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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 and Internship Coordinator

Location: National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, Dubuque, IA
Full-time/Part-time:
 Full-time, Experienced
Education Required: 
BA/BS preferred or equivalent work experience
Classification: 
Exempt/Non-exempt
Department:
 Sales & Guest Services
Reports To:
 Director of Sales & Guest Services
Staff Reporting To This Position:
Interns, volunteers
Other: 
Occasional evening & weekend hours as required

Essential Responsibilities

  • Volunteer and internship program management: Implements best strategies in recruitment, training, placement, and retention for volunteers. Evaluates effectiveness of current volunteer program policies and procedures, relating to individual departmental volunteer needs. Recommends, designs, and implements changes to improve effectiveness and efficiency. Manages records via paper and electronic methods.
  • Volunteer and internship stewardship & cultivation: Serves as the primary representative of volunteer and internship programs on a daily basis and at all events where volunteers are utilized, including exhibit openings, members-only events and museum special events. Coordinate volunteer efforts with specific department(s) hosting special events.  Communicate with volunteers regarding specific assignments, expectations, benefits, and important updates.  Act as primary advocate for all volunteers. Collaborate with area colleges to recruit a strong intern base, through attending career and intern fairs, posting to college boards, and maintain relationships with all area education staff.
  • Manager on Duty (MOD) daily responsibilities: Learn museum opening/closing procedures, cash office procedures and work as part of MOD team daily to handle all guest needs while working closely with front line associates with daily tasks including the development of skill set required to work with organization’s point of sale (POS) system. Work closely with Guest Services and MOD team to perform necessary functions required to achieve department operational goals.
  • Provide administrative support: Collaborate with different museum departments through participation in meetings and in the joining of committees. Assist with creating quality staff and volunteer communication, guest-related marketing tasks, and creation of documents and educational materials.
  • Collaborative and team efforts: Work with all departments to implement partnerships and communications that promote volunteer and internship placement that improves the overall guest experience. Play a key role as a member of a team that works every day to deliver a quality guest experience, and work with the Director of Sales & Guest Services to deliver on department and organizational goals
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in related field preferred or equivalent work experience
  • Ability to manage several tasks at once
  • Strong leadership and decision-making skills
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Proven analytical and organizational skills
  • Experience with Microsoft Office suite
  • Availability for weekend and occasional evening hours

The Dubuque County Historical Society and its National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and Mathias Ham Historic Site are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Applicants from populations underrepresented in the field are strongly encouraged to apply. All qualified applications will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, familial status, sexual orientation, national origin, ability, age, or veteran status.  The organization strives to create a culture of inclusivity, empowerment, respect, and the opportunity to succeed. It is a priority to create a workplace that reflects the communities that we serve, and where all feel welcome to bring their full, authentic selves to our organization.

How To Apply

To apply, email your resume, cover letter and references to apply@rivermuseum.com. Applications due by and will be reviewed on Friday, June 18.

This is a full time, permanent position. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Benefits include vacation time, sick time, paid holidays, medical, dental, flex plan, and 403b retirement plan.

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 - fillable PDFVOLUNTEER APPLICATION - FOR THOSE UNDER 14

Conservation

Conservation volunteers work alongside our Curator of Conservation Programs on daily, weekly, and monthly projects in the community, including habitat restoration, campus habitat care, greenhouse tending, mussel survey work, prairie, forest, and woodland restoration days, river cleanups, seed harvesting, and more. Those interested will be scheduled and contacted about opportunities as they arise. 

Curatorial

Volunteers will provide support for the Curatorial Services (historical collections) department at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium/Dubuque County Historical Society.

Duties may include but are not limited to:

  • Assists collections management staff with object handling, documentation, exhibit installation/deinstallation.
  • Verifies, updates, or catalogs information on collection items in the database.
  • Correlates items with the correct paper and database files.  
  • Digitally photographs or scans each item and adds images to the database.
  • Researches items in the collection.
  • Assists with proper storage and housing of collection items.

Applicants should possess:

  • Ability to work as part of a team and follow specific directions.
  • Strong computer skills, such as experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.

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.

Stingray Touch Tank

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.

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.

Special Events

Special events volunteers assist with the Museum & Aquarium's events throughout the year, ranging from small to large scale. Typical tasks may include set up and tear down, helping facilitate crafts, games, and experiments, food preparation, ticketing, historical demonstrations, dressing up in character, and more. Those interested will be contacted about opportunities as they arise. 

Wet 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: May 1 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

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.

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

Curatorial Intern (Curatorial)

Intern will provide support for the Curatorial Services (historical collections) department at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium/Dubuque County Historical Society. This is a temporary, non-paid, part time position.

Duties may include but are not limited to:

  • Assists collections management staff with object handling, documentation, exhibit installation/deinstallation.
  • Verifies, updates, or catalogs information on collection items in the database.
  • Correlates items with the correct paper and database files.  
  • Digitally photographs or scans each item and adds images to the database.
  • Researches items in the collection.
  • Assists with proper storage and housing of collection items.

Applicants should possess:

  • Ability to work as part of a team and follow specific directions.
  • Excellent computer skills, such as experience with Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.
  • Education or interest in history, anthropology, research, museums, archives, or related fields, and willingness to learn about proper museum techniques.

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

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
Please send application, resume, and cover letter to Kristen Leffler at kleffler@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.

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

Living Collections Intern (Living Collections)

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
Please send application, resume, and cover letter to Kristen Leffler at kleffler@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.

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

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 kleffler@rivermuseum.com.

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 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 kleffler@rivermuseum.com.

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