Volunteens serve in a variety of areas around the Zoo, including but not limited to the below. Keep in mind that some areas are only open to Volunteens in their 2nd, 3rd, or 4th years in the program. These may require special applications or qualifications. Full details on service areas will be provided to all selected applicants.
- Habitat Interpretation
All Volunteens will serve as Habitat Interpreters for the majority of their time in the program. Habitat Interpreters are responsible for sharing information about the animals, habitats and conservation efforts here at the Zoo to inspire guests. All Volunteens attend regular training sessions with Animal Care and Education Team members to ensure that they have the most scientifically up-to-date information. Serving in this area will help build confidence and public speaking skills.
- Public Events
There’s always something going on at the Zoo! All Volunteens are able to assist with some of our public events such as Boo at the Zoo, Play the Animal Way, Endangered Species Days, Members Only Nights and more. (Volunteens do not serve at any public event where alcohol is served, such as Brew at The Zoo or Sippin’ Safari.) Volunteens at public events help run activity stations, give directions around the Zoo, assist with setup or breakdown of the event, and more. Serving in this area helps build customer service, teaching, and event management skills.
- Public Programs
As part of the Education Department, all Volunteens can help run some of the daily educational programs. These may include Zoo’s Clues (a Zoo-wide mystery with a new topic each month) and Conservation Carts (pop-up activities focused on different areas of conservation work), among others. Volunteens receive special training in these areas prior to being able to serve in them, but there is no separate application or service hour requirement. Serving in this area helps build customer service, public speaking, organizational, and teaching skills.
- Special Teams Work Days
There are many special teams here at the Zoo, and all Volunteens will have the chance to serve with some of them during special work days. These days are typically offered once a month. Volunteens may work with the Enrichment Team to create enrichment items for animals, or with the Horticulture Team to beautify the Zoo’s pathways, or sometimes even with Animal Care Teams to complete special cleaning or organizational projects. This area lets Volunteens get their hands dirty (literally!) while learning about animal care and different Zoo-based careers directly from the people who work in those areas.
- Safari Camp Aide
Beginning in their 2nd year with the program, Volunteens can apply to be aides in Zoo Atlanta’s Safari Camp. This day camp is offered during the summer, as well as throughout the year during school breaks. Volunteens will assist Camp Counselors with planning and running activities, chaperoning campers, and various other tasks. This area is perfect for Volunteens who are interested in teaching careers. It requires a separate application and additional time commitments from all selected Volunteens.
- Petting Zoo Animal Husbandry Aide
Also starting in their 2nd year with the program, Volunteens can get hands-on with caring for the animals in the Petting Zoo. This can be dirty and hard work, but it’s invaluable experience for any Volunteen who wants to pursue a career in animal care. Volunteens must qualify for the husbandry program through specialized service hours and obtain Animal Care Team approval before being able to serve in this area. Additional animal areas may be available to Volunteens in their 3rd or 4th years with the program.
- Animal Nutrition Kitchen Aide
Volunteens in their 2nd or above year will have the opportunity to assist the Animal Nutrition Kitchen (ANK) Team with preparing diets for all the animals here at the Zoo. This work is somewhat less dirty than the husbandry aide positions, but it requires just as much dedication. Nearly every animal at the Zoo receives diets from the ANK, so serving in this area will help Volunteens develop animal care, nutrition, organization, and food service skills.