths also conduct demonstrations for guests during certain special events throughout the year. Those interested in this position do not need to have previous blacksmithing experience, but must be interested in learning skill work to demonstrate for visitors.

Equipment and basic training is provided upon starting in this position.

Down in the Delta

Down in the Delta volunteers work alongside a museum educator to interpret and inform guests who visit the Delta touch tank about the various rays and skates on exhibit. Volunteers are also responsible for helping to maintain the safety of both the animals and guests, such as instructing guests to rinse their hands before touching the animals, explaining the proper technique to touch and feed the animals, and providing basic facts about the rays and skates to enrich guests’ experience.

Basic training is provided prior to starting in this position.

Flood & Erosion Table

The flood and erosion table volunteer moves between these two exhibits to interpret their functions to guests. The flood table simulates the 1965 flood in Dubuque that flooded the Ice Harbor and much of downtown Dubuque. The erosion table helps guests explore erosion and the impact that soil has on both the Mississippi River and other rivers throughout the world.

Basic training is provided prior to starting in this position.

Greeter

The volunteer greeter is one of the first individuals that the guests of the Museum & Aquarium interact with. Greeters welcome each visitor to our campus, provide them with a map, and direct them to the various features and exhibits of the Museum & Aquarium. This includes explaining the different buildings and areas, highlighting certain animals, and going over the daily activities being offered.

Basic training is provided prior to starting in this position.

Living Collections

Living Collections volunteers will help to provide daily care of various animals at the Museum &  Aquarium. This may include daily feedings and enclosure cleaning, making and documenting observations related to animal health and well-being, maintaining written and electronic records, testing water quality, and following other Living Collections procedures.

A typical Living Collections volunteer will possess a high school diploma, a background or experience relating to animal husbandry, and be able to commit to a minimum of 8 hours a week with the team.

Extensive training is provided upon starting this position.

Receptionist

The volunteer receptionist is stationed in the administration office of the Mississippi River Center. Receptionists answer all incoming calls during normal business hours and direct them accordingly. They will also greet, welcome, and direct all in-person guests who arrive for meetings and other business. Various mailings and other administrative and office-related tasks also fall under this position.

Basic training is provided upon starting this position.

RiverWorks

The RiverWorks volunteer is charged with greeting guests as they approach the RiverWorks SplashZone exhibit, as well as maintaining an environment for safety and fun. The RiverWorks SplashZone is an area for children and families to learn about industry on the river, the water cycle, and other related topics in an interactive manner. Volunteers provide visitors with smocks so as not to get their clothing wet, assist with mopping excess water from the floor, and in disassembling the toy boats for the next guests once children have finished building them.

Basic training is provided prior to starting in this position.

Special Events

The Museum & Aquarium holds several special events throughout the year, with multiple events happening each month. These events range from smaller scale with a few dozen guests to very large scale with a few thousand guests. Special event volunteers help with a wide variety of tasks that help these events go smoothly, including but not limited to set up and tear down, ticketing, assisting with crafts and games, food preparation and serving, historical demonstrations, dressing up in character, and more.

Special event needs are communicated to volunteers on a bi-weekly basis. Many special event volunteers also regularly volunteer in another area at the Museum & Aquarium, though this is not required. 

Web Lab

Using photos, interpretive media, and live animals, the Wet Lab volunteer accompanies and assists a museum educator to showcase various animals of the Mississippi River, including sturgeon, crayfish, alligators, snapping turtles, mussels, and more. The Wet Lab volunteer will help to maintain the safety of the sturgeon touch tank for both the animals and guests.

Basic training is provided prior to starting in this position.

Internships

We love helping college students gain real-life experience! If you are interested in any of the posted internships, please complete the volunteer application below and email along with your resume, cover letter, and any additional requirements. Applications may also be submitted in person at either box office. For questions, contact Kristen Leffler at 563-557-9545 x221 or volunteer@rivermuseum.com.

Deadlines for submission are as follows:

  • Spring semester application submission deadline: January 1 annually
  • Summer semester application submission deadline: April 15 annually
  • Fall semester application submission deadline: August 25 annually

For questions, contact Kristen Leffler at 563-557-9545 x221 or volunteer@rivermuseum.com. 

