The New England Aquarium in Boston is home to some 20,000 animals, as well as a 200,000-gallon tank that ranks among the 10 largest in any aquarium across the country. Over the summer, Jordan Baker, a senior Marine Biology major at Unity College, had the opportunity of a lifetime to learn the ins and outs of the New England Aquarium as an aquarist intern primarily working with the Northern Waters of the World Gallery.
While Jordan spent her days ensuring that the animals were properly fed and that they had plenty of toys, one of the key subjects she learned about, surprisingly, was tank plumbing.
“You wouldn’t think in a role like this that being a plumber would be so handy in a tank aquarium setup,” said Baker. “But being able to look at all the PVC pipe that crystalizes around and swoops and turns, it’s really helpful to understand that.”
Though Baker concluded her internship in September, she went on to work temporarily with the aquarium’s Shark and Ray Touch Tank, and has since landed a full-time job as a floating aquarist gallery member, meaning she works with the Northern Waters Gallery, Tropical Gallery, Thinking Gallery (aka Temperate Gallery), Yawkey Coral Reef Center, and Freshwater Gallery.
“A lot of what I learned in the classroom was super applicable to what I am doing,” said Baker. “When I come to the aquarium, I feel like I’m selling an experience that promotes conservation, education, and research, and it feels helpful to society.”