Volunteens serve in a variety of areas around the Zoo — nearly 30 in total! These service areas are divided into five clusters to help teens find areas that suit their individual interests. Keep in mind that some service areas are only open to 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year Volunteens and come with additional experience and application requirements. Full details on all service areas are provided to all selected applicants.
These service areas all focus on interaction with guests and other Zoo Atlanta program participants. Work includes helping with public events, greeting guests at the entrance of the Zoo, talking with guests at animal habitats, and helping in the petting zoo. These service areas teach public speaking, confidence, customer service, and other social and soft career skills.
Behind-the-scenes areas help grow the skills of teens interested in animal care and welfare careers, such as keepers, veterinarians, biologists, ecologists, or conservationists. In these areas, teens work closely with animal care staff to learn skills such as husbandry, diet prep, enrichment, and more. These areas require a strong commitment to the program, as well as a high level of personal responsibility and teamwork, and most require teens to be in at least their 2nd year in the program.
Zoo Atlanta is a worldwide leader in animal care and conservation research. These service areas allow Volunteens to explore that work in-depth. The service areas in this cluster build upon each other with each year in the program and require teens to demonstrate a continued commitment to the field. Volunteens will learn the basics of research and will have opportunities to explore Zoo-supported research projects.
These service areas support the Zoo Atlanta Education Department’s programs. Each area will show teens what it takes to run educational programming at the Zoo, as well as will help them develop skills in lesson planning, classroom management, program support, and teaching. Service areas include assisting with Safari Camp, Homeschool Academy, J.O.E.Y. Junctions, and more. Annual and supplemental training sessions are also included in this cluster.
The final cluster consists of our leadership development and appreciation service areas. Areas include appreciation events, quarterly Volunteer program meetings, career skill workshops, program ambassador opportunities, and independent studies. These areas are where Volunteen participants will be able to practice their skills in a supportive environment before putting them to the test in other service areas.