Internship Application

Social Media Intern (Marketing/Communications)

The social media marketing internship will work directly with marketing staff from the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium to manage multiple social media platforms targeted to diverse audiences. This includes utilizing creativity to develop engaging content as well as being able to analyze the results of various social media campaigns.

Social media platforms utilized include Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. In a typical day, you will:

  • Create content based on River Museum & Ham Site initiatives, events, programs, exhibits, etc.
  • Curate content through interactions with other departments
  • Monitor messages and posts from those interacting with our platforms and respond appropriately
  • Regularly analyze other museums, zoos and aquariums to see what is working in our industry
  • Actively participate and lend your voice and ideas to various marketing initiatives
  • Execute other marketing projects as requested, including updating portions of the institution’s website as appropriate

Successful interns will possess:

  • A knowledge of and love for social media
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong proofreading and editing abilities
  • Working towards a degree in marketing, communications, graphic design or a related field

APPLICATION
Please send application, resume, and cover letter to Kristen Leffler at leffler@rivermuseum.com.

Graphic Design Intern (Marketing/Communications)

The graphic design marketing intern will work directly with marketing staff from the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium to conceptualize and design creative for a variety of projects and marketing channels. This position requires strict adherence to organizational brand standards and brand guidelines, while offering an opportunity to gain experience in a highly collaborate, creative, and mission-based environment.

In a typical internship, you will be expected to:

  • Assist in conceptualization of creative for promotion of current or upcoming River Museum or Ham Site exhibits for use across a wide range of marketing mediums
    • Design mediums that may be part of the internship include billboard, print ads, social media, website, digital ads, on-site signage and print pieces
  • Design promotional items for programming and events at both the River Museum and Ham Site.
  • Gain diverse experience in creating pieces for different purposes, for use on different platforms, and targeted to different audiences
  • Work within predetermined parameters and timelines to achieve high quality results
  • Take and channel constructive feedback during the editing and revision process to improve your knowledge-base and skillset
  • Should skill and background allow, the intern will have an opportunity incorporate photography into the internship

Successful interns will possess:

  • A knowledge of and love for graphic design
  • Strong visual, written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong proofreading and editing abilities as well as an eye for details
  • Skills in time management while managing multiple projects
  • Strong knowledge in and demonstrated use of the Adobe Creative Suite, specifically InDesign and Photoshop
  • Working towards a degree in graphic design, art, marketing, or a related field

APPLICATION
Please send application, resume, and cover letter to Kristen Leffler at leffler@rivermuseum.com.

Banquets Intern (Banquets)

Purpose of the position:

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium’s mission is to explore life of Dubuque, the Mississippi River, and the Rivers of America and their global connections, and to research, interpret, educate and promote the conservation of their historical and natural environment.

The Sales and Banquet intern will assist the Sales & Marketing Department with all afterhours banquet operations for groups hosting events at the NMRM&A.  The intern will work collaboratively with the Museum & Aquarium banquet’s staff to set up, tear down and clean all banquet areas. To move equipment to and from banquet areas in a safe manner. To avoid damage to the museum and to maintain the cleanliness of any space used for a banquet event.  To achieve the overall success of the event or function while learning the processes.  Around 15 - 20 hours per week depending on number of events.  Some weeks might be more than 20 hours; some weeks might be less than 15 hours.

Essential Functions:

  1. Will assist Sales & Banquet Manager with organizing and executing events held at the NMRM&A.
  2. Set tables, chairs, and other equipment to the specification of the client as reported by the Sales & Banquet Manager.
  3. To assist Banquet service and Banquet bartenders as needed to achieve the overall success of the event or function. This may be but not limited to providing ice or glassware for the banquet bars, set or clear guest tables, help with cleaning dishes and other equipment.
  4. Break down and store tables, chairs and other equipment at the conclusion of an Event/Function.
  5. To clean and maintain all function space to the standards of the NMRM&A.
  6. Any other duties, responsibilities, or tasks deemed necessary by the Sales & Banquet Manager.
  7. Must maintain a neat, clean and well-groomed appearance.

Relationships:

This individual will report to the Sales & Banquet Manager on a weekly basis and work with other banquet staff and volunteers accordingly.

