University of Maryland Center for Environmental ScienceHorn Point Oyster Hatchery

2021 Oyster Hatchery Internship Opportunity

Quick Links: Internship Description Key Dates  |  Download the Application

Interns will work alongside oyster biologists to create a positive and successful hatchery season.

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.


Internship Description

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.



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

Seed Production

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


  • Remote setting*
  • Observing large scale deployment of spat on shell*
  • 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*

*May not be able to occur due to covid-19 restrictions and distancing requirements



December 1, 2020                  Applications are now being accepted

Dec 23, 2020 – Jan 4, 2021    *HPL is closed and will not be responding to inquiries*

January 28, 2021                    Virtual Intern Tour- details TBD

February 11, 2021                  COMPLETED applications due by 11:59:59 PM

Feb 12 – Feb 22, 2021            Applications under review

February 23, 2021                  Applicants notified of their status, interviews scheduled

Feb 24 – Mar 5, 2021              Applicant interviews

March 8, 2021                         Internship offers made

March 22, 2021                       Offers must be accepted no later than 11:59:59 PM

April – June 22, 2021              Interns start


Application Submission Instructions and Deadline

Application Form Download Links – choose your desired format

Application as PDF  |  Application as a Word Doc (.docx)

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.

Applications can be downloaded from our website. Completed application materials should be emailed to Stephanie Alexander at While electronic submissions are preferred, you may also download the application from our website and submit it via mail to UMCES Horn Point Oyster Hatchery, P.O. Box 775, Cambridge, MD 21613. You may also fax materials to (410) 221-8456 “ATTN: Stephanie Alexander.”

To request a paper copy, call Stephanie Alexander at 410-221-8310.

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.

All materials, including application, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and resume or CV are expected to be complete and submitted by February 11, 2021 11:59:59 PM. We strongly encourage applicants to attend the virtual tour of our facility offered on January 28, 2021.  Please email Stephanie Alexander at to add your name to a list for the virtual tour.