University of Maryland Center for Environmental ScienceHorn Point Oyster Hatchery

Internship Opportunities

2020 Oyster Hatchery Internship Opportunity


The hatchery is currently looking for interns for the 2020 hatchery season!


Want to learn more? Read about the 2020 Oyster Hatchery Internship Opportunity –> internship_description_and_application_instructions

If you’re interested then please fill out an application –> 2020_intern_application



—————–below info also available in the above internship description link——————–



Where: University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Laboratory Oyster Hatchery located at 2020 Horns Point Road in Cambridge, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

The oyster culture program at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Laboratory is accepting applications for a 2020 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 may also include production of custom spawns destined for the commercial market.

While employed with the oyster hatchery, interns will also be gaining experience on a working oyster farm. Work experiences, conditions, and hours may vary. A demonstration oyster farm has been constructed on site, with a range of gear types employed for the water-column culture of cultchless oysters. Aquaculture interns will work alongside the Demonstration Farm Manager to ensure efficient operation of this farm. This includes learning the differences between the gear types, learning to operate each type, learning data collection techniques for oysters, assessing mortality, and grading by size.

This summer internship offers flexible start and end dates but at the very least interns should start no later than June 22, 2020 and end no later than October 16, 2020. 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 $460.00 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. Limited dormitory space may be available. Commuters must have reliable transportation. Due to the rural nature of the campus area, personal transportation is encouraged for all participants.



Interns will rotate through various aspects of the hatchery and should be capable of working independently after training.


Broodstock Management

  • Collecting, maintaining, and cleaning broodstock oysters
  • Learning the conditioning process
  • Processing oysters for assessment


  • Determining sex ratio
  • Fertilizing eggs
  • Learning microscope techniques

Larval Rearing

  • Cleaning larval rearing tanks
  • Sorting larvae and assessing maturity
  • Performing larval counts

Algae Production

  • Maintaining carboy cultures
  • Cleaning and inoculating tanks
  • Operating various equipment

Setting & Planting

  • Collecting samples and processing data
  • Introducing larvae to setting tanks
  • Accurately determining spat on shell numbers
  • Accompanying Oyster Recovery Partnership on a deployment

Seed Production

  • Setting larvae on ground cultch
  • Sorting and counting seed
  • Upweller and downweller operation

Demonstration Farm

  • Collecting oysters from grow out gear in the water
  • Processing various gear types
  • Removing fouling organisms


  • Remote setting
  • Applying skills on a working oyster farm
  • Basic laboratory skills
  • Answering phone calls in a professional manner
  • Assisting with large hands-on experiences for tour groups


December 9, 2019                  Applications are now being accepted

Dec 21, 2019 – Jan 1, 2020    *HPL is closed and will not be responding to inquiries*

January 31, 2020                    2:00 PM Potential intern tour

February 14, 2019                  COMPLETED applications due by 11:59:59 PM

Feb 17 – Feb 25, 2020            Applications under review

February 26, 2020                  Applicants notified of their status, interviews scheduled

Feb 27 – Mar 6, 2020              Applicant interviews

March 13, 2020                       Internship offers made

March 20, 2020                       Offers must be accepted no later than 11:59:59 PM

April – June 22, 2020               Interns start