Equipment: (e.g., computer, copy machine, telephone, etc.)

Must have general operational knowledge of basic office equipment, computers, and computer software systems.

Qualifications: (e.g., education, training, experience, & skills)

The intern shall possess exceptional organizational skills and be able to work independently as long as with a team.  We are looking for an intelligent, detail-oriented individual who can cover a broad array of duties while assisting the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium to become the nation’s premier center to interpret and preserve the Mississippi River’s natural environment and history, inspire a global audience, and create more knowledgeable and engaged citizens.

 

Skills/Experience:  Organizational skills.  Excellent verbal and written communication skills.  Listens well.  Works well under stressful situations.

 

Development Database Internship (Development)

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium’s mission is to explore life of Dubuque, the Mississippi River, and the Rivers of America and their global connections, and to research, interpret, educate and promote the conservation of their historical and natural environment.

The Development intern will assist the Development department with ongoing fundraising activities that meet our mission. The intern will work collaboratively with the Museum & Aquarium staff to update donor and member demographic information which is important for staying connected with those individuals and organizations, research matching gift organizations and opportunities, and work to update our digital donor gift history information as we move closer to our goal of being an even more sustainable/green organization while learning the processes and importance of non-profit development.

Long-term, we view this as a distinct opportunity to advance the Museum & Aquarium’s capability to fundraise and maintain a properly updated database; offer learning opportunities for young professionals; and increase strong collaborative efforts with local organizations and prospective donors.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

  • Gain a working knowledge of our donor and member database system (Blackbaud’s Altru).
  • Maintain a working database of funders and deadlines.
  • Assist in prospect research and cultivation of current and new donors, major gifts, and matching gifts.
  • Research possible sponsors, which fits the organizations vision, mission and ongoing educational activities.
  • Track and report event sponsors in the community.
  • Assist in planning Museum & Aquarium upcoming events – Ice Fest, Mad Scientist Party, 4th of July Ice Cream Social, Ding Darling Days & the Taste of Dubuque & more.
  • All other duties as assigned.

RELATIONSHIPS

This individual will report to the Development Database Coordinator, and will work with Development and Membership Managers on a daily basis. In addition, this position would work with other departments such as Marking and Education as well as other administrative office staff, and volunteers accordingly.

QUALIFICATIONS 

The intern shall possess exceptional organizational skills and be able to work independently as well as with others.  We are looking for an intelligent, detail-oriented individual who can cover a broad array of duties while assisting the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium to become the nation’s premier center to interpret and preserve the Mississippi River’s natural environment and history, inspire a global audience, and create more knowledgeable and engaged citizens.

SKILLS

Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, basic database principles, internet navigation, and social media experience preferred. Must have general operational knowledge of basic office equipment, computers, postage machine, and computer software systems.

APPLICATION

NMRM&A application, resume, and cover letter
Please send materials to Kristen Leffler at kleffler@rivermuseum.com.

Marketing Analyst Intern (Marketing/Communications)

The marketing analyst intern will work directly with marketing, sales, and memberships to assist in development of sales and marketing strategies through data collection, compilation, and analysis. This position will create and monitor various reports, documenting historical performance and opportunities for growth. Information compiled will be used to provide recommendations for sales or execution strategies.

In a typical internship, you may:

  • Compile data from multiple sources, including databases, google analytics, social media, among others
  • Create charts, graphs, pivot tables, and/or forecasting models based on information collected
  • Develop reports and report back to marketing, sales, and membership staff information related to findings
  • Assist marketing and sales departments in creation of data-driven sales strategies
  • Research industry trends for comparison purposes and create a SWOT analysis of relevant data compared to industry averages  

Successful interns will possess:

  • An interest in the museum, zoo/aquarium, tourism field.
  • Demonstrated knowledge in Microsoft Excel (i.e. ability to create charts, graphs, pivot tables, advanced formulas, statistical tools, pivot tables, etc.)
  • Strong verbal communication skills and the ability to visually represent data succinctly and understandably
  • Interest in business analysis and working with statistics and data
  • An ability to work with a high level of autonomy, initiative, and drive
  • Standing as a sophomore, junior or senior
  • Working towards a degree in business management, accounting, marketing, statistics, data analytics, mathematics, or related field

APPLICATION
Please send application, resume, and cover letter to Kristen Leffler at leffler@rivermuseum.com.

