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Currently Recruiting For . .

The National Zoo is currently accepting applications for Keeper Aides in Amazonia, office help in the Small Mammal exhibit, and special event volunteers for Bao Bao's birthday.

For long-term assignments (interpreters, keeper aides, behavior watchers) we recommend that you only apply to the area where you are most interested in working, as you will not be eligible to volunteer with another unit for at least six months.

These positions are highly competitive and there are limited spaces available. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis however submission of an application is not a guarantee of placement.


Keeper Aide Volunteers: Amazonia
The National Zoo's Amazonia Exhibit leads visitors into the realm of the Amazon River Basin where giant arapaima, pacu, catfish, turtles, and stingrays swim underwater and sunbitterns, poison dart frogs, and monkeys inhabit the forest world above. More than 350 species of plants, including kapok, avocado and cocoa trees, tropical vines, and epiphytes, live in this enclosed tropical habitat.


Special Qualifications:
Volunteers should be physically fit and willing to work in all types of weather as some of our collection is exhibited in a greenhouse environment. Keeper Aides should be interested in learning about and caring for a variety of amphibians, reptiles, plants, fish, birds and mammals. Applicants must be comfortable working around/with insects. Some animal care experience is preferred, but not required.
Please note:It is National Zoo policy that individuals that keep venomous animals in personal collections will not be accepted as volunteer keeper aides.


Time Commitment:
We currently have openings for keeper aides on Monday,Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The shifts times are from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. You must be able to volunteer at least one day each week for one year.


Age Requirement:
You must be at least 18 years old to apply.


Training:
Once accepted, you must attend a mandatory General Orientation session, usually held on the first Saturday of each month. Additional training will be provided on the job. There is a probationary period for keeper aides.


Uniform Requirement:
Volunteers must purchase and wear a Zoo volunteer uniform shirt and a name badge which is included in the orientation/training fee of $20. Volunteers must also wear khaki pants (no jeans) and sturdy closed-toed shoes.


Application Process and Background Check Requirement:
These positions are highly competitive and there are limited spaces available. Submission of an application is not a guarantee of placement. The Smithsonian Institution and FONZ are committed to providing the safest environment for our staff and volunteers, as well as for our guests. Applicants will be interviewed by keeper staff, and those that are provisionally accepted must pass a Smithsonian background check which includes fingerprinting, as a requirement for approval as a keeper aide prior to beginning to volunteer.


Membership, Health Requirement and Additional Information:
Once the background check has been passed, volunteers must sign up and complete General Orientation training, submit proof of required vaccinations (negative TB test and tetanus) to the NZP health unit, become a FONZ member in their first year of volunteering, and pay the orientation fee (includes volunteer shirt and name badge). Options are available for individuals for whom the fees and membership may not be manageable, please inquire with the Program's Supervisor for available options.


Questions or to apply:
For additional information and to request a registration form email us or call 202.633.3058.

 

Zoo Help:Small Mammal Unit Administrative Help
The National Zoo is celebrating its 125th anniversary and the zoo's animal records are an important piece of tracking the zoo's history.  The Small Mammal Exhibit team and the Registrar’s Office are recruiting a volunteer who is able to assist in organizing and updating a portion of the zoo's records for the Small Mammal House.  The volunteer position will be overseen by the National Zoo's registrars, the zoo's record keepers, and the Small Mammal House staff.

Special qualifications: Volunteer must be detailed oriented, organized, and have the ability to work independently. Applicants should be tolerant of dusty conditions and have the ability to lift 25lbs. This is a strictly “behind-the-scenes” position, with no animal contact.


Time commitment:
In order to be considered, you must be able to make at least a three-month commitment to the program.  This specific job is estimated to take approximately 50 hours to complete. Volunteer shifts are flexible, but volunteers must be available weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.  (The actual date and time of shifts will be determined by the candidate and the Zoo staff.   

Age Requirement
: You must be 18 years or older to apply.

Training Dates:
 Once accepted, you must attend a mandatory General Orientation session, usually held on the first Saturday of each month. Additional training will be provided on the job.

Application Process:
Contact us today to request an application form. Candidates will be contacted to set up an interview time once they have sent in their completed application.  The application deadline is June 20th.  

Uniform Requirement:
Volunteers must purchase and wear a Zoo volunteer uniform shirt and a name badge which is included in the orientation/training fee of $20. Volunteers must also wear khaki pants (no jeans) and sturdy closed-toed shoes.


Application Process and Background Check Requirement:
These positions are highly competitive and there are limited spaces available. Submission of an application is not a guarantee of placement. The Smithsonian Institution and FONZ are committed to providing the safest environment for our staff and volunteers, as well as for our guests. Applicants will be interviewed by staff, and those that are provisionally accepted must pass a Smithsonian background check which includes fingerprinting, as a requirement for approval prior to beginning to volunteer.


Questions or to apply:
For additional information and to request a registration form email us or call 202.633.3052.

 

Special Event Volunteers: Bao Bao Birthday Celebration
FONZ is actively recruiting volunteers to assist with the celebration of Giant Panda Bao Bao’s first birthday!  Help us distribute special goodies for Zoo visitors and other tasks related to this special celebration! 

Special Qualifications:
 Bao Bao birthday volunteers must be friendly, enjoy interacting with families with small children, as well as comfortable assisting with distributing goodies to visitors.  

Time Commitment:
 Because we anticipate a large number of guests, there will be two shifts, one from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and one from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. You may sign up for one shift or both! 

  • Morning shift —9:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Afternoon shift —12:45 – 4:00 p.m. 

    PLEASE NOTE
    : If we are lucky enough to have good weather there will be large crowds in the zoo making parking extremely limited both at the zoo and in the surrounding neighborhoods. Taking Metro is the best option, however if you are planning on driving to the zoo, we recommend that you opt for a morning shift only. 

    Age Requirement:
    You must be at least 16 years old in order to volunteer at this event. Teens will be able to collect service hours for working at the birthday celebration. 

    Uniform Requirement: Current volunteers should wear their red Zoo volunteer uniform shirt and khaki pants/skirts. First time volunteers should wear a plain red or white top and khaki pants/skirts. No jeans please. A name tag (if you do not already have one) will be provided when you check in. Please be sure to dress for the unpredictable Washington DC weather!

    Training:
    On the job.

    Questions or to apply:
    For additional information and to request a registration form email us or call 202.633.3052.

    Confirmation information along with additional details will be sent once a completed application is received and you have been scheduled.



Upcoming Recruiting:

Check back frequently! There's always something going on at the Zoo! Information on applying will be posted along with each recruitment.

Want to help the Zoo in another way? Join Friends of the National Zoo today.