Hatchery Intern Opportunity

The window for applying for a 2022 summer internship has closed.  Applications are no longer being accepted.   If interested for 2023, please check back in December for next year’s announcement.

Quick Links: Internship Description | Key Dates | Download the Application

2022 Oyster Hatchery Internship Opportunity

The oyster culture program at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Laboratory is accepting applications for a 2022 summer internship.

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.

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.

When: Candidates should be able to work for a minimum of 12 consecutive weeks within the timeframe of June 20, 2022 and October 21, 2022. Most work is conducted Monday-Friday 8am-4pm, occasionally irregular hours may occur. Weekend work is expected.

What you’ll do:

  • Become part of the hatchery team and learn all aspects of oyster culture
  • Complete rotations and become competent in all aspects of oyster cultivation
  • Collect data
  • Operate downweller, upweller and nursery systems
  • Basic troubleshooting


  •  18 years of age or older by the start of employment
  • Able to lift at least 50 pounds
  • Commitment to working in a wet, muddy, and humid environment.
  • Able to work weekends
  • Interest in aquaculture, fisheries, biology, environmental sciences or a related field
  • Be prepared with appropriate clothing and footwear for wet and muddy conditions.
  • Commit to arrive on time
  • Reliable transportation

Stipend: pay to be determined before taxes paid biweekly

*Due to the covid-19 pandemic, housing is in question and may not be offered. If allowed, dormitory space will be limited. 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*

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


December 1, 2021 — Applications are now being accepted

Dec 20, 2021 — Jan 2, 2022 — *HPL is closed and will not be responding to inquiries*

January 27, 2022 — 2:00 PM Virtual Intern tour

February 10, 2022 — COMPLETED applications due by 11:59:59 PM

Feb 11 – Feb 28, 2022 — Applications under review

February 28, 2022 — Applicants notified of their status, interviews scheduled

Mar 1- Mar 6, 2022 — Applicant interviews

March 8, 2022 — Internship offers made

March 22, 2022 — Offers must be accepted no later than 11:59:59 PM

April – June 20, 2022 — Interns start

Application Submission Instructions and Deadline

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

Applications can be downloaded from our website (below). Completed application materials should be emailed to Stephanie Alexander at tobash@umces.edu. 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 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 10, 2022 11:59:59 PM. We strongly encourage applicants to attend the virtual tour of our facility offered on January 27, 2022. Please email Stephanie Alexander at tobash@umces.edu to add your name to a list for the virtual tour.

Qualified applicants receive consideration for employment without discrimination because of sex, marital status, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, or the presence of a non-job-related handicap.

Application Form Download Links – choose your desired format

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