Meet Annie Miller, Aquarist Trainee, Jellies Invasion
How long have you been at the Aquarium?
I began in May 2013, as part of the volunteer dive team. I wanted to learn more about being an aquarist, so I started volunteering as an assistant aquarist in different exhibits, including Maryland: Mountains to the Sea, Blacktip Reef, Atlantic Coral Reef and Jellies Invasion. In February 2015, I was hired as an Aquarist Aide in Jellies Invasion. I continue to volunteer on the dive team.
What interests led you to pursue your current career path?
I have been scuba certified since 2006 and enjoyed diving while on family vacations in the Florida Keys. I was fascinated with this “other world” under the sea. When I found out the National Aquarium had a volunteer dive team that feeds their animals, I knew it was something that I would enjoy doing. After I started with the dive team, I wanted to find out as much as I could about what was involved in keeping these animals. After volunteering as an Aquarist Assistant, I found I really enjoyed that as well. When I was offered a full time position in Jellies Invasion, I knew it was the job for me!
Briefly describe your day-to-day.
I work on a team with two other aquarists to maintain Jellies Invasion and the culture lab. I start my morning with exhibit checks, including temperature, salinity and making sure systems are functioning properly. I am responsible for the daily brine shrimp harvest, which is fed to the jellies twice a day. I also help scrub exhibits, making sure they are free of algae, and work on culturing jellies, which involves caring for alternate life stages that aren’t on display.
What’s your favorite animal to work with?
Of course all the jellies, but I also really enjoy feeding the rays in Atlantic Coral Reef when I come in as part of the volunteer dive team.
What's the best part of your day?
When I learn something new, which is practically every day!
What advice do you have for someone hoping to pursue a career similar to yours?
Volunteer! It is a great way for you to become familiar with the work involved as well as get to know other people in the field.
Thanks for celebrating National Zookeeper Appreciation Week with us! See all of the staff members we highlighted this week here.