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Visitor Education Internship

The Friends of the National Zoo’s Department of Education and Volunteer Services is seeking a visitor education intern. The visitor education Intern will work closely with education specialists to provide exciting and engaging opportunities for visitors to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, an AZA-accredited facility with more than two million visitors annually. The intern will grow skills in program development, research and conservation education.

Intern may assist on one or more of the following upcoming projects:

  • Education events, including Morning at the Museum and Enrichment Day
  • Education Interpreter Volunteer trainings
  • Visitor evaluation
  • Exhibit development
Duties and responsibilities: 

Duties vary based on current project needs but may include:

  • Developing educational activities and materials to be used in volunteer training and visitor education programs
  • Assistance with visitor education events, including development of activities, learning outcomes, and messaging
  • Comprehensive research of species-specific information—including natural habitat and distribution, diet, adaptations, communication, reproduction, relevant conservation issues and messages, and more—for a variety of animals
  • Collaboration with Smithsonian’s National Zoo exhibit and animal care staff in content development and review
  • Curation of media to be used in digital visitor education initiatives
  • Conducting and analyzing evaluations
  • Participation in FONZ volunteer interpreter training
  • Other duties as assigned

Education: Minimum of two years of college at an accredited institution; background in science, education, or museum studies preferred. Others are encouraged to apply and indicate how the position meets their education/career goals.


  • Interest and enthusiasm for conservation and wildlife education
  • Ability to create exciting and engaging content and activities for audiences of all ages
  • Ability to understand and interpret scientific information
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Creativity, initiative and professionalism
  • Diligence and attention to detail
  • Willingness to take initiative and motivation to seek new learning opportunities
  • Flexibility and a good sense of humor
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Computer proficiency in MS Office & Acrobat; Knowledge of Photoshop, Premier Pro, Illustrator, InDesign, Captivate, Moodle, or similar design software and/or online learning platforms a plus
  • Zoo or aquarium or other museum-related experience preferred
  • Must be comfortable actively working outside in all weather
  • Must be able to lift 30 pounds
This is an unpaid internship. If applicable, FONZ will work with an intern to obtain credit hours for internship, but it is the responsibility of the intern to verify availability through their school and supply paperwork in a timely fashion.
The intern will make his or her own housing arrangements in the Washington, D.C., area.
The Smithsonian's National Zoo and the Smithsonian Institution do not provide free parking to interns.
Term of appointment: 

Spring and fall interns are required to work two or three days per week for six months. The summer intern is required to work four days per week for three months. Starting and ending dates are flexible and applicants should indicate availability in emailed application.

Application deadline(s): 
Monday, July 10
Washington DC
Internship Category: 
Friends of the National Zoo
How to Apply: 

Please submit a cover letter, resume or CV, availability, and contact information for two professional references via email to FONZed& Applications that fail to include all requested items will not be considered. Deadlines to apply are as follows:

Spring Internship: Jan. 31, 2017 Summer Internship: March 10, 2017 Fall Internship: July 10, 2017