Conservation Programming Internship (Conservation)

Are you interested in getting hands-on, outside of the classroom experience in the environmental field and becoming a member of the next generation of conservation heroes?  

PRIMARY DUTIES

  • Understand the role of action-oriented conservation campaigns
  • Participate in networking opportunities with and learn from conservation professionals
  • Facilitate in-situ community based conservation action programming with area conservation partners targeting family audiences. Programming may include but is no limited to:
    • Freshwater Mussel Propagation for Restoration
    • Invasive Species Removal
    • Trash Clean-ups
    • Bottomland Forest Restoration
    • Wildlife Surveys
    • Water Quality Monitoring
  • Assist in the facilitation of Teen Stewardship Team work sessions and in-situ conservation action programming 
  • Explore the elements that go into an aquarium based conservation organization including:
    • Conservation Education
    • Development and Funding
    • Marketing
    • Graphics
    • Public Relations
  • Enhance teamwork, leadership and communication skills.  All of which are integral when working with others towards the goal of saving wildlife and stewarding rivers

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Must be available for an in person or Zoom interview.
  • Applicant should ideally be available May, 2020 – Aug./Sept., 2020 with variable hours.  General schedule of 10-20 hours per week, worked primarily Monday – Friday, some evenings and weekends required.
  • Collaborate with Museum and Aquarium persons and partners on a culminating project, synthesizing information learned over the entire summer. 
  • Abide by all National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium policies and procedures, including safety protocols.
  • Ablility to tolerate exposure to a variety of outdoor weather extremes such as heat, humidity, and rain in a diversity of local habitats is required.
  • Housing and transportation to and from the aquarium and to the majority of partner sites will be the responsibility of the intern.

APPLICATION
Please send application, resume, and cover letter to Kristen Leffler at leffler@rivermuseum.com and Jared McGovern a jmcgovern@rivermuseum.com.

Development Intern (Development)

Purpose of the position:

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium’s mission is to explore life of Dubuque, the Mississippi River, and the Rivers of America and their global connections, and to research, interpret, educate and promote the conservation of their historical and natural environment.

The Development intern will assist the Development Department with ongoing fundraising activities that meet our mission. The intern will work collaboratively with the Museum & Aquarium staff to research new sponsors and identify innovative donor cultivation techniques, while learning the processes and importance of non-profit development.

Long-term, we view this as a distinct opportunity to advance the Museum & Aquarium’s capability to fundraise; offer learning opportunities for young professionals; and increase strong collaborative efforts with local organizations and prospective donors.

Essential Functions:

  • Research possible sponsors, which fits the organizations vision, mission and ongoing educational activities.
  • Track and report event sponsors in the community.
  • Assist in prospect research and cultivation of current and new donors, and major gifts.
  • Maintain a working database of funders and deadlines.
  • Gain a working knowledge of our donor and member database system – Altru.
  • Assist in planning Museum & Aquarium upcoming events – Ice Fest, Mad Scientist Party, 4th of July Ice Cream Social, Ding Darling Days & the Taste of Dubuque & more.
  • All other duties as assigned.

Relationships:

This individual will report to the Development Manager, and will work with Development and Membership Managers on a daily basis. In addition, this position would work with other departments such as Marking and Education as well as other administrative office staff, and volunteers accordingly.

Equipment: (e.g., computer, copy machine, telephone, etc.)

Must have general operational knowledge of basic office equipment, computers, postage machine, and computer software systems.

Qualifications: (e.g., education, training, experience, & skills)

The intern shall possess exceptional organizational skills and be able to work independently.  We are looking for an intelligent, detail-oriented individual who can cover a broad array of duties while assisting the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium to become the nation’s premier center to interpret and preserve the Mississippi River’s natural environment and history, inspire a global audience, and create more knowledgeable and engaged citizens.

Skills/Experience: Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Development database, internet navigation, and social media experience preferred.

Please send Resume & Cover letter to: Kristen Field at kfield@rivermuseum.com

Exhibits Internship (Exhibits)

This is a 4 – 10 hr. per week during business hours. The assistant will provide support for the Exhibits Department at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.

We are looking for an intelligent, friendly, detail-orientated, hard-working student who can cover a broad array of duties. They must be able to work successfully as part of a team or alone. The student will assist exhibit personnel in all their duties. This could include:

  • Building and painting walls, cases, and new displays.
  • Maintenance and cleaning of existing displays
  • Restoration work on existing buildings and boats
  • Producing in house signage

Specific skills or educational background helpful but not necessary:

  • Fine Arts/Graphic Arts background
  • Some basic construction skills, i.e. painting, sawing, measuring, etc.

This is a temporary, non-paid, part time position with the possibility of extension.  If interested, please send museum application, cover letter and resume to Kristen Field at kfield@rivermuseum.com.

Living Collections Intern (Living Collections) - SPRING 2021

Living Collections is currently not accepting internship applications until Spring 2021.

The Living Collections Internship will allow participants to have a greater knowledge and understanding of the general husbandry needs of freshwater fish, saltwater fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, invertebrates, and mammals housed in captive environments at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (NMRM&A).  Interns will work with members of the Living Collections Team to complete the daily tasks required to maintain the health and welfare of animals, as well as clean exhibits and back of house areas.

Primary Duties

  • Preparation of food for animal diets and feeding out of diets in efficient manner.
  • Ensure all husbandry areas are kept clean, organized and hazard free; report maintenance needs; perform minor maintenance tasks. Cleaning of the exterior and interior of the enclosures as well as areas around the enclosures (floors, counters under and above enclosures).
  • Exhibit servicing including monitoring the health and well-being of animals, testing for appropriate water parameters and performing water changes as needed, ensuring daily and weekly check sheets are current and maintain written records in accordance with established practice and policy.
  • Provide superb guest service for all visitors.
  • Implement emergency procedures as directed.
  • Work safely with and around potentially hazardous chemicals and dangerous animals.
  • Extended periods of standing and heavy lifting up to 50 lbs.
  • Assist Aquarists with any necessary projects and provide alternative coverage as needed.

Special Requirements

  • Applicants must be currently enrolled in a college or university, or have recently graduated from a college or university.
  • Will typically possess a background related to animal husbandry.
  • Experience with, understanding of, and aptitude for maintaining animals in captivity is helpful.
  • Must possess strength and endurance to perform the physical demands of all Key Responsibilities with or without accommodation.
  • Must be able to read, write, and speak the English language.
  • Ability to interact in a courteous and professional manner.
  • Must be capable of dealing with emergencies calmly and efficiently.
  • Must learn quickly and be self-motivated to elevate personal skill set.
  • Must possess good decision-making and problem solving skills to make sound, independent judgments to identify problems and suggest solutions.
  • Priority will be given for individuals who are able work four days a week (Sunday to Wednesday or Wednesday to Saturday) 7am to 4pm. The minimal requirements are two full 8 hour days. The internship will run 10-12 weeks, starting late September.

Application Requirements

  • NMRM&A Application
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume

 

Communications Intern (Marketing/Communications)

The communications intern will work directly with communications staff from the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium to curate, create, proof, pitch, and monitor communications on behalf of the organization. This includes written communications for use in press releases, radio ads, print pieces, and e-newsletters as well as on the organization’s website and social media channels.

In a typical internship, you may:

  • Write press release for an upcoming exhibit, event, or program and modify that content for use across other mediums, including website and social media
  • Interview staff or volunteers to create a human interest article or story
  • Write, edit or add content to the organization’s website
  • Write, edit and possibly record radio ads for the organization
  • Work with staff to determine key messages
  • Work within predetermined parameters and timelines to achieve high quality results
  • Take and channel constructive feedback during the editing and revision process to improve your knowledge-base and skillset

Successful interns will possess:

  • An interest in the museum, zoo/aquarium, tourism field.
  • A strong desire to learn and take constructive feedback.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong proofreading and editing abilities
  • Ability to sort and process key information and messages
  • Working towards a degree in marketing, communications or a related field

APPLICATION
Please send application, resume, and cover letter to Kristen Leffler at leffler@rivermuseum.com.

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